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New strategic plan among measures for CARICOM heads
Published on July 1, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- The first ever strategic plan for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will be among major items for consideration by regional leaders at their 35th annual CARICOM heads of government conference in Antigua, July 1-4 2014.

The meeting will be chaired by the newly elected prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne.

The five year strategic plan, for the period 2015-2019, is the product of wide public consultation across the Caribbean Community, and seeks to reposition the Community to better secure its future in a rapidly changing environment. The heads will seek to reach agreement on top priority areas for focused attention over the five-year period of the plan and the arrangements to ensure implementation.

A commission on the economy will also report to the heads on its work on a number of initiatives including; formulating a fiscal sustainability programme, reviewing the region’s business operating environment with a view towards improving its doing business indicators, and the design of regional programmes to assist in alleviating some of the constraints to growth in the member states.

Also high on the agenda will be key issues for the Caribbean Community related to the upcoming third international meeting of small island developing states (SIDS) in Samoa, September 1-4 2014, the UN climate change summit later that month, and the post-2015 development agenda.

A highlight of the meeting’s opening ceremony on Tuesday 1 July will be the public launch of the new CARICOM song, produced by Michele Henderson of Dominica. Michele’s “Celebrating CARICOM” was selected from 63 submissions from 15 member states and associate members. The second placed entry “My CARICOM” came from Adiel Thomas of Jamaica and the third placed “One CARICOM” was by Carmella Lawrence of St Kitts and Nevis. The CARICOM song will be used primarily at ceremonial and Community events.

The opening ceremony will also feature the presentation of the CARICOM Triennial Award for Women 2014 to Marion Bethel of The Bahamas. The award is aimed at honouring a CARICOM woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the socio-economic development of the region.

Browne will address the ceremony as the new CARICOM chairman. Addresses will also be made by outgoing chairman, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines, and CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque.
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