ST. KITTS AND NEVIS FINALIZES PLANS TO HOST 30TH INTER-SESSIONAL MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF GOVERNMENT OF THE CARICOM FROM FEBRUARY 26-27

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 20, 2019 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis, under the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, is finalizing plans to host the 30th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the CARICOM, which takes place from 26-27th February 2019, at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino.

To date, 15 member states and associate members, eight regional organizations and 145 delegates have registered. CARICOM’s special guest will be President of The Republic of Estonia, Her Excellency Madam Kersti Kaljulaid. New Zealand’s Plenipotentiary Representative to CARICOM, His Excellency Mr. Anton Ojala, and the Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency John Pilbeam, will also be in attendance.

High level officials attending the meeting include Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis; Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda; The Most Honourable Dr. Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas; Honourable Mia Mottley Q.C., Prime Minister of Barbados; Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Commonwealth of Dominica; Honourable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada; Honourable Andrew Michael Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica; Honourable Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia; Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago; Honourable Walter H. Roban, Deputy Premier and Minister of Home Affairs and his spouse Ms. Nadine Francis; Honourable Sean Astwood, Deputy Premier of Turks and Caicos Islands; Honourable Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General of Belize; Honourable Carl B. Greenidge, Second Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs for Guyana; and His Excellency Ms. Yldiz Pollack-Beighle, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Suriname.

Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General CARICOM; Dr. William Warren Smith, President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB); Rodinald Raphael Soomer, Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Development Fund (CDF); Major Michael Jones, Acting Executive Director of CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS); Captain Errington Shurland, Executive Director of Regional Security System (RSS); Dr. C. James Hospedales, Executive Director of Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA); Mr. Timothy N J Antoine, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB); Dr. Didacus Jules, Director-General of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS); and Dr. Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI) will be in attendance.

The 30th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the CARICOM is expected to treat heavily with transportation and regional integration.

The local planning committee comprises of officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Tourism, Culture and Health; the Government Information Service, security personnel, Immigration, the Customs and Excise Department, the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA), the ICT Department, Public Works and Transport Services, the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service and Permanent Secretaries in the Office of the Prime Minister. The Committee is chaired by Ms. Kaye Bass, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ahead of the conference, Secretary General of the CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and Chef de Cabinet in the Office of the Secretary General, Mrs. Charmaine Atkinson-Jordan, met with Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Mark Brantley and senior government officials in December 2018 for a briefing.

At the briefing, Ambassador LaRocque told Prime Minister Harris (who assumed the chairmanship of the Conference of CARICOM from the period January 1 to June 30, 2019) that “the Chairman’s function as Head of CARICOM is very significant since you act on behalf of the Heads in between sessions and the like. You will see me a lot more often in the next six to seven months.”

CARICOM has 15 Member States, which include Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. There are five Associate Members, which include Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands.

The 29th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the CARICOM was held in Port-au- Prince, Haiti.