Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) hosted a special conference on Friday, July 3, with Barbados' Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley handing over the reins to incoming chairman, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Twentieth Special Meeting of CARICOM was held via video conference throughout the region beginning at 10:00 a.m.
CARICOM Heads decided at their Ninth Special Meeting in April this year to stage the handing-over ceremony at the beginning of July.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Forty-First Regular Meeting of Heads of Government to be rescheduled to September 2 and 3 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
During the July 3 virtual meeting, CARICOM leaders were expected to also address a number of procedural matters.
As CARICOM Chairman, among other things, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley hosted the 31st Intersessional Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, from February 18 to 19 in Barbados, and held a number of Special Meetings in March and May to map out a strategy to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
In addition, as Conference Chairman, Ms. Mottley was able to facilitate a high-level meeting between CARICOM Heads of Government and owners/chairmen of leading cruise lines to discuss mutual matters of interest.
The relationship which was established between the cruise ship principals and the Conference of Heads enabled the members of the Community to have frank and cordial discussions with cruise industry representatives about the impact of COVID-19 on cruises in and around the Caribbean.
Prime Minister Mottley also has lead responsibility for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy in the region’s quasi cabinet.
The Caribbean Community has 15 member states – Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
It also has five associate members – Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.