CARICOM Leaders Meet In Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders begin their two-day inter-sessional summit here on Thursday with crime and security, economic development and international relations high on their agenda.

CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque, speaking ahead of the summit, said that crime continues to pose a threat to the 15-member regional grouping and is no longer just a national issue.

“It’s a regional one and hence it demands a regional solution,” LaRocque said, noting that trans-border crime is “something one needs to address,” given the need to reduce the “level of criminality” within the Caribbean.

But he noted that the regional leaders will not be in a position to sign onto the arrest warrant treaty and recovery of assets treaty that would have resulted in increased cooperation among member states and which are part of the crime and security strategy adopted by leaders at their 24th inter-sessional held in Haiti three years ago.

“At this point and time we are not yet in a position to say that we are going to adopt this instrument at the sitting…our hope was to have done that but I have to admit that some of the legal instruments require very careful examination.

“Both of those instruments are being renegotiated simultaneously and both are in an advance stage of deliberations,” LaRocque added.

Guyana is expected to present the draft CARICOM Arrest Warrant Treaty for ratification at the summit.

The regional leaders will seek to further develop the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) initiative that allows for the free movement of goods, skills, services and labour across the region.

The regional leaders will also discuss the Single Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Space with LaRocque describing the ICT as a sector in its own right as well as an enabler of development.

Guyana will also be recommending the signing of a draft agreement to establish the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy Efficiency (CCREE).

The CCREE has been established with the assistance from several agencies including the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Small Islands Developing States Sustainable Energy and Climate Resilience Initiative and the Government of Austria.

Additionally, Guyana will be submitting the draft Rules of Procedures for consideration by the leaders.

The CARICOM Secretariat was mandated at the 36th Meeting of the Heads of Government, held in July 2015, to prepare the draft rules of procedure for meetings of CARICOM leaders.

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