Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne is today in Paramaribo, Suriname where he is attending the Forty-Third Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM.
Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister, the Hon. E. P. Chet Greene is accompanying Prime Minister Browne to the Meeting.
Before departing Antigua, Prime Minister Browne said that the three-day meeting has a packed agenda which includes Heads discussing COVID-19 and other emerging health issues, the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, Advancing the CARICOM Agri-food systems agenda: Prioritizing Regional Food and Nutrition Security and the issue of Climate Change.
During the Opening Ceremony on Sunday, four CARICOM nationals will be conferred with the Order of the Caribbean Community OCC, which is an award given to “Caribbean nationals whose legacy in the economic, political, social and cultural metamorphoses of Caribbean society is phenomenal.”
The four awardees are former CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Calypsonian, Mr. David Rudder, Cricketer extraordinaire, Sir Vivian Richards, and Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Barbados, Dame Billie Miller.
In congratulating the awardees who will be joining a distinguished group of individuals who were honoured for making outstanding contributions to the development of the region, Prime Minister Browne said that all four individuals have served the region with extraordinary passion and are all deserving of this high honour.
“Viv was by far the most devastating batsman in cricket who commanded respect both on and off the field. His shots were unknown to ordinary mortals during his cricket period. Playing the game of cricket for Viv was a science and his dominance created a sense of pride in the people of the region and a motivator for young west Indian cricketers and cricketers around the world. Viv Richards and cricket shaped the Caribbean identity. This recognition by CARICOM is most fitting for a man who has dedicated his talents and beliefs towards making our region stand tall,” said Prime Minister Browne in commenting on Antiguan Barbudan National Hero, Sir Vivian Richards receiving the award.
CARICOM Heads will also look at plans for CARICOM’s 50th Anniversary and the extension of CARICOM Development Fund’s Second contribution and subvention cycle. During Caucus, Heads will address border issues facing Belize and Guatemala and Guyana and Venezuela. They will also address security issues, the situation in Haiti and the British Virgin Islands.
During Prime Minister Browne’s absence, Attorney General and Minister for Legal Affairs, the Hon. Steadroy Benjamin is the Acting Prime Minister. (Ends)