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HomeNewsCaribbean NewsCommonwealth Secretary-General joins Caribbean leaders for regional meeting in Guyana

Commonwealth Secretary-General joins Caribbean leaders for regional meeting in Guyana

LONDON, England – A team from the Commonwealth Secretariat, led by the Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland KC, is in Guyana for the 46th Regular Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM heads of government. This is part of a series of regional meetings that she is attending in preparation for the Commonwealth heads of government meeting later this year.

Among the issues to be discussed at the four-day CARICOM meeting are climate resilience, regional security, energy as well as nutrition and food security.  In Guyana, the secretary-general will engage with Caribbean leaders directly and as a group. The Commonwealth Secretariat team will also update the leaders on upcoming ministerial meetings, special Commonwealth events and possible areas of assistance and collaboration.

There are three significant Commonwealth milestones this year. On 11 March 2024, Commonwealth Day will be celebrated, while in April, the Secretariat will start the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the London Declaration that gave birth to the modern Commonwealth. In October, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting  (CHOGM) will be held in Samoa. It will be the first time that CHOGM will be held in a Pacific small island developing state.

Reflecting on the close relationship with CARICOM, the Commonwealth secretary-general, said: “As a Caribbean person, every one of these meetings are like coming home to family. In particular, I am happy to be back in Guyana to attend this important summit. I look forward to rich discussions, hearing about areas of concern, and learning about recent successes. For us at the Secretariat, CARICOM is a strong and treasured partner.”

She also thanked HE Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, Guyana’s president, and the CARICOM secretary-general, Dr Carla Barnett, for the opportunity to attend the meeting.

The Commonwealth secretary-general added that it was an essential part of her role to be cognisant of the issues of the member states and to maintain close ties in order to fully support the work done on behalf of countries. Commenting on the upcoming Commonwealth summit in Samoa, said:

“In October, we go to CHOGM as a united and committed collective. As we represent the views and carry out the directives of our member states, we are bound to listen to their concerns and visions for the future.”

The CARICOM meeting will begin on Sunday, 25 February 2024 and close on the 28th. Twelve of the CARICOM member states are part of the 56 member countries of the Commonwealth. Earlier in February, she also participated in the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU).

Immediately following the CARICOM meeting, the secretary-general will travel to Zanzibar for the biennial Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting  (CLMM), from 4 to 8 March 2024. Hosted by the government of the United Republic of Tanzania, the meeting will focus on the theme ‘Technology and Innovation: How digitalisation paves the way for the development of people-centred access to justice.’

The Commonwealth secretary-general will also be in the Caribbean in April for the 35th Caribbean Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (CARAIFA) conference in her home country of Dominica and the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4)  in Antigua and Barbuda in May.

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