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Posted in: Communiques by admin | 30 May 2007 | Release Ref #: 124/2007 | 3798

    (CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana)  The Bureau of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has endorsed the programme of activities for the Conference on the Caribbean to be held in Washington DC, USA from 19-21 June 2007.

    The four-member Bureau, which manages the affairs of the Community between meetings of the full Conference of Heads of Government, met in St Vincent and the Grenadines on Saturday 26 May and reviewed the status of preparations for the event which is being held under the theme, “A 20/20 Vision” and will include interaction between the government, private sector and diaspora.

    Chairman of CARICOM, Dr the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, presided over the meeting and the other three members of the Bureau were represented by the Honourable Dr Denzil Douglas the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Reginald Farley Minister of Housing and Lands, on behalf of the Prime Minister of Barbados and CARICOM Secretary-General His Excellency Edwin Carrington. The Honourable Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda accepted a special invitation from the Bureau and attended the meeting.

    The activities of the Conference on the Caribbean include a summit between CARICOM Heads of Government and United States President George Bush, a meeting between CARICOM Foreign Ministers and United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, meetings between the CARICOM delegations and members of both Houses of Congress and sessions involving the diaspora and CARICOM leaders.

    The Bureau meeting also reviewed the preparations for the upcoming Agricultural Donor Conference scheduled for Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on 2 June 2007. The Donor Conference brings together multinational and international funding agencies and countries with CARICOM agriculture policy makers to identify projects in the sector for financial and technical support.

    His Excellency President Bharrat Jagdeo, the head of government with lead responsibility for agriculture in CARICOM, will deliver the feature address at the opening session of the Conference. More than 20 multinational agencies and countries have confirmed their participation in the conference.

    After reviewing the recommendations arising out of an Informal Meeting of CARICOM Ministers of Transportation, the Bureau agreed that the issues raised, including the rise in airfares, a regional ferry service and the vision for a regional airline should be further discussed by the Conference of Heads of Government.

    The Bureau also agreed to recommend a proposal that Member States of the Community establish a unit within their public service to co-ordinate activities with regard to regional integration as a means of improving the process of implementing decisions.

    The Chairman took the opportunity on behalf of himself and his colleagues to extend deep condolences to the Prime Minister of Barbados, the Rt Honourable Owen Arthur, his wife and family on the death of his infant daughter.