Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda Gaston Browne on Thursday, July 1 assumed the chairmanship of CARICOM.
Browne, who will serve for the next six months, succeeds the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Keith Rowley.
The new CARICOM chairman is expected to tackle certain issues during his tenure, these include the reduction of intra-regional air travel taxes, the potential for a regional medicinal cannabis market and the sustained threat to regional development concerning de-risking.
In a statement from the Guyana-based Secretariat of the regional body, Browne, who holds responsibility for Services in CARICOM’s Quasi Cabinet, will chair the virtual 42nd meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government which begins on Monday, July 5.
This year’s meeting will mark the 48th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas.
The official opening session of this year’s conference will include remarks from Browne, as well as outgoing CARICOM Chairman, Dr Keith Rowley, and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.
The meeting will be Ambassador LaRocque’s last in the role, as he is set to be succeeded by Dr Carla Barnett, the first woman and Belizean to be selected for the post.
Dr Bennett will assume office on August 15 and become the 8th Secretary-General in CARICOM’s history.