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Pm Briceno Heads Belize’s delegation at the Conference of the Heads of Government in CARICOM

Prime Minister John Briceño headed the Belize delegation to the forty-second regular meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). In the two-day conference, which ended yesterday, CARICOM heads assessed the regional advancements made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They agreed to redouble their efforts to acquire adequate supplies of vaccines with the determination to achieve regional herd immunity of eighty percent coverage by the end of 2021 and mandated the mobilization of resources to address vaccine hesitancy. The Heads of Government emphasized that the CARICOM Single Market and Economy must be used as an important vehicle for rebuilding and transforming the economies of member states devastated by the pandemic. The proposal to incentivize private sector partnership in addressing transport and logistics requirements for the successful implementation of the Agri-Food Systems Agenda was also endorsed by the heads. CARICOM Heads also received a report on the political situation in Haiti and updates on regional natural disasters from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, Suriname, and Barbados. A report on the Joint Tourism Policy for the region was presented and the heads endorsed the recommendation for a harmonized policy to cater to the return of cruise ships to the region. The heads welcomed the report on the ongoing efforts towards the elimination of roaming charges for the region as part of the creation of a CARICOM Single ICT Space. As of July one, Prime Minister Briceño joined the Bureau of the Conference and will serve in that capacity over an eighteen-month period. Belize will take up the CARICOM Chairmanship in January 2022 and will host the thirty-third Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in February. Senator Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and a number of other diplomats from Belize accompanied the PM.