Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago- In his outgoing remarks as Chairperson of CARICOM, Prime Minister The Hon. Philip Davis, KC, MP, urged the region to continue to seek greater collaboration to build upon recent successes and those of the past 50 years. Prime Minister Davis delivered the remarks at the Opening Ceremony of CARICOM’s Forty-Fifth Regular Meeting of The Conference of Heads of Government, held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, July 3rd-5th 2023.
Davis highlighted key strides the region has made under The Bahamas’ chairmanship of the past six months, including the partnership with the Green Climate Fund to develop a Blue Economy Co-Investment Strategy for the region; the enhanced commitment to combatting crime collaboratively; and the successful US-Caribbean summit which bore fruit with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris announcing increased resources for both anti-gun trafficking and climate resilience in the Caribbean region.
The Prime Minister also expressed his optimism that Haiti is nearer than ever to a Haitian-led solution, given the positive reception of the CARICOM-led stakeholders meeting in Jamaica, and the appointment of the Eminent Persons Group, which will oversee CARICOM’s support to Haiti in key areas of security, governance, and long-term development planning.
CARICOM Secretary General Dr. Carla Barnett thanked the Prime Minister for his passionate leadership through an eventful and fruitful term. “I extend sincere gratitude to our Outgoing Chair, the Honourable Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, who steered our community with foresight and determination through a period of significant developments,” she said.
The Conference of The Heads of Government is CARICOM’s preeminent biannual summit for setting the organization’s priorities and broad decision-making on critical regional issues. During this meeting the Heads will be advancing dialogues on regional food security, addressing the situation in Haiti, sustainable blue development, and global climate finance advocacy, amongst other topics.
In his speech, the Prime Minister reiterated the need to continue to press for climate finance reform action such as The Bridgetown Initiative.
“As part of our effort to secure an overhaul of the global finance system and processes, CARICOM has thrown its full weight behind The Bridgetown Initiative. Colleagues we must not let up. We must continue to push this agenda forward and continue to build on the great interest and support which other countries have already expressed,” he urged.
Climate Change and Climate Finance are expected to be dominant topics as the Heads work to galvanize the regional position ahead of two United Nations meetings: COP28 and the UN International Conference on Small Island Developing States. Secretary General of the United Nations H.E. Antonio Guterres and President Designate of COP28 Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber will be present with the Caribbean leaders on this and other topics. Other Special Guests include Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; President of Rwanda H.E. Paul Kagame; President of The Republic of Korea H.E Han Duck-Soo; and U.S. Secretary of State
The Bahamas has been a regional leader in the Climate Change space, with Prime Minister Davis speaking out in international fora such as COP27 and The Summit of The Americas to promote Climate Justice, greater action from high-emission countries to meet their commitments, and financial provisions for Loss and Damage for nations like The Bahamas which are disproportionately impacted by climate change.
With the conclusion of the 45th Conference of the Heads of State, Prime Minister Davis hands over the Chairmanship to the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit.
Deputy Press Secretary
Office of the Prime Minister