46th Regular Conference of the Heads of Government of CARICOM held in Georgetown, Guyana

Georgetown, Guyana – Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis attended the 46th Regular Conference of the Heads of Government of CARICOM held in Georgetown, Guyana February 25th-28th accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Frederick Mitchell, Minister of Labour and Public Service, Hon. Pia Glover-Rolle, Minister of State for the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Leon Lundy, and H.E. Leslia Miller-Brice, Ambassador of The Bahamas to CARICOM. Prime Minister Davis and The Bahamas Delegation focused on advancing the key priority areas of Food Security, Climate Change/Finance, and Stabilizing the Situation in Haiti. 

Addressing the regional goal to reduce Food imports by 25% by the year 2025, Minister Glover-Rolle delivered an intervention on behalf of the Prime Minister and the nation summarizing the progress The Bahamas has made toward greater food security, especially in the area of poultry farming, and outlining the country’s strategy to promote greater results – such as the partnership with the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) to promote inclusive digital integration in the sector and the Ministry of Agriculture’s partnership with NGOs to support community and backyard farming, the largest initiative of its kind in the history of The Bahamas. 

Min. Glover-Rolle also outlined challenges the industry is facing, such as the aging labour force of the farming sector, where the majority of farmers are over the age of 60, and the challenge of attracting women and new generations to the industry. In response to this’ contribution, President Irfaan Ali of Guyana announced his country’s commitment to collaborate with The Bahamas to address the nation’s farming age and gender gaps, a challenge Guyana has already successfully addressed in its agricultural sector. 

In a continuation of his advocacy for justice for Small Island Developing States like The Bahamas in Climate Justice and Finance Prime Minister implored CARICOM leaders to stand firm in the face of perceived efforts to diminish the special circumstances and considerations for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in global climate change conversations. He advocated for a unified strategy heading into the SIDS4 conference to be held in May of this year, sentiments which were echoed throughout the room and CARICOM’s communique on the subject. 

He urged leaders of the region to band together to activate and provide financing for the  United Nations Loss and Damage Fund, which would release financial support for countries, like The Bahamas, who have experienced losses due to extreme climate events, like hurricanes. The fund, though established at COP28, has yet to be fully operationalized due to a lack of nominations to its Board By developed country groups. The Prime Minister enjoined his colleagues to urge developed country partners to promptly submit their nominations stating that, “though the Fund’s establishment is crucial, it is for naught without a robust, driven board and effective financing provisions.”

The issue of Haitian stability loomed large within the regional blocs’ discussion, with representatives from Brazil, Canada, and USA, joining the Caribbean leaders in the discussions. Prime Minister Davis took a leading role, initiating a call for greater international commitment to set a timeline for free and fair elections in Haiti, stating, “Without a political solution – A Haitian Led Solution – there cannot be a security solution, and Haiti cannot have stability.”

In response to this call and the urgent need to make progress in Haiti’s security, The CARICOM Heads resolved to hold a meeting with Haiti stakeholders facilitated by the Eminent Stakeholders Group within two (2) weeks in Jamaica. They furthermore resolved to assemble an Electoral Needs Assessment Group by 31 March, facilitated by CARICOM, Canada, USA, France, and OAS.

The Delegation also engaged in a robust schedule of bilateral meetings including with The United States, The United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Lesotho, The Republic of Ghana, and The Commonwealth Secretariat. In addition, The Bahamas had brush-bys with BVI, Martinique, and New Zealand amongst others. 

  • For the CARICOM Communique on Climate Change and Climate Finance for the 46th Conference of the Heads of Government please click HERE
  • For the CARICOM Communique on Security in Haiti for the 46th Conference of the Heads of Government please clickHERE.

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