Today (Monday, 5 July 2021) the Premier, Hon. Wayne Panton, has been participating via Zoom in the Forty-Second Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The meeting was called to order by the current Chair of the Conference, Hon. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. Opening remarks were provided for the final time by CARICOM Secretary-General, His Excellency, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque who demits office at the completion of his second term in August 2021.
Ambassador LaRocque offered congratulations to Hon. Wayne Panton on his recent election and welcomed him to his first Conference of Heads of Government as Premier of the Cayman Islands.
Key agenda items being discussed by regional leaders include:
• Updates on regional disasters including the eruption of La Soufrière Volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; flooding in Guyana and Suriname and the impact of Hurricane Elsa;
-19 and its impact on the Region;
• Prioritising regional food and nutrition security;
• Tax transparency, Blacklisting, De-risking and the Global Minimum Corporate Tax; &
• Crime and security issues.
Premier Hon. Wayne Panton noted, “The importance of regional cooperation was clearly demonstrated especially during the past 18 months as Cayman was able to support many of our neighbors, but also receive exceptional assistance from CARPHA (a key CARICOM body) with testing and monitoring the spread of COVID
-19 during the early days of the pandemic. The Caribbean has been identified as the region experiencing the greatest economic impact from the COVID
-19 pandemic given our dependence on Tourism. Furthermore, the CARICOM community remains vulnerable to a litany of challenges including natural disasters, climate change and global economic shocks. This reinforces one of the key platforms of the PACT Government that we must commit now, both locally and regionally to building resilient and more sustainable communities.”
The Conference continues through Tuesday, 6th July 2021 and the Premier’s participation is being supported by the Cabinet Office.