St Lucia: The Ministers responsible for Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Affairs met at the 49th Meeting of Community Council of Ministers held in a hybrid format on Friday, 27 May 2022. The Community Council has the main responsibility for the development of CARICOM strategic planning and coordination in the areas of economic integration, and external relations, in accordance with the policy directions established by the Conference of Heads of Government.
Ministers accepted the Annual Report of the CARICOM Secretariat Audit Committee for the period 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021. St Lucia forms part of the CARICOM Secretariat Audit Committee for the period 2021-2023.
Ministers also reviewed the draft CARICOM Secretariat Strategic Plan 2022-2030, which aims to enhance the Secretariat’s administrative coordination and attainment of mandates related to regional integration. The Meeting agreed to recommend to the Conference of Heads of Government the redesigned CSME Application Processing System (CAPS), which aims to facilitate more efficient approval and issuance processes for CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) certificates. The CAPS is one of the important online platforms for facilitating the implementation of the CSME.
CARICOM, the oldest surviving integration movement among developing countries, will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in 2023. Ministers endorsed the preliminary list of activities, including developing a slogan/theme, a social media campaign, and engaging the private sector and regional institutions.
The Council recommended the Provisional Agenda for the Forty-Third Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM scheduled for 3-5 July 2022 in Suriname. The Provisional Agenda includes Security, CSME, Advancing the CARICOM Agri-Food Systems Agenda, and Climate Finance.
This Meeting of the Community Council was chaired by Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration of Belize. Saint Lucia was represented by Alva Baptiste, Minister for External Affairs, International Trade, Civil Aviation, and Diaspora Affairs, and by Elma Gene Isaac, Ambassador of Saint Lucia to CARICOM and OECS.