Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, is away from the Territory attending the 36th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Barbados.
Premier Smith is accompanied by Acting Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Mr. Brodrick Penn and Acting Deputy Director of the International Affairs Secretariat, Ms. Najan Christopher.
The meeting is being held from July 2 to 4 under the theme “CARICOM: Vibrant Societies, Resilient Economies: A Partnership for Implementation.” The meeting will consider several matters related to encouraging economic growth and development in member and associate member countries of CARICOM.
A major item on the agenda is participation by CARICOM member countries in several ongoing international processes related to sustainable development, development financing and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Additionally, CARICOM Heads of Government will engage in dialogue with the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon, who will be a special guest at the meeting in Barbados. The UN Secretary-General is slated to make a presentation during a High Level Dialogue titled, “CARICOM: Vibrant Societies, Resilient Economies – A Partnership for Implementation.”
The Heads will also discuss the Strengthening and Utilizing Science and Technology in the Region, Proposals for the Establishment of a new Regional Institution – the CARICOM Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Leveraging CARICOM’s Human, Cultural and Natural Assets for Economic Development of the Community.
Discussions are also expected to be held in relation to banking and other financial services issues affecting the region.
Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering will act as Premier until July 5 when Premier Smith returns to the Territory.
Honourable Pickering’s appointment is in accordance with Section 55 (1) of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007 which states, “If the Premier is expected to be absent from the Virgin Islands for more than forty-eight hours, the Governor shall authorise the Deputy Premier to perform the functions of the office of Premier; and the Governor shall revoke this authority on the return to the Virgin Islands of the Premier.