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The 43rd Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was held in Paramaribo, Suriname, July 3-5.
The opening ceremony featured addresses by the CARICOM Secretary-General, Dr. Carla Barnett; Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Hon. Philip Davis; Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Hon, Philip Pierre; Prime Minister of Grenada, the Hon. Dickon Mitchell; Outgoing Chairman, Prime Minister of Belize, the Hon. John Briceno; and Incoming Chairman, President of Suriname, His Excellency Chandrikapersad Santokhi.
United Nations Secretary-General, His Excellency Antonio Guterres, was one of two special guests who attended the event. The other was the Secretary-General of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, His Excellency Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti.
During the meeting, four distinguished CARICOM nationals were awarded the prestigious Order of the Caribbean Community (OCC) award. They are former CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque; cricketer extraordinaire, Sir Vivian Richards; Calypsonian, Mr. David Rudder; and former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Barbados, Dame Billie Miller.
The Heads of Government began their business sessions on Monday, July 4, and matters discussed included the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), agriculture and food security, governance, climate financing and security.