Mr Speaker, I rise with your leave to inform this Honourable House and through this Parliament to inform our citizens and residents that next week St. Kitts and Nevis will host the 30th Inter-sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads. That meeting will take place on February 26th and 27th, 2019 at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino.
In addition to the main meetings, several events will occur during the margins of the Inter-sessional gathering.
On the 25th February 2019, there will be a Caucus of OECS Heads. Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General of UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, which is the main U.N. body dealing with Trade, Investment and Development, will have an audience with the CARICOM Heads. UNCTAD has 195 Member States. Several signing ceremonies will take place during same period impacting upon health and financing. The Heads will also engage with members of the regional private sector, especially on the subject of regional transportation.
The Planning Committee is headed by Permanent Secretary, Kaye Bass in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Preparations have advanced to a satisfactory level. I wish to place on record my deep appreciation to the CARICOM Secretariat and our local Organizing Committee for their excellent efforts in advancing the preparations.
To date, over 150 delegates have registered. Fifteen Member States and Associate Member States will be represented. Also attending will be representatives of 8 regional organizations.
At these meetings, it is customary to host one special guest. The special guest at this meeting is the President of Estonia, H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid.
Many diplomatic representatives also take the opportunity to meet with Heads, and already we have indication that H.E. John Pilbeam, High Commissioner of Australia and H.E. Anton Ojala, High Commissioner of New Zealand will also be here.
We expect that the warm hospitality of our people will bring many return visits back to our shores.