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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves

COVID-19 and its impact on the Caribbean will be among matters for consideration by Caricom Heads of Government when they meet via video-conference on Thursday.

This 41st Regular Meeting of Caricom Heads of Government is expected to examine the health, financial and economic development implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The discussions will follow the Special Emergency Meetings held by the Heads in May, August and September as part of their efforts to harmonise their responses to, and policies on the multifaceted impact of COVID-19.

Thursday’s meeting will also discuss other major concerns including blacklisting.

Caricom earlier this month issued a statement condemning the “ongoing unilateral, arbitrary and non-transparent blacklisting strategy employed by the European Union (EU) against Caricom member states”.

The statement noted that along with the unprecedented task of staging a post-COVID-19 economic recovery, Caricom states now have the added burden of being subjected to the EU’s discriminatory tactics disguised as tax policy and governance.

The meeting is also expected to address issues related to the regional private sector as well as regional security.

The Heads will have an exchange of views with a special guest, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Thursday’s meeting will be held under the chairmanship of current chairman of Caricom, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.