BRUSSELS, Belgium (CMC) — Prime Minister Andrew Holness is one of two Caribbean leaders who will address the first-ever Inter-Sessional Summit of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) on transcending the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The OACP said that the summit on Wednesday, to be held virtually, will also be addressed by Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados.
“The virtual Summit, which is hosted by the OACPS, aims to assess the current global COVID-19 situation, and in particular, the effects and consequences to the members of the OACPS. In addition, members will identify opportunities for global solidarity and action.”
The one-day event will be held under the theme “Transcending the COVID-19 Pandemic: Building Resilience through Global Solidarity” and will consist of a dialogue by the heads of state and Government of the OACPS.
The summit will be based on three pillars namely “building resilience; keeping economies functioning and rebooting for a strong recovery, and boosting global solidarity and deepening partnerships”.
The OACPS summit will be followed by a high-level exchange with global strategic and development partners, who will be key to achieving the objectives identified by the heads at the summit including the heads of governments of Germany, Japan, Norway, India, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
“The members of the OACPS share several unique challenges which have been intensified by the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic threatens recent advances in health and progress towards attaining global sustainable development goals. Members of the OACPS figure among some of the poorest countries in the world and are, as a result, more at risk to the devastating socio-economic consequences of the pandemic.
“It is expected that COVID-19 cases will overwhelm health facilities, leading ultimately to increased morbidity and mortality. There is therefore an urgent need to work with global health leaders, partners and governments, to ensure that the global response to COVID-19 includes lessons learned from other epidemics and communicable diseases, particularly as it concerns the protection of vulnerable populations,” the Brussels-based OACPS secretariat said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic calls for global action and solidarity. Together we can combat this virus and its dire socio-economic consequences, and secure the well-being of our citizens. Now is the time to work on innovative solutions that will also ensure global preparedness for the future,” said OACPS Secretary-General, Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti.
At the conclusion of the Summit, the OACPS leaders are expected to endorse a communiqué based on the three pillars.