Nine per cent rise in new HIV infections in Caribbean

Dr. Edward Greene
Dr. Edward Greene

“Complacency is largely responsible for the slippage in the AIDS response in the Caribbean”.

This was the view of the United Nations Secretary-General Special Envoy for HIV in the Caribbean, Dr Edward Greene who was speaking from Durban, South Africa, where more than 18,000 scientists, practitioners and members of civil society are meeting at the 21st International AIDS Conference.

Dr. Greene was referring to the recent 2016 Prevention Gap report issued by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) just before the Conference began on 18 July. That report shows that after years of steady decline, the Caribbean saw a nine per cent rise in new infections between 2010 and 2015 and only Eastern Europe and Central Asia with a rate of 57 per cent had a higher increase.

 The Caribbean statistics compared with a two per cent increase in Latin America, three per cent in Asia and the Pacific four per cent in the Middle East, North Africa , Eastern and Southern Africa for the same period. In Western and Central Europe, North America and Western and Central Africa there have been marginal declines in new infections. (more…)

At Turkeyen Talks: CARICOM Assistant SG focuses on BREXIT implications

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations, Ambassador Colin Granderson, last week participated in a discussion on the vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

A member of a distinguished and knowledgeable panel, Ambassador Granderson focused on the possible effects BREXIT could have on the Community. Ambassador Granderson pointed out that the implications could be considered from a number of broad perspectives including political, economical, diplomatic, financial, developmental. The Community, he said, needed a structured approach, a common message, and a flexible strategy to confront BREXIT.

The session sought to understand what Brexit was about, and what were the implications for relations with the rest of the world.

The discussions were the first in a series of engagements titled Turkeyen Talks which are being held by the University of Guyana.

BREXIT was one of the matters CARICOM Heads of Government addressed at their recently-concluded Summit in Georgetown, Guyana. The Heads of Government viewed Britain’s exit (Brexit) from the European Union (EU) as a watershed event in in current world affairs whose geopolitical and geo-economic repercussions would be far-reaching and long-lasting.


A Communique issued at the conclusion of the Summit said the Heads of Government received a detailed brief on the political, diplomatic, trade, economic and financial implications of Brexit for the Region as well as recommendations for addressing them.

Heads of Government agreed that CARICOM should continue to monitor developments as the exit process unfolded and underlined the importance of a common and structured approach that married the technical, political and diplomatic.

Heads of Government emphasised that the United Kingdom and the European Union remain strong and valued partners of the Community.

CARICOM joins OAS in calling for free and fair elections in Haiti

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WASHINGTON, Jul 20, CMC – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries Wednesday said they remained optimistic that free and fair elections will be held in Haiti in October even as strategies are being discussed to strengthen the democratic process in the French-speaking CARICOM) country.

Chairman of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Ambassador Eliston Rahming of The Bahamas said he remained optimistic that the people of Haiti will find ways to strengthen their democracy.

Rahming was speaking at a special sitting of the Council where Haiti’s Foreign Minister Pierrot Delienne outlined the situation in the Caribbean island where Interim President Jocelerme Privert has issued a decree ordering voters to elect a new head of state on October 9.

“As Chairman of the Permanent Council, I would like to express our optimism that the Haitian people will find a way to strengthen its democracy and its electoral institutions in accordance with the principles of the international law and the Charter of the OAS, the Bahamian diplomat said.

Via CMC (more…)

Movement on CARICOM energy efficiency building codes, standards

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Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States have agreed to develop strategies that promote buy-in and early adoption of the establishment of a Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code (REEBC) and a Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS). The REEBC and the MEPS are expected to be submitted to the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in November, 2017.

The agreement was among several significant outcomes of a Workshop on Energy Efficiency Standards and Regulations in Buildings held in St George’s, Grenada, 13 – 15 July, 2016.

Several organisations partnered to convened the workshop. They include the CARICOM Secretariat and the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), the Grenada Bureau of Standards (GDBS) supported by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), through the regional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA+) Programme and the Grenada-based Reform of the Electricity Sector to Support Climate Policy (G-RESCP) Programme, as well as the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) through the Canada Energy Sector Support for the Caribbean Fund.

In an effort to accelerate the establishment of the REEBC, a road map will be completed and a Technical Management Committee (TMC), which will review the Caribbean Application Documents (CAD), will be instituted.  Every Member State will also establish ‘Mirror Committees’ who will review the CADs. The REEBC will then be submitted following the disposition of all comments and completion of the necessary amendments. It is envisioned that the REEBC will provide a mechanism through which the reduction in energy consumption in buildings can be achieved while simultaneously delivering a comfortable workplace with a variety of electrical devices that provide light, comfort, task assistance, and entertainment. (more…)

Dr. Rowley Inducted into PM’s Park of Honour at UWI

Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. the Hon. Keith Rowley (centre) is being congratulated by Vice Chancellor, University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles (right) following Dr. Rowley’s induction in the Prime Minister’s Park of Honour located on the grounds of the UWI, Mona in St. Andrew yesterday (July 20). At left is Jamaica’s Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid.The park is used to honour UWI graduates, who are or have served as Heads of Government (Photo via JIS).

Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. the Hon. Keith Rowley, was inducted on Wednesday July 20, into the Prime Minister’s Park of Honour located at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.

The park is used to honour UWI graduates who have been or are serving as Heads of Government.  The addition of Dr. Rowley’s name brings to 17 the number of heads who have been added to the monument at the park.

Full Story:  Jamaica Information Service