Southern African grouping observes CARICOM’s operations

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A team from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), led by Ms. Paulina Elago, its Executive Secretary, is the latest from an integration grouping to look at the operations of the Caribbean Community and its Secretariat.

The delegation which includes Ms. Ndibo Oitsile Chief Legal Officer, Mr. Abed Iyambo, Senior Office Manager and Mr. Donald Ndwandwe Deputy Director Revenue Management paid a courtesy call on Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Thursday. The team has been meeting with Secretariat officials in a bid to glean information in a number of key areas.

Among them is tariff setting processes and applications within CARICOM. In that context, the delegation is seeking an understanding of CARICOM’s approach to industrial development, the linkages between regional and national industrial policies, the trade in services regime, and competition policy. The SACU team is also interested in dispute settlement as well as the use, benefits, and challenges of an electronic documentation and records management system.

This visit follows one last September from a representative of the CARICOM who made a presentation to the SACU trade officials at a workshop in Namibia on Tariff Setting and Trade Remedies for SACU.

This familiarisation tour is the latest from organisations who view CARICOM as a model among integration groupings of developing countries. The Community has been the subject of study visits to the Secretariat by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Pacific Islands Forum and the Central American Integration System (SICA). The Secretariat has also been host to the African Union Commission and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The SACU delegation leaves Guyana on Saturday.

Grenada Votes

Mr Nazim Burke
Dr Keith Mitchell
Grenadians are voting in General Elections today, Tuesday 13 March 2018.
The just over 78-thousand voters will choose between the incumbent New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) led by Economist Mr Nazim Burke.


Early voters formed long lines at most of the 264 polling stations across the country.  In the last elections in 2013 the NNP won all 15 seats at stake.
A CARICOM Election Observer Mission is monitoring today’s activities, including the tabulation and announcement of the results after voting ends at 5:00 pm.  The Mission, led by Ms. Pauline Welsh of the Electoral Office of Jamaica, will issue a Preliminary Statement  outlining its initial assessment of the process, followed by a full final report.

#PressForProgress – International Women’s Day

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque




8 MARCH, 2018

It is a distinct honour and pleasure for me to celebrate our women and girls across the Caribbean Community on the occasion of the 107th Anniversary of International Women’s Day.  International Women’s Day affords us the opportunity to reflect on gender equality and the advancement of women and to continue to #PressForProgress as this year’s theme and call to action suggests.

This year’s celebration is being observed in the wider context of significant global movements for women’s rights, justice, equality, development and peace, as well as movements against domestic abuse, sexual harassment and femicide.

These movements for change provide opportunities to combat sexual harassment, and gender-based violence and when linked with the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, additional gains such as good health and well-being, quality education and increased political participation may be realised.  The global community is on a mission to close the gaps that hinder such achievement and leave some behind.

According to the World Economic Forum which measures gender equality on a global scale, “2017 was the first time in more than 10 years that the gender gap began to widen again.”  The Report indicates that it could still take “another 100 years before the Global Equality Gap between men and women disappears entirely.  A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics.”

International Women’s Day (IWD)
International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first March 8 IWD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women equality. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific.

The Bahamas signs CARICOM Arrest Warrant Treaty

The Bahamas
Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Bahamass, Hon Darren Henfield
The Bahamas signed the CARICOM Arrest Warrant Treaty during the 29th Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Darren Henfield signed on behalf of his country.
The CARICOM Arrest Warrant Treaty, already signed by some other CARICOM Member Countries, simplifies the procedure of returning fugitives to the country where charges have been laid

Guyana signs CXC and MASA Agreements

Hon Carl Greenidge, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guyana

Guyana signed the Revised Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and the CARICOM Multilateral Air Services Agreement (MASA) during the 29th Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in Haiti, Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Hon Carl Greenidge, who is heading the country’s delegation to the Meeting signed the Agreements.

The Revised Agreement Establishing the CXC seeks to update the CXC’s legal structure in light of subsequent organisational practices, recent market developments and current needs, with particular emphasis on accommodating requests from additional territories and institutions to join or otherwise participate in the CXC. The CARICOM Multilateral Air Services Agreement expands the scope for airlines owned by CARICOM nationals to provide air services throughout the Community.  It allows for no restriction on routes, capacity or traffic rights and should facilitate increased intra-regional travel and provide more cargo options for exporters and importers with resulting cost savings.

This should provide a major boost to the regional transportation sector which is a critical aspect of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).