Seeds of change began to bear fruit in 2016 – CARICOM Secretary-General



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

“We have come to the end of another year of service to our Community.  When the history of this year is written, it will record that the seeds of change in our Secretariat and our Community began to bear fruit in 2016,” Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said.

He made the assertion in an end-of-year message in which he provided details of the strides that were taken in the reform process that the Secretariat and Community have embarked on.

The framework of the reform process had begun to take shape both within the Community and its Secretariat, the Secretary-General said. He added that the Implementing Partners for the Strategic Plan, the Member States, the Regional Institutions and the Secretariat, were embracing the challenge as the groundwork for the cohesive approach had been laid.

 “As difficult and challenging as reform is, it is absolutely essential in order to confront the ever-changing nature of today’s global environment.  This reform is not an end in itself but a means of ensuring that the citizens of CARICOM derive the maximum benefit from our integration process. At the end of it all, our regional integration process would be much more efficient and effective, in serving the interests of our people.

Please read the Secretary-General’s-end-of-year-Message


Studied, deliberate progress in integration movement – CARICOM Chairman

Chair of CARICOM, the Hon Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica
Chair of CARICOM, the Hon Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica

“2016 has seen studied and deliberate progress in our integration movement. We continue to work to ensure that the people of the Community realise the benefit of our co-ordinated actions. The advancement of our reform process is a key element towards achieving that goal and I applaud the headway being made in that regard. – CARICOM Chairman, PM Roosevelt Skerrit
There was studied, deliberate progress in the regional integration movement in 2016, Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit said Tuesday, singling out the advancement in the Community’s reform process.

In an end-of-year message, Mr. Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica, stressed the strength and value of togetherness and community spirit.

He highlighted the celebration of the 50th Independence anniversary celebrations in Guyana and Barbados, which he said “allowed us to reflect on an era when such co-operation was manifested by the two countries having a joint diplomatic mission in London”.

“It was a fine example of the spirit and substance of unity that, today, we must embrace in order to advance our interests domestically and globally.


Please read the Chairman’s-end-of-year-message


Cancer: second leading cause of death in Caribbean – CARPHA

cancercaribbeaninforgraphic(16 December, 2016) In a recent study, researchers from CARPHA and the US CDC found that the rates of death from cervical cancer, breast, prostate and colon cancer are 2-9 times higher in the Caribbean compared to the United States. Only lung cancer was higher in the USA.

The study also reported that prostate cancer, a common cause of death among Caribbean men, accounted for 18%-47% of cancer deaths, while lung cancer accounted for 5%-24% and was the second highest cause of cancer deaths among males. Breast cancer, the main cause of cancer death among females accounted for 14%-30% of cancer deaths; and are up to two times higher compared to the USA.

“The large number of deaths from these types of cancers is very alarming since they are mostly preventable. Breast cancer can be detected early and treated successfully. Cervical cancer is perhaps the most preventable through education, vaccination against the human papilloma virus (HPV), screening, early detection and treatment,” said Dr James Hospedales, Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Caribbean, according to the study, published today in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). This is the first time that information on cancer mortality for the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean is published in a prestigious peer review journal.

Read more at: Caribbean Public Health Agency

Bermuda Premier: Hurricane Nicole could have been much worse

 Albuoy’s Point has a dishevelled look (Photograph by Blaire Simmons via Royal Gazette)
Albuoy’s Point has a dishevelled look (Photograph by Blaire Simmons via Royal Gazette)

Bermuda Premier Michael Dunkley praised the resilience of the people as Bermuda weathered one of its toughest ever storms.

Winds of more than 120mph may have been a shock to many — as Hurricane Nicole leapt quickly from Category 1 to Category 4 — but the Premier said the island’s skilful preparations and communication stood it in good stead.

Mr Dunkley was speaking to The Royal Gazette last night after immediate assessment showed hurricane damage “could have been much worse”.

“That storm was coming at us, going from a Category 1 to a 2, back to a 1. That all changed,” he said. “But because we were well organised, we were ready to do what we needed to do. This goes back to the resilience we have as a people.”

Read more at: Royal Gazette

Hurricane Nicole lashes Bermuda with fierce winds as it passes over island

The view at 7am: the streets of Hamilton feel the early wrath of the storm system (Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes via Royal Gazette))
The view at 7am: the streets of Hamilton feel the early wrath of the storm system (Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes via Royal Gazette)

HAMILTON, Bermuda, Thursday October 13, 2016 – The eye of Hurricane Nicole was moving away from Bermuda this afternoon but the large cyclone was still lashing the island with strong winds and storm surge flooding.

The eye of Nicole, a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mile-per-hour winds, began passing over the island late this morning.

There has so far been no official word of the damage Nicole caused, but local newspaper The Royal Gazette said it had received reports of flooding and road damage.

Read more at: Caribbean360