CARICOM Institutions talk CSME Free Movement of Persons

Representatives of regional institutions based in Barbados during the discussions on Wednesday
Representatives of regional institutions based in Barbados during the discussions on Wednesday

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat this week engaged regional institutions based in Barbados on the processes for Free Movement of persons under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). Representatives from the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF), the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), and the Caribbean Export Development Agency among others met at the CSME Unit of the CARICOM Secretariat in Haggatt Hall yesterday, 7 March, 2018.

The half-day meeting discussed the right of CARICOM nationals to enter another Member State; the right of six months’ automatic stay, the issuing of the CARICOM Skills Certificates, the right of establishment, and the provision of services among other areas. The exceptions to such rights and the CARICOM Complaints procedure were also addressed.

Some of the exchanges focused on monitoring CSME implementation and the need for increased advocacy and outreach on the CSME at the national level.

The exercise is part of the Secretariat’s on-going efforts to sensitise persons within the Community on the CSME and regional integration.

Confront climate change challenges from position of strength, together – CARICOM Chairman

With climate change at the centre of discussions among Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government, President of Haiti, His Excellency Jovenel Moise wants the Region to confront the challenges together, from a position of strength.

He also wants a new mechanism for disaster risk funding that would assist affected Member States to quickly recover and reconstruct. The thinking behind the call for a new mechanism is to ensure that funds for reconstruction are chanelled through “affordable and effective procedures, rather than be paralysed by the expectation of unlikely assistance which, in most cases, is too little, comes too late and, sometimes, never happens”, he said.

The President of Haiti who is the current Chairman of CARICOM, addressed the opening ceremony of the Twenty-Ninth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, in Port-au-Prince on Monday and placed much emphasis on climate change, natural disasters and funding for recovery. He said that he was organising an international conference aimed at strengthening the mechanisms of resilience to the effects of climate change and the management of natural disasters in the Caribbean.

“This will be an opportunity for the States, partners and international development actors to exchange ideas and make proposals on the best features of prevention and responses to natural disasters. Without your full participation, this conference will not be successful. You are, already, invited,” he said.

A section of the audience at the opening ceremony
A section of the audience at the opening ceremony

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Caribbean can only ‘build back better’ with international support, urgent climate action – UN, CARICOM Chiefs and Heads of Government

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New York, 21 November 2017 – In view of the urgent needs of Caribbean islands affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the “CARICOM-UN High-level Pledging Conference: Building a more Climate-Resilient Community ” mobilised a broad partnership to support reconstruction efforts, including through over US$1.3 billion in pledges and over $1 billion in loans and debt relief.

Support derived from nearly 400 high-level representatives from governments, multilateral and civil society organizations and the private sector gathered at UN headquarters today with the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to help countries to “build back better” as the first climate-resilient countries in the world

Recovery costs surpass $5billion, according to the latest needs estimates. In some cases the impact is 3.5 times countries’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP), for example in the British Virgin Islands.The principal economic sectors of tourism and agriculture have been significantly affected, according to assessments made public during the conference, organized by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) working with sister UN agencies.

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How to build back better after a hurricane with the next one a few months away

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OP-ED By Irwin LaRocque and Achim Steiner*

CARICOM SG, Irwin LaRocque
Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator

 Imagine relocating the entire population of your country in the face of a colossal hurricane and two months later still not being able to get back home. Now imagine spending several nights in a shelter and taking a stroll the next morning only to find what you used to call community, city or country reduced to an apocalyptic scene.

This is no fiction. Irma and Maria, two back-to-back category 5 hurricanes, the most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic, swept across the Caribbean in September, cutting a swathe of destruction, taking lives, devastating infrastructure and severely damaging the economies of small climate-vulnerable countries.

Entire islands were decimated, like Barbuda, the smaller of the two-island state of Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica, both Members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands were also devastated while The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands were severely affected. Haiti and St Kitts and Nevis also suffered damage. All of the islands are Members or Associate Members of CARICOM.

The island of St Marten, divided between Sint Maarten, a constituent country of the Kingdom of Netherlands and St Martin, a dependency of France as well as Cuba and the Dominican Republic were impacted, in addition to Puerto Rico and Florida, in the United States. (more…)