CARICOM, UN to strengthen cooperation at New York meeting

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CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

Cooperation between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the United Nations (UN) System will be further strengthened around several issues including climate change, security, human development, health and education at the Ninth CARICOM-United Nations General Meeting this week.

The two-day meeting begins 20 July 2017 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It is happening against the backdrop of a changing international environment, replete with uncertainty and complexity, and requiring greater collaboration.

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque is leading a delegation from the CARICOM Secretariat which also includes Ambassador Colin Granderson, Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations, and Dr. Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development. The Community’s representatives are also drawn from regional organisations including the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD), Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), University of the West Indies (UWI), and the University of Guyana (UG). (more…)

Regional Climate Centre established in Barbados

Director of the Regional Climate Centre Adrian Trotman
Director of the Regional Climate Centre Adrian Trotman

Barbados is now home to the first Regional Climate Centre (RCC) in the western hemisphere.

The centre, which is housed at the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) in Husbands, St James, was financed to the tune of US$5 million by the United States Agency for International Development.

United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Linda Taglialatela noted the importance of having such a centre in the region.

“In the past two decades, the Caribbean has experienced several natural phenomena, including floods, droughts, and hurricanes, which can threaten economic growth. Also, the region presently accounts for seven of the world’s top 30 water-scarce countries, and Barbados is in the top ten of that list,” she said.

Read more at: Barbados Today

People will know CARICOM is working when they see, taste, feel – The Bahamas Prime Minister

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New Prime Minister of The Bahamas delivering his inaugural address to the Conference
New Prime Minister of The Bahamas delivering his inaugural address to the Conference
“CARICOM is a community of the people we serve, not a club of officials and politicians. We need to cast our nets far and wide to engage the combined spirit and the collective brain-trust of the Region. We must blend various languages and accents in order to speak to the world with one voice about the aspirations of our people and the mission of CARICOM.” Dr. Hubert Minnis
Dr. The Hon. Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, has signalled his readiness to help deliver the mandates of CARICOM to provide better, healthier and more prosperous lives for the people of the Community.

In doing so, the newest Member of the Conference of Heads of Government also expressed confidence in organs and institutions of the Caribbean Community to deliver benefits of integration.

His inaugural address to the Community, at the opening of the 38th CARICOM Summit, in Grand Anse, Grenada, Tuesday evening, was punctuated with an urgent call for unity. (more…)

World Bank official urges Caribbean countries to transit to blue economy

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Jorge Familiar, Vice President, Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank. (Photo via CMC)
Jorge Familiar, Vice President, Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank. (Photo via CMC)

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC) — A senior official of the World Bank said Wednesday that Caribbean countries have been more successful in reinventing themselves than some of the region’s giants.

“This region managed to find a niche in the highly competitive global industry after it lost its trade preference treatment with Europe in the 1980s,” said Jorge Familiar, Vice President, Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank.

Addressing Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders at their 38th annual summit here on development finance opportunities for small states and how the blue economy has become the next frontier for economic growth for the Caribbean, Familiar noted that Grenada is demonstrating its commitment to inclusive growth and enhancing investment in the blue economy.

“Often when we meet to discuss development prospects for Caribbean countries, we devote significant attention to common challenges: small scale, high debt, exposure to external shocks, and dependency on fossil fuels,” he said, noting that small economies are more open to trade and foreign investment.

Read more at: Jamaica Observer

See full text of the address here

British Virgin Islands leads international advocacy for islands

Deputy Premier of the British Virgin Island, Dr. Kedrick Pickering (left), with President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson (centre), and Director of the BVI London Office, Benito Wheatley (right). (Photo via Indepth News)
Deputy Premier of the British Virgin Island, Dr. Kedrick Pickering (left), with President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson (centre), and Director of the BVI London Office, Benito Wheatley (right). (Photo via Indepth News)

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands (IDN) – On the heels of the UN Ocean Conference held in New York between June 5 and 9, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) – a tiny British overseas territory – is highlighting the common challenges faced by islands as it calls on international partners to support the efforts of islands to address their unique challenges.

As co-Chair of the Global Islands Partnership (GLISPA), the British Virgin Islands has been at the forefront of United Nations efforts to raise awareness about the challenges faced by islands.

“I take great pride as a GLISPA leader in lending my voice to the cause of islands and the sustainability of the ocean in which islands must exist,” Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources & Labour Dr. Kedrick Pickering told IDN.

“Islands and the ocean are inextricably linked. This is not only a geological fact, but also a social and economic reality for the people who inhabit islands and have developed a whole way of life around the sea. They are the great inheritors and stewards of a rich environmental heritage.”

Read more at: InDepth News