Happy 214th Haiti!

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Haiti_flagCongratulatory Message to the President of Haiti HE Jovenel Moïse from CARICOM Chairman Ambassador Irwin LaRocque  to mark the country’s 214th Independence Anniversary, 1 January 2018.

“Excellency

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) extends warmest congratulations to the Government and People of the Republic of Haiti on the occasion of the Two Hundred and Fourteenth Anniversary of Independence.

As a nation and also as a member of the Caribbean Community, this occasion is, indeed, cause for celebration since history has proven that the success of the Haitian Revolution extended into the success of the Region both socially and politically.

President of Haiti, His Excellency Jovenel Moise welcomes SG LaRocque to Haiti in December
President of Haiti, His Excellency Jovenel Moise welcomes Secretary-General LaRocque to Haiti

The Republic of Haiti has demonstrated its resilience to the world on numerous occasions.  The courage and fortitude of the Haitian people have served as an inspiration to the people of the Region.  The contribution of the country to the world of art, music, literature and academia has gained Haiti international renown.

Haiti has also made its mark on the Caribbean Community particularly through its commitment to the welfare of people with disabilities. CARICOM welcomes the chairmanship of Haiti from 1 January 2018 and looks forward to the leadership providing an enabling environment for the advancement of our integration efforts. 

The Caribbean Community salutes Haiti as it continues its journey of self determination.

BVI launches Flood-Resilient SMART Communities Project

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Three flood-prone communities in the British Virgin Islands to get help (Photo via Caribbean News Service)
Three flood-prone communities in the British Virgin Islands to get help (Photo via Caribbean News Service)

December 28, 2017, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Three flood-prone communities in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) will soon benefit from a project that will help them build resilience to that particular climate change impact.

The Establishing Flood-Resilient SMART Communities through Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Partnerships project will target the communities of Sea Cow’s Bay and East End/Long Look on Tortola, and Great Harbour on the sister island of Jost Van Dyke.

The project is being funded through the Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF), which is managed by the Caribbean Development Bank. It is a collaborative effort among the Government of the British Virgin Islands through the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), and several non-profit organisations, including the Adventist Development Relief Agency, Rotary Family of BVI, BVI Red Cross and the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society. CDRRF funded the project to the tune of USD649,500.

 “The devastation experienced in the Caribbean during the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season is a reminder that tackling the impacts of climate change in one of the world’s most disaster-prone regions must be a matter of urgency,” said Claudia James, Project Manager, CDRRF, CDB. “CDRRF is pleased to help Borrowing Member Countries build greater resilience to these hazards, which continue to threaten the Region’s social and economic development.”

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Devastation brought out generosity, spirit of togetherness – CARICOM Chairman

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Chairman of CARICOM, Dr. the Rt Hon Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada
Chairman of CARICOM, Dr. the Rt Hon Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada

END OF YEAR MESSAGE

BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY

DR. THE HONOURABLE KEITH MITCHELL

PRIME MINISTER OF GRENADA

There is no doubt that 2017 has been a most eventful year for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  We experienced a scale of multi-country devastation never before seen in the Region as two category five Hurricanes, Irma and Maria, raged through the Caribbean within two weeks.

The Governments and people of our Community immediately responded to assist their brothers and sisters with the generosity and spirit of togetherness which is our trademark. I therefore must pay tribute to those who so willingly extended a helping hand in the hour of need of our brothers and sisters in the stricken countries.

Even before the hurricane season was over, the resilient people that we are, we had begun to rally. We determined that we could use the rebuilding process to become the first climate resilient region in the world.  Recognising that we did not have the resources to achieve that goal on our own, we sought the assistance of the international community.

First, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), we organised the CARICOM-UN High Level Pledging Conference, “Building a More Climate-Resilient Community,” which was held in November at the UN Headquarters in New York.  It brought together nearly 400 high-level representatives from governments, multilateral and civil society organisations and the private sector, and raised more than US$1.3 billion in pledges and over $1 billion in loans and debt relief.

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CARICOM records noteworthy successes in 2017 despite challenges

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Secretary-General at the CARICOM-UN High Level Conference with the UN SG Antonio Guterres and Head of UNDP Achim Steiner
CARICOM Secretary-General Amb. Irwin LaRocque (l) at the CARICOM-UN High Level Conference with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (r) and Head of UNDP Achim Steiner

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The more than US$2B pledged at the CARICOM-UN Conference for long-term recovery for hurricane-affected countries and the establishment of the regional renewable energy center are among the successes CARICOM recorded for 2017 in spite of the year’s challenges.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said in his End of Year Message that the Community was ending 2017 with several other noteworthy achievements, including a change in posture by International Financial Institutions and some Development Partners with respect to access to concessionary development financing.

“It is encouraging to note that our relentless advocacy with respect to the lack of access to concessional development financing appears to be bearing fruit. There is some re-thinking on this issue taking place at the level of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and some of our international development partners (IDPs),” the Secretary-General stated.

Adding that CARICOM will continue to advocate for this change he said the Region’s vulnerability to external shocks, which the hurricanes laid bare, emphasised the urgent need for the international community to dispense with GDP per capita as a primary criterion for access to concessional development financing. (more…)

A year that will have a lasting impact – CARICOM Secretary-General

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SG

 

End of Year Message

by the Secretary-General

of the

Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

 

There is no doubt that the events of 2017 will have a lasting impact on our Community.  The ravaging effects of this year’s hurricane season will cast a long shadow over our Community for some time yet.

Six of our Members and several of our Caribbean neighbours experienced the wrath of unprecedented back-to-back Category 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The heavy toll of lives, property and infrastructure had an effect wider than the affected countries.  Our Community has bonded together, as its governments, people and institutions render yeoman support to the stricken countries.  The international community has been at our side in the relief undertaking in a highly appreciated show of solidarity.

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, (CDEMA) the Community’s specialised institution, performed magnificently as it coordinated the relief efforts and helped to set the stage for recovery.  I must extend the Region’s gratitude to the Agency for a job well done.  The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) was also prompt in meeting its commitments to the affected countries with the appropriate policies.

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