U.S. Strategy for Engagement in the Caribbean

US and CARICOM Flags at NYSE

Caribbean 2020: A Multi-Year Strategy To Increase the Security, Prosperity, and Well-Being of the People of the United States and the Caribbean

The Caribbean region is the United States’ “third border,” characterized by common interests and societal ties that yield daily, tangible benefits for U.S. citizens. The United States is the primary trading partner for the Caribbean, representing a vibrant economic partnership that in 2016 saw a $4.6 billion trade surplus for the United States, 14 million U.S. tourist visits, and 11,042 Caribbean students studying in the United States. We also face many common threats across the region. Small, but significant, numbers of violent extremists from the region have joined ISIS. Caribbean countries have some of the highest murder rates in the world. Rising crime and endemic corruption threaten governments’ ability to provide security and good governance. They also drive irregular migration to the United States. As the United States works to secure its southern border, we should prepare for transnational criminal organizations to shift more of their operations to the Caribbean as a transit point for drugs, migrants, weapons, and other illicit activity.

This strategy, coordinated with the interagency, identifies the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development’s priorities for United States engagement with the Caribbean region in the areas of security, diplomacy, prosperity, energy, education, and health. On security, we will work with our Caribbean partners to ensure ISIS is denied a foothold in the region, dismantle illicit trafficking networks, enhance maritime security, confront violent and organized crime, and increase the sharing of threat information among countries. Our diplomacy will both raise the political level of our dialogue with the Caribbean and focus it more tightly on this strategy’s six priorities. We will increase our own and our neighbors’ prosperity by promoting sustainable growth, open markets for U.S. exports, and private sector-led investment and development. On energy, exports of U.S. natural gas and the use of U.S. renewable energy technologies will provide cleaner, cheaper alternatives to heavy fuel oil and lessen reliance on Venezuela.

On education, we will focus our resources on exchanges and programs for students, scholars, teachers, and other professionals that provide mutual benefits to U.S. and Caribbean communities and promote economic development and entrepreneurship. In the area of health, we will continue to partner with countries in the region in the fight against infectious diseases, like HIV/AIDS and Zika, recognizing deadly pathogens are threats that know no borders.

Read more at: US State Department

CARICOM at Expo Astana

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Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States are among exhibitors in the Republic of Kazakhstan participating in Expo Astana from 10 June-10 September, 2017. The theme of the Exposition is ‘Future Energy’.

The Caribbean Plaza comprises CARICOM Member States in a Joint Pavilion. In keeping with the theme of the Exposition, ‘Future Energy’,  those Member States, with a common voice, will showcase to visitors the characteristics of the Caribbean’s natural environment and how the Region faces its energy future. The Caribbean Plaza recognises the key role that energy plays in development and also recognises that alternative and renewable energy sources are key to sustainable growth.

Trinidadian winners of CARICOM Energy Month contests get prizes

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Nationals of Trinidad and Tobago who won places in the CARICOM Energy Month Photography and Art  and Video competitions, received their prizes earlier this week.

The prizes were presented to the winners at a simple ceremony held at the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Trinidad and Tobago.

Candice Sobers and Seon Thompson, both of Trinidad and Tobago placed second, and third, respectively, in the Photo and Art Competition, and won US$2000 and US$1000, respectively. Guyanese Keron Bruce won the US$3000 first prize.

In the Amateur Category of the Photo and Art Competition, Donna Berment won first place, Debra Thomas, second and Nirvana Jones- Armour, third. The video competition winners were Fidel Iwueke, first place, and Camryn Bruno – who could not attend the ceremony – second place.

Nadia Mohammed, Project Officer, Energy, CARICOM Secretariat, Seon Thompson (Third Place Winner, Professional Category, Photo and Art Competition), Debra Thomas (Second Place Winner, Amateur Category, Photo and Art Competition), Donna Berment (First Place Winner, Amateur Category, Photo and Art Competition), Nirvana Jones- Armour (Third Place Winner, Amateur Category, Photo and Art Competition), Candice Sobers (Second Place Winner, Professional Category, Photo and Art Competition), Fidel Iwueke (First Place Winner, Video Competition), Anita Hankey, Senior Planning Officer, Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Trinidad and Tobago
Nadia Mohammed, Project Officer, Energy, CARICOM Secretariat, Seon Thompson (Third Place Winner, Professional Category, Photo and Art Competition), Debra Thomas (Second Place Winner, Amateur Category, Photo and Art Competition), Donna Berment (First Place Winner, Amateur Category, Photo and Art Competition), Nirvana Jones- Armour (Third Place Winner, Amateur Category, Photo and Art Competition), Candice Sobers (Second Place Winner, Professional Category, Photo and Art Competition), Fidel Iwueke (First Place Winner, Video Competition), Anita Hankey, Senior Planning Officer, Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Trinidad and Tobago

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CIMH workshops focus on forecasting, impact of climate change

Representatives from across various sectors in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will on Friday 2 June, wrap up meetings in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that focused on forecasting and the impact of climate change of sectors including health, tourism, agriculture and energy.

The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) held the 2017 Wet Season Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF) workshops with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of Environment and Climate Change Canada. In addition to the Forum, the final two days of the week-long workshops focused on the Building Regional Climate Capacity in the Caribbean (BRCCC) Programme’s Early Warning Information Systems Across Climate Timescaes (EWISACTS).

Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves addressed participants on Wednesday morning. In his wide-ranging address, he reflected on the impact of natural disasters on the small states of the Caribbean, and the level of funding that was required to recover from them. He said that the Region had a responsibility to adapt to climate change and to continue to pursue efforts to mitigate its effects. He praised the CIMH for its work and pointed out that the certainty of climates of the past was no longer applicable, hence the science of meteorology was necessary.


He urged participants not to “take storms for granted” and to ensure that the best was done to “prepare yourselves”.

 

Keron Bruce tops Energy Photograph and Art Competition again

Guyanese photographer Keron Bruce is encouraging others in his field to be serious about their work and become more competitive so as to reap the benefits.

He knows what he’s talking about! He has twice copped the first prize in the Region-wide 2016 CARICOM Energy Month Professional Photograph and Art Competition. CARICOM Energy Month is held each year in November. In addition to topping the photography field twice, he also placed third in the video competition that was held also as a part of CARICOM Energy Month.

Mr. Bruce threw out the challenge to youth on Wednesday 25 May, 2017, after he collected his US$3000 first prize and Beats Headphones third prize at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana. The prizes were presented by Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox, in the presence of Programme Manager, Energy at the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Devon Gardner, Mr. Glynn Morris of the GIZ Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA) Programme, and other Energy officials. (more…)