Technical Consultation begins ahead of CARICOM-UN High Level Pledging Conference

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The Technical Consultations ahead of the CARICOM-UN High Level Pledging Conference began this morning at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters, New York. CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, Achim Steiner made opening remarks.

The High Level Pledging Forum will be held 21 November, also at the UN and is aimed at rebuilding the devastated Members as the first climate resilient countries in the world and at helping the wider CARICOM Region improve its resilience given its inherent vulnerability as a Community of SIDS – Small Island and Low-lying Coastal Developing States .


The technical sessions are aimed at providing an overview of the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on the Caribbean; presenting the country recovery needs, priorities and recovery strategy; and giving partners an opportunity for technical level enquiries and inputs.

The head of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) will provide an overview presentation. This will be followed by presentations by Senior Government representatives of the affected countries and territories. Perspectives will be provided by partners, including those who conducted post disaster assessments.

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…)

‘Looming’ issue of de-risking in Region remains high on CFATF agenda

Delegates at the CFATF Meeting in Georgetown, Guyana (Photo via Department of Public Information)

Executive Director of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), Calvin Wilson has said that de-risking or the loss of correspondent banking relations is looming largely across the Caribbean region because of what is being perceived by international financial institutions as “high-risk jurisdictions operating in a high-risk region.”

Wilson is disagreeing with this perception on the basis that many of the countries have taken stringent steps to correct the deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, during their mutual evaluations. He disclosed that many of the formerly high-risk countries are now compliant or “largely compliant” with the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

CARICOM, IBM teams discuss private sector cooperation on Single ICT Space

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Private sector cooperation and support are pivotal to the successful delivery of the CARICOM Single ICT space.

Against this background,staff members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat met with a team from International Business Machine (IBM) on Thursday, 2 November 2017, to discuss the Single ICT Space and other regional initiatives. The visiting team comprised Mr. Robin Ford, Business Development Executive, Caribbean Government Sector; Mr. Shaun Archer, Client Technical Leader, IBM Caribbean; Mr. Don Leahy, Cloud Portfolio Executive, Cloud Services, IBM Canada and Mr. Anil Singh, Authorised Client representative Guyana.

The Single ICT Space represents the digital arm of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). It is an ICT-enabled borderless space that fosters economic, social and cultural integration for the betterment of Caribbean citizens. It comprises regionally harmonised ICT policies, legislation, regulations, technical standards, best practices, networks and services.

IBM is a worldwide leading technology organisation and is the first regional service provider to meet with the CARICOM Secretariat to discuss issues related to opportunities for cooperation and corporate social responsibility in the development of the Single ICT Space. The CARICOM Secretariat has been emphasising partnerships as a critical component in the delivery of the goals as well as implementing the Single ICT Space Work Plan, with all stakeholders, including government, private sector, academia, and civil society, all citizens, as well as regional and international agencies. (more…)

President of Haiti calls for innovation, investment in energy sector

Caricom Energy Month Logo Theme 2017

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The 2017 edition of the CARICOM Energy Month (CEM) got off to an impressive start on Monday, 30 October, in Port au Prince, with His Excellency Jovenel Moïse, the President Haiti, participating in the opening session of a symposium. The event launched the CEM and brought together many of the actors in Haiti’s energy sector.

In his assessment of the Haitian sector, the Haitian President declared that he intended to “make universal and reliable access to energy a key factor of economic development”. He highlighted the country’s potential to utilise and develop clean, renewable sources of energy.

 “But it’s not only a question of producing energy and making it accessible to people” said the President. “We also have to collect revenue. Energy cannot be free; everywhere in the world one has to pay for energy. This has to be properly reflected in our energy policy”.


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