In light of the devastation caused by the recent hurricanes, and the anticipation of more frequent events of a similar nature, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) held an official COP23 Side Event on ‘Bolstering Resilience for Vulnerable Countries Facing Acute Risks and Sustainable Development Challenges’ on Tuesday, 13 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany.
The reality of increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters could exacerbate already high debt levels across the Region, particularly in the absence of development support.
Prime Minister of Grenada, Chair of the World Bank Small States Forum and Chairman of CARICOM, Dr. The Rt. Honourable Keith Mitchell, stressed the severity of the region’s plight using Dominica as an example – still not fully recovered from Tropical Storm Erika, which struck in 2015, the country was devastated by hurricane Maria in September of this year.
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).
However, the CFATF Executive highlighted that this progress is not being translated to regulators around the world.
“We think that if that were to be taken into account, then some of the decisions that have been made with regard to de-listing would not have been taken,” he noted.
More outreaches, Wilson said, may be necessary to set the record straight. At a meeting organised by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) held in Antigua and Barbuda towards the end of October, 2017, the Region embraced the guidelines set by the FATF, as it relates to correspondent banking.
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. 17 November 2017. Diabetes, a major contributor to premature death, is estimated to affect 10-15% of the adult population in the Caribbean Region. The disease is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke and responsible for high rates of complications, such as lower limb amputation.
The risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes are obesity (Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥30), abdominal obesity, physical inactivity, tobacco smoking, unhealthy diets and metabolic syndrome. Obesity is the strongest modifiable risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes in the Caribbean.
CARPHA Director for Surveillance, Prevention and Control Dr. Virginia Asin-Oostburg has said, “Studies have revealed that women in the Caribbean have higher rates of obesity in terms of BMIs compared to men. They also have higher rates of abdominal obesity, and likely to be 3 times more obese than men.” She also stated that, “Obesity and physical inactivity put women at excess risk of diabetes. This is confirmed by the very high levels of diabetes among women in the Region.” (more…)
November 13, 2017, BONN, Germany – A delegation from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has arrived at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany. While at the event, which runs until November 17, the Bank will join other regional stakeholders in reiterating the urgent need for climate action and resilient recovery in the Caribbean. Against the backdrop of this year’s devastating hurricane season, CDB will also underscore its commitment to mobilising highly concessionary resources for regional countries to tackle the impacts of climate change.
“We are pleased to add our voice to the global conversation on climate action, given the vulnerability of the low-lying and coastal states in the Caribbean Region. At COP23, our priority is to continue to draw attention to the very real challenges our small states are facing as a result of climate change; to strengthen partnerships to combat those challenges; and to further engage stakeholders as our Region seeks to ‘build back better’,” said Dr. Wm. Warren Smith, President of CDB.
While in Bonn, the Bank will sign a US$24M agreement with the European Investment Bank for post-disaster reconstruction. It is an addition to the US$120M Climate Action Framework Loan II signed in May this year.
Caribbean Development Bank
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is a regional financial institution which was established by an Agreement signed on October 18, 1969, in Kingston, Jamaica, and entered into force on January 26, 1970. The Bank came into existence for the purpose of contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of the member countries in the Caribbean and promoting economic cooperation and integration among them, having special and urgent regard to the needs of the less developed members of the region (Article 1 of the Agreement establishing CDB). In the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, the CDB is recognised as an Associate Institution of CARICOM
The importance of effectively managing the external relations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was strongly underscored at the opening of the 45th meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Thursday in Georgetown, Guyana.
Chair of the COTED, the Hon. Paula Gopie-Scoon, Trade and Industry Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, and Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary General referred to the current international trade climate and stressed the need for coordinated approach to external economic relations.
While many of the agenda items focus on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, the Region’s flagship programme, and trade in goods, Ministers will place emphasis on matters such as future trade with the United Kingdom post-BREXIT; developments within the World Trade Organisation (WTO); and the state of the rum industry in CARIFORUM.
“We must remember that our strength as a Region depends on a coordinated approach to policies. This includes the external economic and trade relations of the Community which we will address during the course of this Meeting”, Minister Gopie-Scoon said at the opening session.