CARICOM Agriculture Ministers meet in preparation for FAO Regional Conference

Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat (standing) consults with chair of the meeting, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Trinidad and Tobago. Also in photo are, from left, Richard Brown, Ph.D., Director Single Market and Sectoral Programmes, CARICOM Secretariat,  Mr. Joseph Cox, ASG, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat; and Lystra Fletcher-Paul, PhD., FAO Sub-regional Coordinator
Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat (standing) consults with chair of the meeting, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Trinidad and Tobago. Also in photo are, from left, Richard Brown, Ph.D., Director Single Market and Sectoral Programmes, CARICOM Secretariat, Mr. Joseph Cox, ASG, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat; and Lystra Fletcher-Paul, PhD., FAO Sub-regional Coordinator

Ministers of Agriculture of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Monday began preparations for the 35th Food and Agriculture (FAO) Regional Conference which will be held in Jamaica, 5-8 March, 2018. The preparatory consultation was held at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, with some delegates joining the discussions via videoconferencing.

The regional conference in Montego Bay will help the FAO to strategise for effective responses to the priorities and challenges that the Region faces in the coming biennium.

Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries of Trinidad and Tobago, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat chaired the consultation at which the Director-General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Permanent Secretaries and other officials in the sector were present.

Please see photos more here (more…)

‘Building back better': a resilient Caribbean after the 2017 hurricanes

Citizens in Dominica doing their part to build back better
Citizens in Dominica doing their part to build back better

‘Building back better’ after a disaster intuitively makes sense, but it is challenging and requires a deep understanding of the causes of disaster, recovery processes and future climate and other risks. Critically, it requires high levels of commitment from policymakers and technical staff in national governments, from the international aid agencies and donors supporting recovery, and from communities already engaged in recovery.

This briefing paper highlights how lessons from history and past recovery can inform decisions around ‘building back better’ after hurricanes Irma and Maria. These two Category 5 hurricanes caused total losses estimated at US$130 billion. Although the countries and communities most affected will need years to recover, decisions and actions that are taken in the short term, such as repairs to housing, will have repercussions for long-term resilience.

While disasters are a common feature of the Caribbean, there has not been much serious reflection on the types of action needed for long-term resilience. Compounding this are the looming effects of climate change. Sea-level rise, in particular, is a huge problem for the Caribbean, but we are also likely to see more Category 4 and 5 hurricanes in the future.


Read more at: Overseas Development Institute

CARICOM, China discuss strengthened cooperation in margins of CELAC Forum

Suriname’s Foreign Minister Ms Yldiz Pollack-Beighle greets China’s Foreign Minister Mr Wang Yi at the meeting
Suriname’s Foreign Minister the Hon. Yldiz Pollack-Beighle greets China’s Foreign Minister Mr. Wang Yi at the meeting

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has signalled its interest in working with China to ascertain how its goals and priorities can be best linked with existing, new and emerging development initiatives from the East Asian country.

Foreign Ministers of the nine CARICOM countries which recognise the People’s Republic of China met with their Chinese counterpart, Mr. Wang Yi,   on Sunday, 21 January, 2018, in the margins of the CELAC-China Forum (CCF) Second Ministerial Meeting that took place in Santiago, Chile, on 19-22 January, 2018.

“Concessional development funding is essential for the building of economic and climate resilience to serve as the platform for our sustainable development.” – Chair of COFCOR, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Senator Maxine McClean

In remarks at the meeting, Chair of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Senator Maxine McClean, underscored the importance CARICOM attached to the existing Caribbean-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, and the Caribbean-China Consultations. The latter was held in May 2016, and is expected to take place again later this year.

Describing those consultations as “valuable mechanisms for continued dialogue and cooperation,” she said the Community also saw the One Belt, One Road initiative China announced in Santiago, as a “very important cooperation and development mechanism.” (more…)

STATEMENT ON ENSLAVEMENT OF AFRICAN MIGRANTS IN LIBYA

Community-Council_Jan_

The Community Council of Ministers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), at its first sitting of 2018, expressed concern at the reports of the dehumanizing situation of African migrants in Libya being auctioned into slavery by criminal elements.

Ministers joined in solidarity with the statements made by African and European leaders at the 5th African Union-European Union Summit on 29-30 November 2017 calling for “an immediate end of these criminal practices” and with that of the United Nations Security Council on 7 December 2017 condemning “such actions as heinous abuses of human rights”.

Ministers also welcomed the statement by the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord of Libya denouncing “slavery and human trafficking” and committing to take action against the reported crimes.

Given the history, lessons and effects of slavery, the Council underscored the need to condemn this gross violation of human rights. As stated in 2007 by then Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, on the occasion of the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, slavery should “never again be experienced in old or new forms”.