New Premier of Bermuda, the Hon. David Burt, was sworn in to office on Wednesday following his Progressive Labour Party victory at the polls on Tuesday. The 38-year old father of two is the youngest premier of Bermuda, an Associate Member of CARICOM.
PRESIDENT David Granger served as Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) from January to July, 2017 and during his tenure, he emphasised the economic, environmental and physical security of the citizens who make up the populations of member states. The Guyanese Head of State placed at the top of the regional agenda our right, as members of the Community, to citizenship, to food security and economic viability, a safe and secure existence and the protection of our territorial integrity.
Recognising that the small states that make up the Region must stand firmly together in the face of a constantly changing global environment, President Granger believes that the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is the key to addressing these bread and butter issues for CARICOM citizens.
Foreign Policy Coordination
Effective foreign policy coordination is viewed as an important enabler for building resilience by effectively positioning CARICOM and the Member States in the global arena through collaboration, cooperation and strategic alliances, the promotion and protection of the interest of CARICOM and other small states to mitigate vulnerability and the leveraging of resources for regional priorities. Heads of Government of CARICOM continue to articulate and harmonise policies and programmes to safeguard and promote the Community’s interests within the global environment. President Granger has attached great importance to foreign policy coordination, even as individual states within the Community pursue their national interests. He believes that foreign policy coordination is one of the four pillars on which the Caribbean Community stands.
Within a current international environment that is replete with uncertainty and complexity, President Granger warned that the efficacy of the Community’s international advocacy could be impaired if coordinated regional positions are weakened.
“The Caribbean Community cannot cling to an obsolete model of insularity in light of these international changes. The mirage of 15 airlines, 15 cricket teams, 15 defence forces and 15 embassies in the capitals of the world might mesmerise a few sentimental romantics, but could deplete the treasuries of our states. The Community, challenged by the constantly changing international situation, must redouble its efforts to ensure a more safe society for its citizens, more stable economies for its countries, deeper solidarity and a more secure hemisphere,” the President said.
Representatives from about 80 international and regional agencies participated in the conference.
During the session entitled ‘Promoting Digital Innovations for SDG 4: Global Partnerships’, Ms. Jennifer Britton, Deputy Programme Manager, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Development (ICT4D) at the CARICOM Secretariat, said that both the Human Resource Development (HRD) Strategy and the Single ICT space were considered transformative CARICOM inputs to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)4 as well as SDGs8 and 9. SDG 4 addresses quality education, while SDGs 8 and 9 focus on decent work and economic growth, and industry, innovation and infrastructure, respectively.
The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica W.I. – The University of the West Indies (The UWI) on 17 July, 2017, marked a change in its leadership, as it welcomed a new Chancellor, the highest officeholder in The UWI system. Trinidad and Tobago national, Mr. Robert Bermudez assumed duties as the 6th Chancellor of the University, having been appointed at the University Council’s annual business meeting on April 27, 2017 to succeed Sir George Alleyne.
According to the University’s Statutes and Ordinances, “the Chancellor shall preside at meetings of the Council [the highest governing body of the regional university] and any Convocation and shall have such powers and perform such duties as may be conferred upon the holder of the office of Chancellor by The UWI Charter or any Statute, Ordinance or Regulation.”
Chancellor Bermudez—as he will be called—has been an entrepreneur for over 40 years. He led the growth of his family-owned firm, to a regional business throughout the Caribbean and Latin America and has enjoyed a distinguished career in business, serving as either Chairman or Board Director for several corporate bodies in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. His vision for the University outlines a keen sense of the mission, effectiveness, relevance and interdependence of academia and the economy. His professional experience as a Caribbean-wide entrepreneur with business acumen garnered from across the region suggests that he will continue the outstanding tradition of Chancellorship at the University.
The University of the West Indies
Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website: www.uwi.edu.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat will next week begin consulting with regional stakeholders as it moves to undertake a comprehensive review of the Community’s main trade instruments – the Common External Tariff (CET) and the Rules of Origin.
The consultation will be held at the CARICOM Secretariat on 25 July, 2017, beginning at 9 am. It targets regional organisations that are interested in or likely to be affected by changes to the CET and the Rules of Origin, including Academia, Sector Organisations, Industry Associations, Regional Policy Advocacy Organisations, and Institutions of the Community.
The Consultation, which is in keeping with the Community’s Policy to encourage the inclusion of key stakeholders in policy-making processes, is supported by funding under the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). (more…)