The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has condemned this week’s ‘shocking and callous’ terrorist attacks in Spain which killed 14 civilians and left more than 100 injured.
CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell of Grenada, expressed the Region’s position in a message of condolence to the Prime Minister of Spain, the Most Excellent Mariano Rajoy Brey.
Dr. Mitchell said in denouncing those orchestrated attacks perpetrated against innocent civilians, he aligned CARICOM’s voice to that of the international community in condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. He said those heartless and vicious acts underscore the need to deepen global cooperation in order to reduce the instances of such heinous acts of terror.
The terrorists used motor vehicles to plough into pedestrians in Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas district and the City of Cambrils.
The CARICOM Chairman expressed condolences particularly to the bereaved families of those killed and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
The Department of Emergency Management has issued the All Clear for Barbados following the passage of Tropical Storm Harvey, the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) announced Friday morning.
Public and private sector workers are asked to resume work at noon today.
The Transport Board will have a staggered start of service in preparation for the resumption of work, the BGIS said, while asking persons to be careful and vigilant.
The storm hit Barbados last evening with flooding in several areas and damage to property being reported.
The Opening Ceremony of CARIFESTA XIII, scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, August 18, at Kensington Oval, has been postponed due to the approach of Tropical Storm Harvey.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, made the disclosure this evening, and explained that the preparations for the impending weather system had greatly impacted the arrangements for the opening ceremony.
“The national response ahead of the system has forced the cancellation of the mandatory dress rehearsal which was scheduled to be held at Kensington Oval this evening… Immediate measures have also had to be taken to safeguard equipment at the venue,” Mr. Lashley stated.
CARIFESTA has been the Caribbean Community’s premier art and culture festival since 1972. This roving event attracts artists and culture professionals from more than 30 countries in the Region and has been held 12 times across eight Member States. The thirteenth staging of this mega cultural showcase will see performers, artists and a range of cultural ambassadors from the Caribbean Region converging in a medley of sounds and sights that are sure to capture the true essence of Regional Integration.
“I would encourage everyone to come and experience CARIFESTA XIII in Barbados. It is an exciting celebration of Caribbean arts and culture where you can enjoy the artistic presentations of artists from 27 countries in our region in a wide range of disciplines over 10 days. There will be over 500 performances and events to choose from, so there will never be a dull moment,” says Dr. Hillary Brown, Programme Manager Culture and Community Development at the CARICOM Secretariat.
Speaking during the accreditation ceremony for the new Swedish Ambassador to the Community on Wednesday at the CARICOM Secretariat’s, Turkeyen, Guyana headquarters, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque stated that GDP per capita should not be the principal measurement used in determining the development status of a country.
“We will continue to advocate for the use of a more accurate and realistic measure of development which considers vulnerability, including exposure to natural disasters and other exogenous shocks,” he said. “In the interest of realising our economic aspirations as a Community, we believe that a new paradigm in development finance needs to be considered,” he added.
Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund presented her credentials to the Secretary-General who noted that her accreditation was a continuation of years of building bilateral relations with the Member States of the Community and a bi-regional dialogue between CARICOM and the countries of the Nordic region. Sweden is one of the countries in the Nordic Group with which CARICOM has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Political Dialogue and Cooperation.
Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has urged Sweden to use its position in two major international organisations to highlight the unfair labelling of some of the Community’s Member States as “non-cooperative tax jurisdictions”.
Speaking at the CARICOM Secretariat’s Turkeyen, Guyana headquarters during the accreditation ceremony of Sweden’s news Ambassador to the Community, the Secretary-General said, “as we seek to diversify our economies and build our services sector, some of our Member States, engaged in financial services, have been labelled as “non-cooperative tax jurisdictions”. This is despite the fact that the countries in question are not so designated by the relevant global authorities, such as the Financial Action Task Force and the OECD Global Forum.”
“As a member of the EU and the OECD, Sweden can assist in encouraging these bodies to be guided by the informed position of the relevant global regulatory authorities and desist from their unnecessary seemingly punitive actions,” he added.