Happy 51st Guyana!

 May 25, 2017 @ 10:29 am   
Guyana - Pres meets sg3
CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (l) greets President of Guyana H.E. David Granger

Congratulatory Message from the Secretary-General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

on the occasion of the Fifty-First Anniversary of Independence of Guyana

on 26 May 2017.

 

On behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) I extend warm congratulations to the Government and People of Guyana on the occasion of the 51st Anniversary of the country’s Independence.

Guyana has a proud tradition of being a leader in regional integration and has provided leadership to the Community in the area of Agriculture in its role as the country responsible for that sector in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet.
The progress made by Guyana over the last five decades is indicative of the determination and resilience of its citizens.  This allied with the country’s natural resources, fertile agricultural lands, and thrust to a green economy bodes well for the nation’s future.  This is underscored by the theme for this year’s celebration – Unity in Diversity in a Green Economy.

Guyana has a proud tradition of being a leader in regional integration and has provided leadership to the Community in the area of Agriculture in its role as the country responsible for that sector in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet.

The Caribbean Community joins with the Government and People of Guyana in their celebration of this milestone and looks forward to continuing the journey together towards further progress of the country and the Region.”

 

APIS Bill strengthens St. Kitts and Nevis’ efforts to advance national, global security

 May 24, 2017 @ 4:15 pm   
Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris
Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, 24 MAY, 2017 (PRESS SEC) – The passing of a bill that provides for the management of the automated electronic data interchange of Advance Passenger Information (API) and the screening of API against a Watch List has necessitated a slight amendment to the Immigration Act.

The duty to provide advance passenger information has been removed from the ambit of the Immigration Act, giving the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) its own framework to operate in, with respect to the sharing with other States of any information that can assist in identifying persons who may pose security risks.  This duty is now entrenched exclusively in the bill that was passed yesterday.

Importantly, the APIS Bill strengthens St. Kitts and Nevis’ ongoing collaboration with global law enforcement and security agencies, including CARICOM’s Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) and its sub-agency the Joint Regional Communications Centre (JRCC).

Speaking in Parliament, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, who is the Minister of National Security, explained on Tuesday, 23 May, 2017, that, “Currently, the primary piece of information which makes the provision for the administration of the APIS legislation in St. Kitts and Nevis is the Immigration Act, and it is noteworthy, Mr. Speaker, that within the CARICOM Member States APIS is being regulated by its own independent legislation.”APIS image

Prime Minister Harris continued: “The pieces of legislation are not yet harmonised and, in that connection, it has been recommended by the CARICOM appropriate authority that we should adopt a new model Act in relation to Advance Passenger Information, which we have just done.”

Section 3 of the APIS Bill applies to an aircraft or vessel that is expected to either arrive in or leave the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.  Under this section, the captain or master of every aircraft or vessel “shall provide to the competent authority and IMPACS, the relevant API [advance passenger information concerning a crew member, passenger or any other person travelling on an aircraft or vessel as set out in Schedule I] and data relating to the flight or voyage as set out in Schedule I.”

“Competent authority” means “the Chief Immigration Officer or such officer or entity as the Minister may appoint.”  The competent authority shall, among other things, “coordinate with IMPACS on all matters relating to the APIS…and determine, after consultation with IMPACS, the admissibility or otherwise of passengers or crew.”

As set out in the APIS Bill, IMPACS shall use the APIS to “conduct screening against Watch Lists of crew members and passengers on aircraft and vessels that enter into, depart from and travel within the regional space in order to provide information to assist Participating Countries.”

Moreover, the Bill further states that IMPACS may share the information contained within APIS with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and any other national, regional or international intelligence, law enforcement or security agencies or centres approved by CARICOM’s Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) in order to further national, regional or international security.

Schedule I of the APIS Bill deals with advance passenger information, specifically data relating to the flight or voyage; data relating to each individual on board; additional data elements such as visa number, if applicable, as well as primary residence and destination address, and data relating to the reporting party such as the reporting party’s name, email address, telephone and fax numbers.

In Parliament yesterday, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis went on to say that, “Following as a consequence, naturally, the provisions of the Immigration Act in relation to APIS are no longer necessary, and the Immigration Act would make reference to the Advance Passenger Information Act in relation to the administration of APIS in the Federation.”

The passing of the APIS Bill therefore necessitated the repeal of the Fourth Schedule, which deals with advance passenger information, specifically “data relating to the flight or voyage” and “data relating to each individual passenger,” in the Immigration Act, Cap. 6.02.

It also made a further amendment to the Immigration Act necessary.  Section 13, which deals with the duty to provide passenger information, is to be replaced as follows in the Immigration Act: “13. Duty to provide passenger information: The provisions of the Advance Passenger Information Act, 2017, shall apply to the use of advance passenger information in Saint Christopher and Nevis.”

As set out in the APIS Bill, Advance Passenger Information shall only be used for the purposes of “the [APIS] Act; national security; border security; Customs control, and any other purpose deemed necessary by the Minister, by Order published in the Gazette.”

Furthermore, Advance Passenger Information collected for entry screening purposes shall be retained for a length of time “not exceeding three years from the date of travel of the crew or passenger.”

Also, if requested, the competent authority shall allow the crew or passenger from an aircraft or vessel access to his or her personal identifiable information maintained in the APIS “to ensure its correctness.”

Statisticians mull new approaches for 2020 Round of Census

 May 24, 2017 @ 11:57 am   

statistics

The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the Community’s Strategic Plan, and internationally agreed goals, including those from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will be taken into account as preparations begin for the upcoming Round of Population and Housing Census.

This is in an effort to ensure that issues of importance to CARICOM Member States are considered and that there is greater harmonisation and comparability of the data that emerges from the exercise.

The next Population and Housing Census Round is in 2020, and the CARICOM Secretariat, earlier in May, held a workshop that is aimed at building on the approach that was used in the 2010 Census Round which saw a common core of questions being asked.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the three-day workshop on 16 May in Bridgetown, Barbados, Director, Regional Statistics, CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Philomen Harrison, pointed out the reasons why the CSME, Strategic Plan and international goals were identified for inclusion.

The measurement of the functioning of the CSME – the region’s flagship programme – largely relied on key statistics and indicators, and was therefore vital to determine the impact of the regional integration thrust, she said.

Preparations will also take into consideration the resilience theme of the CARICOM Five-Year Strategic Plan. The Plan recognises the threats to the sustainable development of the Region, including financial, economic, social and environmental.

Information on population and housing, and baseline data, are necessary to monitor and report on the sustainable development goals and the Samoa Pathway to evaluate the impact of those interventions which seek ultimately to eradicate poverty.

“Statisticians of the Region are therefore challenged to consider these frameworks which perhaps in some respects are outside of their comfort zones relative to the traditional list of topics that are incorporated in census-taking.

What issues can we include to provide in an innovative approach, the basis for the transformative agenda of the CSME, the Strategic Plan of the Community, the 2030 Agenda and the Samoa Pathway”, Dr. Harrison challenged workshop participants, as she urged them to “think outside the box.”

The workshop is the first preparatory one ahead of the Census and was supported by the government of Canada, the United Nations Populations Fund and PARIS21.

 

 

 

World Bank Deputy Chief Economist urges Region to think big about small economies

 May 24, 2017 @ 10:40 am   

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands, May 24, 2017 – It is time for the Caribbean Region to think big about its small economies, says Deputy Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank, Dr. Daniel Lederman. Further, small economies can be successful by being open and nimble. Lederman delivered the 18th William G. Demas Memorial Lecture, which took place in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands on May 23, 2017, ahead of the start of the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Lederman, joining a distinguished roster of speakers who have delivered the Lecture, spoke on the topic, ‘Thinking Big about Small Economies: From ‘Open and Nimble’ to Talented Workforce’.

The Deputy Chief Economist noted that the characteristic of being small helps ameliorate the volatility caused by fluctuations in global demand for specific goods and services.

“Small economies appear to have an uncanny ability to reinvent themselves more quickly and more often than large economies. Simply put, they are more likely than large economies to innovate by introducing new exports and letting go of old ones,” he said.

“By being innovative, small economies become more nimble than large economies. Yet this nimbleness by itself might not be enough to send us on a path toward stable growth,” Dr. Lederman cautioned. “It does mean, however, that fiscal policies, specifically counter-cyclical fiscal policies become even more important for small economies than for large economies,” he noted.

Dr. Lederman also addressed concerns about “brain drain”, noting that smaller economies typically have less variety of economic opportunities and amenities.

“Thus, it is likely that small economies must learn to live with a brain drain that cannot be completely halted,” said Dr. Lederman. “But, it is clear that brain drain is not an insurmountable obstacle in the road to prosperity, because we know that small economies can succeed even when their emigration rates are high,” he added.

The speaker also spotlighted the issue of economic integration, acknowledging the legacy of William G. Demas, who often emphasised the importance of effective, not formal, sovereignty.

“His scholarly writings raised analytical issues related to the degree of openness of small economies, their patterns of trade specialisation, and the policy implications that often clashed with aspirations of sovereignty. But he persisted and stood by his conviction that deep integration arrangements can help small economies prosper,” he said.

Dr. Lederman is an economist and political scientist by training. He has published numerous books and articles on a broad set of issues related to economic development. These include: financial crises; crime; political economy of economic reforms; economic growth; innovation; international trade; and labour markets.

Guests at the 18th William G. Demas Memorial Lecture included His Excellency John Freeman, Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands; the Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Chairman of CDB’s Board of Governors and Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands,; and Dr. Wm. Warren Smith, President, CDB.