New Bermuda Premier, David Burt, sworn in

 July 20, 2017 @ 10:33 am   
New Premier of Bermuda, the Hon David Burt
New Premier of Bermuda, the Hon David Burt

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.

Listen as he is sworn in to office:

 

CARICOM, UN to strengthen cooperation at New York meeting

 July 20, 2017 @ 8:39 am   
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CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

Cooperation between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the United Nations (UN) System will be further strengthened around several issues including climate change, security, human development, health and education at the Ninth CARICOM-United Nations General Meeting this week.

The two-day meeting begins 20 July 2017 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It is happening against the backdrop of a changing international environment, replete with uncertainty and complexity, and requiring greater collaboration.

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque is leading a delegation from the CARICOM Secretariat which also includes Ambassador Colin Granderson, Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations, and Dr. Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development. The Community’s representatives are also drawn from regional organisations including the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD), Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), University of the West Indies (UWI), and the University of Guyana (UG).

The Meeting features a number of working sessions to be co-chaired by Ambassador  Granderson and the UN’s Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr Tayé-Brook Zerihoun. The Secretaries-General of CARICOM and the United Nations will address a High-Level Session on 20 July.

CARICOM and the UN work closely in pursuit of the General Assembly Resolution 69/265 that articulates a goal for the organisations’ Secretaries General to “continue to promote and expand cooperation with their respective mandates, so as to increase the capacity of the two organisations to attain their objectives and to seek answers to global challenges.”

The two organisations have therefore been strengthening cooperation on a broad range of areas such as sustainable development including climate change, non-communicable diseases, electoral management, crime and security, statistics, and agriculture and food security.

The First, Second and Third CARICOM UN General Meetings were held in New York in 1997, 2000 and 2004 respectively. The Fourth Meeting was held in Guyana in 2007 and the Fifth Meeting in 2009, back in New York. The Sixth General Meeting, held at the CARICOM Secretariat in July 2011, was pivotal in reviewing the strategic focus of cooperation under a Regional Strategic Framework (RSF).  The RSF was helpful in identifying the areas where cooperation with the UN System was aligned with CARICOM’s priorities.

At the Seventh General Meeting, hosted by the United Nations in New York in July 2013, four major areas were discussed: Integration and Development of the Caribbean Community, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, the Post-2015 Agenda, and Human Development and Security Challenges in the Caribbean.

Among the matters underscored were the existing gaps in capacity building, both institutionally and with regard to the SIDS Programme of Action;  the need for disaggregated data on the Caribbean; better coordination and exchange of information between CARICOM and the United Nations system; and giving priority to future collaboration on non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The Eighth General Meeting, which was hosted by the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana, dedicated specific sessions to dialogue on Financing for Development; the Post 2015 Development Agenda; and Climate Change, as critical international meetings were imminent on the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda and climate change.

The Community has used these Meetings to emphasise the need for access to concessionary development financing on the basis of vulnerabilities and lack of resilience. CARICOM has consistently expressed its support for a report commissioned by UNDP which proposed that graduation criterion be replaced or at least supplemented by a criterion based on economic vulnerability and not merely GDP.

Strong regional foreign policy coordination critical in changing global environment – President Granger

 July 19, 2017 @ 3:47 pm   

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.

AGRICULTURE TALKS: Guyana's President David Granger and Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Freundel Stuart
MEGA FARM VISIT: Guyana’s President David Granger (centre) and Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Freundel Stuart (right)

 

 

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.

Read More: Guyana Chronicle 

CARICOM takes Single ICT Space, HRD Strategy to UNESCO International Forum in China

 July 19, 2017 @ 2:43 pm   
Ms. Jennifer Britton Deputy Programme Manager,  ICT for development (ICT4D) speaks at the conference
Ms. Jennifer Britton Deputy Programme Manager, ICT for Development (ICT4D) speaks at the conference

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat participated and presented at the UNESCO International Forum on ICT and Education 2030, held in Quindao, China, July 11-12, 2017.

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.


Partnerships were also emphasised as a critical component in the delivery of the goals as well as implementing the two strategic plans.  She said all stakeholders had to be on board, including government, private sector, academia, and civil society, all citizens, as well as regional and international agencies working in the areas of ICT and Education.

For more information on the CARICOM Single ICT space and the HRD Strategy 2030, please visit the CARICOM Secretariat website, www.caricom.org

Ms. Jennifer Britton Deputy Programme Manager,  ICT for Development (ICT4D) addresses the conference
Ms. Jennifer Britton Deputy Programme Manager, ICT for Development (ICT4D) at the conference