Finland signals interest in CARICOM’s bio-energy

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The Government of Finland, through its newly accredited envoy to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), has expressed strong interest in exploring the bio-energy potential in mainland territories of CARICOM.

Speaking at the ceremony at the CARICOM Secretariat for the presentation of his Letter of Credence to CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, on Thursday 16 March, 2017, the new Finnish Ambassador, His Excellency Kukka Pietikaine said his country wanted to continue cooperation in renewable energy technologies.

He said forest-based bio-energy has a central role in Finland’s economy, with 80 per cent of its renewable energy coming from forest biomass. Indicating that CARICOM and Finland “should take a closer look” at the region’s bio-energy potential, he said that Finland was one of the global leaders in waste-to-energy solutions and a forerunner in bio-fuel technologies.

Another interesting field of cooperation between CARICOM and Finland, he said, could be the development of wave energy, with Finland also possessing “first class technologies in this field,” adding, “a preliminary wave energy assessment would be the first step for the development of the blue energy resources.”


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EU wants to advance common agenda with CARICOM in global fora

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GEORGETOWN, GUYANA, CARICOM SECRETARIAT –  The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Wednesday 15 March, 2017, accredited a new Ambassador of the European Union (EU), with the new envoy advocating for the relationship to more effectively advance a common agenda in global and multilateral fora.

In presenting her letters of credence to the CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Her Excellency Daniela Tramacere pledged that in the face of “populism on both shores of the Atlantic,” the EU will continue to foster political dialogue with the Region.

The new EU Ambassador was accredited at a simple ceremony in the office of the Secretary-General at the Headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana. The CARICOM Secretary-General expressed the Community’s profound appreciation to the EU for decades of technical cooperation and assistance to regional development in critical areas. He noted that the various programmes initiated under the European Development Fund framework had been of immense benefit to CARICOM Member States.

Ambassador Tramacere said that building on the process which established the ambitious December 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, CARICOM and the EU should pursue a new multilateral political partnership to address global challenges.

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What future for the ACP-EU partnership post-2015?

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ACP 100th session Dec 2014“There are still prospects for a meaningful ACP-EU partnership, capable of contributing and responding concretely and effectively to the objectives of promoting and attaining peace, security, poverty eradication and sustainable development,” according to the top official of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).

ACP Secretary General Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni was speaking at the 100th session of the ACP Council of Ministers held here from Dec. 9 to 12, during which ACP and European Union representatives took the opportunity to renew their commitment to working closely together, particularly in crafting a common strategy for the post-2015 global development agenda.

Besides discussing trade issues, development finance, humanitarian crises and the current Ebola crisis, the two sides also tackled future perspectives and challenges for the ACP itself and for its partnership with the European Union.

Read more at Inter Press Service

Ebola reveals danger of using GDP as sole development measure, JPA Co-Chair Fitz Jackson

The epidemic that has killed more than 6,000 people in several countries in West Africa has put into focus the fragility of developing economies in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP countries).

At the 28th session of the Joint Assembly of ACP and European Parliamentarians, the Co-Chair Hon. Fitz Jackson from Jamaica highlighted the grim long term economic and social impacts of the Ebola outbreak in the affected countries. (Read full speech)

“The World Bank estimates that the Liberian economy has declined by US$113 million as a result of the crisis; Sierra Leone by US$95 million and Guinea by US$120 million… the disease, if not successfully contained could cost the West African economy by about US$3.5 billion in 2015,” he told politicians from nearly 100 countries from Europe and the ACP regions.

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Guyana’s P.I. Gomes new ACP Secretary-General

Dr. Patrick Gomes
Dr. Patrick Gomes, new Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP)

Guyana’s Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union (EU), Dr. Patrick Ignatius Gomes, was selected as the new Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) at the  100th Session of the Group’s Council of Ministers, held at ACP Headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday 10 December, 2014.

See Statement on Dr. Gomes’ selection from Guyana’s Foreign Ministry:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Statement – ACP SG