Commonwealth SG welcomes UN decision on Guyana-Venezuela border controversy

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, welcomes the decision of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Gutteres, to refer the long-standing border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The Secretary-General recalled that at the September 2017 meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Group on Guyana, Ministers noted Guyana’s concerns that this longstanding controversy has impacted on the country’s economic development. (more…)

CARICOM records noteworthy successes in 2017 despite challenges

Secretary-General at the CARICOM-UN High Level Conference with the UN SG Antonio Guterres and Head of UNDP Achim Steiner
CARICOM Secretary-General Amb. Irwin LaRocque (l) at the CARICOM-UN High Level Conference with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (r) and Head of UNDP Achim Steiner

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The more than US$2B pledged at the CARICOM-UN Conference for long-term recovery for hurricane-affected countries and the establishment of the regional renewable energy center are among the successes CARICOM recorded for 2017 in spite of the year’s challenges.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said in his End of Year Message that the Community was ending 2017 with several other noteworthy achievements, including a change in posture by International Financial Institutions and some Development Partners with respect to access to concessionary development financing.

“It is encouraging to note that our relentless advocacy with respect to the lack of access to concessional development financing appears to be bearing fruit. There is some re-thinking on this issue taking place at the level of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and some of our international development partners (IDPs),” the Secretary-General stated.

Adding that CARICOM will continue to advocate for this change he said the Region’s vulnerability to external shocks, which the hurricanes laid bare, emphasised the urgent need for the international community to dispense with GDP per capita as a primary criterion for access to concessional development financing. (more…)

Heartening support for hurricane-ravaged countries at Pledging Conference

CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque greets UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the start of the CARICOM-UN High Level Pledging Conference, UN Headquarters, Tuesday. UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner is centre.
CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque greets UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the start of the CARICOM-UN High Level Pledging Conference, UN Headquarters, Tuesday. UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner is centre.

Widespread concern for CARICOM countries severely affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria was evident at the opening of the CARICOM-UN High Level Pledging Conference, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, 21 November.

Addressing the large gathering which included the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, International Development Partners, and representatives of governments, the private sector and the United Nations System, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said their presence demonstrated strong interest and deep concern about the situation in the Community.

He told the UN SG:

“You were there to see at first hand the damage inflicted by the hurricanes. You have ensured it stayed in the attention of the international community and today you are here with us to emphasise your commitment.  I thank you so very much Secretary-General.” (more…)

CARICOM, UN Chiefs, Heads of Government call for support to build back better in Caribbean

New York, 15 November 2017 – After two back-to-back category five hurricanes swept across the Caribbean two months ago cutting a swathe of destruction, taking lives and impacting livelihoods, recovery costs are estimated at over US$3billion. In some of the most impacted island states recovery needs are equivalent to over 200 percent of countries’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Aiming to mobilise support for affected countries to “build back better” as the first climate-resilient countries in the world, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will hold the CARICOM-UN High-level Pledging Conference: Building a more Climate-Resilient Community on 21 November at UN Headquarters in New York.

Media Representatives are invited to cover the Conference in its entirety as well as a Press Briefing  on 20 November, at 11am.’

 

DETAILS
What: CARICOM-UN High-level Pledging Conference: Building a more Climate-Resilient Community

When/Where: Tuesday November 21, 9am-5:15pm, ECOSOC Chamber, UN Headquarters, NY
CARICOM-UN Conference Opening Session 9-9:45am:

  • CARICOM Secretary-General, Irwin LaRocque
  • UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
  • President of General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák
  • Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne
  • Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit
  • Chairman of CARICOM, Prime Minister of Grenada, Keith Mitchell
  • Moderator: UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner

What: PRESS BRIEFING  
When: Monday, November 20, 11-11:45 am
Where: UN SG’s Spokesperson Briefing Room (S-237)
Who:

  • Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne
  • Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit (TBC)
  • UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner
  • Q&A

 

For Media Accreditation at UN headquarters in New York: http://www.un.org/en/media/accreditation/
For full agenda please go to    http://resilientcaribbean.caricom.org
Live webcast:    https://webtv.un.org;   http://caricom.org/ ; http://today.caricom.org/  

In hurricane-stricken Barbuda, UN chief urges global solidarity, accelerated climate action

Having seen first-hand the destruction wrought by the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Saturday called for the full mobilisation of the international community to support the people of the affected areas, while stressing the need to accelerate climate action.

“I have just witnessed a level of devastation that I have never seen in my life,” Mr. Guterres told a press conference following a visit to storm-battered Barbuda.

“I have been in areas torn by conflict. In my own country, I have seen earthquakes, I’ve seen storms […] I have never seen such a high-level of devastation like the one that I witnessed in Barbuda,” he stated.

“This must make us think seriously,” added Mr. Guterres, who arrived (on Saturday) for a two-day visit to Antigua, Barbuda and Dominica to survey the damage and to assess what more the UN can do to help people recover from the back-to-back, category 5 hurricanes that struck the region recently.

Read more at: United Nations