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…)

A year that will have a lasting impact – CARICOM Secretary-General

SG

 

End of Year Message

by the Secretary-General

of the

Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

 

There is no doubt that the events of 2017 will have a lasting impact on our Community.  The ravaging effects of this year’s hurricane season will cast a long shadow over our Community for some time yet.

Six of our Members and several of our Caribbean neighbours experienced the wrath of unprecedented back-to-back Category 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The heavy toll of lives, property and infrastructure had an effect wider than the affected countries.  Our Community has bonded together, as its governments, people and institutions render yeoman support to the stricken countries.  The international community has been at our side in the relief undertaking in a highly appreciated show of solidarity.

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, (CDEMA) the Community’s specialised institution, performed magnificently as it coordinated the relief efforts and helped to set the stage for recovery.  I must extend the Region’s gratitude to the Agency for a job well done.  The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) was also prompt in meeting its commitments to the affected countries with the appropriate policies.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(more…)

CARICOM, Cuba Heads To Meet In Antigua

CARICOM SG Ambassador Irwin LaRocque addressing the Opening Session of the last CARICOM-Cuba Summit in Havana.
FLASHBACK: CARICOM SG Ambassador Irwin LaRocque addressing the Opening Session of the last CARICOM-Cuba Summit in Havana.

Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Republic of Cuba will hold the Sixth CARICOM-Cuba Summit in Antigua and Barbuda on Friday, 8 December, 2017.

The Meeting will be co-chaired by the Chairman of CARICOM, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell of Grenada, and the President of Cuba, Raúl Castro.

This Meeting marks 45 years of diplomatic relations between CARICOM and Cuba, and will examine issues of regional and global importance including climate change adaptation and disaster risk management. A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and Cuba’s Agency for Civil Defence which will provide opportunities for closer collaboration, especially following the devastating impact of the September 2017 hurricanes across the region, and the increased focus on climate change resilience. (more…)

More opportunities provided for private sector as CARICOM, Cuba expand duty-free market access

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Cuba on Thursday signed the Second Protocol to an Agreement that will expand access to each other’s markets for goods.

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, and Cuban Ambassador to CARICOM, His Excellency Julio Cesar Gonzalez Marchante, signed the Second Protocol to the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between CARICOM and Cuba during the opening of the 45th Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in Georgetown, Guyana.

Under the Second Protocol, Cuba will expand duty free access to more than 320 items including meat, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, beer, rum, cement, soap and apparel. CARICOM will grant duty free access to some 50 items, including fish, pharmaceutical products, fertilisers and articles of iron and steel. The Community will also offer differentiated treatment on 22 items. The differentiated treatment includes phased reduction of duty by Most Developed Countries in CARICOM.

The CARICOM Secretary-General said that signing the Second Protocol marked a further deepening of the trade and economic relations between CARICOM and Cuba and provided further opportunities for the Region’s private sector.

See more photos here
(more…)

 

CARICOM Day in Cuba attracts hundreds

The Havana International Fair – FIHAV 2017 hosted a CARICOM day on the fourth day of the Expo. Patrons passing through the booth, especially Cubans, were very eager to sample the various foods and interact with the exhibitors.

The Guyana booth provided a number of local sweets and tokens as well as entertainment with its steelpan music which encouraged several locals to dance along.

The St. Lucian delegation interacting with a patron. (Photo via GINA)
The St. Lucian delegation interacting with a patron. (Photo via GINA)

Read more at: Government Information Agency (GINA)