Senior ICT officials meet to discuss work plan for Single ICT Space

ICT graphicThe Meeting of Senior Officials ahead of the Sixty-Eighth Special Ministerial session of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) – Information and Communication Technology (ICT) – will convene via video conference on Wednesday, 15 March, 2017.

The main issue for discussion is the Integrated Work Plan for the CARICOM Single ICT Space. Heads of Government granted approval of the Roadmap for the Single ICT Space at the Twenty-Eighth Inter-sessional Meeting in February 2017, and the Integrated Work Plan for the Single ICT Space is expected to be the next big step towards the harmonisation of the ICT sector within CARICOM.

The Integrated Work Plan will set out the activities that need to be completed for the development of the Single ICT Space. The activities of the work plan will focus on areas such as conducting gap analyses, public awareness, specific telecommunications issues, legal and regulatory reform cyber security, bringing technology to the people, resource mobilisation, as well as, forecasting for the CARICOM Digital Agenda 2025.

The Ministers of ICT will meet on 24 March, 2017, in Antigua and Barbuda to review the integrated work plan and provide their recommendations to the Heads of Government Meeting in July 2017.

CTO, CHTA applaud CARICOM decisions on tourism

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From left: Hugh Riley, CTO secretary general; Bahamas minister of foreign affairs and immigration Fred Mitchell; CHTA president Karolin Troubetzkoy; and CHTA CEO and director general Frank Comito. (Photo via CTO)
From left: Hugh Riley, CTO secretary general; The Bahamas Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell; CHTA president Karolin Troubetzkoy; and CHTA CEO and Director General Frank Comito. (Photo via CTO)

Two Regional tourism organisations have  applauded Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government for taking the lead in recognising the critical contribution of tourism to the economies of member countries and for their commitment to advancing a regional tourism agenda.

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the umbrella private sector organisation, signalled their appreciation in a  press release issued on Tuesday 21 February.

At the recently-concluded Twenty-Eighth Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government, the CTO secretary general, Mr. Hugh Riley delivered a presentation that was prepared in collaboration with the CHTA. The Heads of Government supported the advancement of a series of steps addressing transportation and the facilitation of travel, human resource development, building the creative industries, and the marketing of the Caribbean brand.  They also invited CTO and CHTA to present additional information to address the Region’s competitiveness and financing for the sustainability of tourism.

They called for an urgent meeting of the Council for Trade and Development (COTED)-Transportation to address air transport issues in particular, including those related to the tourism sector; and supported the establishment of an interim tourism working group to coordinate with regional public and private sector stakeholder groups, the development of specific solutions which can be advanced in priority areas. (more…)

Conference video highlights

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Heads of Government and Heads of Delegation make their way into caucus on Thursday 16 February, 2017 at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana, on Day One of the Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). (Video via PM Roosevelt Skerrit)

CARICOM Member States urged to strengthen Regional Security System

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Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Freundel Stuart speaks with the media (Photo via GINA)
Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Freundel Stuart speaks with the media (Photo via GINA)
“We embarked on this journey in 1973 because people of the Caribbean need to feel safe in their everyday going out and coming in, the effect of not just being citizens of one country, but citizens of a regional civilisation and that is what we are aiming for.” – PM Freundel Stuart
Barbados’ Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart has called on CARICOM Heads of Government to refocus on the Regional Security System to better protect Caribbean countries.

Prime Minister Stuart, at the opening of the Twenty-Eighth Inter-Sessional meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, explained that over the years, some Caribbean states have faced threats to their security in the form of direct invasion, mercenary attack, incursion and intervention. Against that background, he is calling on Heads of Government to start focusing on regional security.

“We have to spend some time on the whole issue of regional security which is for us not just a law and order issue, but for us, a developmental issue, and therefore, we’re going to be spending some considerable time on that,” Prime Minister Stuart explained.

Read more at: Government Information Agency

Barbados ratifies CONSLE Protocol

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Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon Freundel Stuart signs the agreement
Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon Freundel Stuart signs the agreement as CARICOM General Counsel, Ms. Safiya Ali looks on

Barbados has ratified the Protocol Amending the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas to incorporate the Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) as an Organ of the Community, and the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) as an Institution of the Community.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart signed the Protocol and deposited the Instrument of Ratification on behalf of the Government of Barbados during the first business session of the 28th Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government of CARICOM in Guyana on Thursday.

Following the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Stuart told the Barbados Government Information Service that ratifying the Protocol was a symbol of the country’s commitment to ensuring the security of the region.

Read more at: Barbados Government Information Service