Regional cooperation critical in current global environment –UN Permanent Coordinator, Guyana

Representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat and the UN System in the Caribbean in discussion Friday

United Nations (UN) Permanent Coordinator in Guyana, Ms Mikiko Tanaka on Friday underscored the critical importance of regional cooperation amidst fundamental shifts spawned by changes in policies of the US and Britain vis-a-vis the EU.CARICOM_UN10

She expressed this conviction at the onset of discussions between the CARICOM Secretariat and the UN System in the Caribbean on mechanisms for the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Meeting of the Regional Steering Committee of the CARICOM/UN Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework in the Caribbean was convened on Friday 2 June at the Headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat.

CARICOM_UN11Even as the CARICOM Secretariat and the UN were leveraging multilateralism to advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, both the CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and Ms Tanaka expressed disappointment with the Trump Administration’s announcement of withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Stating that an appropriate response was needed, Ambassador LaRocque said the parties to the Agreement “have to keep on going,” adding that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like those of CARICOM were “most challenged by Climate Change.”

Echoing that sentiment, Ms Tanaka said the people of the Caribbean and SIDS countries were among the first to suffer from rising sea levels and extreme weather occurrences. She stated that the Trump administration’s pullout from the Paris Agreement “threatened to reverse strenuous global efforts in recent years to put a brake on climate change.” (more…)

Working together – CARICOM SG, Ambassadors and Heads of Community Institutions

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Work to strengthen the Region’s governance and implementation structures continued Thursday with the first joint meeting of the CARICOM Secretary-General, Heads of Community Institutions and the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors  at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana.

Thursday’s exchanges followed the fifth Meeting of the Committee of Ambassadors, held at the CARICOM Secretariat, also in Georgetown, on Wednesday. The Committee plays an important role in the governance structure of the Community, providing strategic advice and recommendations to the Community Council towards advancing the integration movement.

The Heads of Community Institutions  meet regularly with the Secretary-General to seek to harmonise efforts towards implementation of the CARICOM Strategic Plan.

Several participants joined the meeting via video conference.


Private Sector Capacity Building and Consultation: CARICOM Strategy for Regional Implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation

hqcomplexnewThe Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat has convened a Private Sector Consultation and capacity building workshop on the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) and the CARICOM Strategy for Regional Implementation.   

The Meeting, intended for national Business Development Organisations from CARICOM WTO Members, takes place in Kingston, Jamaica, 19-20 April, 2017,   with the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat/European Union Hubs & Spokes II Programme, in collaboration with the World Bank Group (WBG). (more…)

CARICOM-Republic of Korea commit to areas for closer cooperation

Deputy Secretary General, CARICOM,  Amb Manorma Soeknandan makes remarks at the Opening Ceremony, 42nd COTED, Marriott Hotel, Georgetown Guyana, 21 April, 2016
Deputy Secretary General, CARICOM, Amb Manorma Soeknandan

CARICOM and the Republic of Korea held their first high-level meeting in Jamaica on Monday with agreement on a number of areas for closer cooperation.

In a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting the two sides committed to further strengthen their ties of friendship and spirit of cooperation. They also agreed to reinvigorate a Consultation and Cooperation Mechanism which was established in 2006 to guide future CARICOM-Korea political and economic relations.

Republic of Korea’s First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lim Sung-nam.

In relation to some key issues before the meeting, the delegates underscored the serious impact of climate change and global warming especially on Small Island and low-lying Developing States (SIDS) like those in the CARICOM Region. They committed to work together to enhance capacity building and knowledge sharing, while exploring avenues for cooperation on projects aimed at combating climate change and its impacts.  They also acknowledged the CARICOM Region’s ongoing high dependence on imported fossil fuel and agreed to work together to promote cooperation in the field of sustainable energy.

Jamaica’s Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson Smith addressed the Opening Ceremony

The CARICOM side thanked Korea for its ongoing technical assistance including through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Fellowship Programs, the ‘Improving the Structure of Governance in the Caribbean Community’ Project, the CARICOM E-Government project, and financial support for CARICOM Electoral Observer Missions.

CARICOM Deputy Secretary-General Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan, in her address to the Opening Ceremony, urged Korea’s assistance in utilizing its influential voice in international fora to advocate on behalf of CARICOM on the issue of graduation of CARICOM Member States to the status of middle income countries and the resulting loss of access to concessionary financing for their development programmes.

The Republic of Korea’s delegation was led by First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lim Sung-nam.


See Joint Statement:  CARICOM_Korea_FINAL ADOPTED Joint Statement

See Opening Remarks by Jamaica’s Foreign Minister:  CARICOM_Korea_Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jamaica Welcome Remarks

See Opening Remarks by CARICOM Deputy Secretary-General:  CARICOM_Korea_DSG_ Remarks Final – First CARICOM-Korea High-Level Meeting