CARICOM engages the Head of the Green Climate Fund

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(l-r) CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund Howard Bansey, and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and CARICOM Lead Prime Ministerial Spokesman on Sustainable Development Hon Allen Chastanet

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet of Saint Lucia, the Lead Prime Ministerial Spokesman on Sustainable Development in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Tuesday met with the Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund Mr. Howard Bamsey on the margins of the COP 23 in Bonn, Germany.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a new global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change.

The Fund pays particular attention to the needs of societies that are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

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Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund Mr Howard Bamsey (l) in discussion with Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Hon Allen Chastanet, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and Assistant Secretary-General CARICOM Secretariat Dr Douglas Slater

Several CARICOM Member States were this year severely affected by two mega hurricanes – Irma and Maria – and the CARICOM Secretary-General has noted that their increased intensity and frequency, fueled by climate change, form the  new reality for the foreseeable future.

CARICOM, with support from the United Nations Development Programme, will hold a Pledging Conference on 21 November 2017 to moblise support for the rebuilding effort in the affected countries and to strengthen resilience generally across the CARICOM Region.

Guyana’s contribution to regional integration lauded during accreditation of the country’s new Ambassador to CARICOM

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Guyana’s new Ambassador to CARICOM H.E Charlene Phoenix presents Letter of Credence to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

Guyana was on Wednesday lauded for its seminal role in the evolution of the regional integration movement, as the country’s new Ambassador to CARICOM Ms Charlene Phoenix presented her credentials to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

The Secretary-General, in remarks at the accreditation ceremony, recalled Guyana’s role, along with Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda, in restarting the integration process through the formation of the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA), and then, through the Georgetown Accord, fashioning the pivotal movement from CARIFTA to CARICOM.  He also noted Guyana’s Lead Responsibility for Agriculture in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet and the importance of the sector to the Community’s efforts to enhance its food security.

“You therefore represent, Ambassador, a country rich not only in the tradition and history of our Community but also in being a full participant in forging the ties that bind us as a people,” the Secretary-General said. (more…)

CARICOM commends Antigua/Barbuda’s resilience on its 36th independence anniversary

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CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

As Antigua and Barbuda marks its Thirty-sixth Anniversary of Independence, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has commended the country’s perseverance in the face of extreme adversity.

Residents of Antigua’s sister island Barbuda had to be evacuated in September after Category Five hurricane Irma devastated the island.

“Your resilience and steadfastness brings added strength to the Community”, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said in his congratulatory message to Antiguan Prime Minister Mr. Gaston Browne.

“As you seek to build back better and strengthen your resilience, it is expected the upcoming High-Level Pledging Conference in New York will provide assistance in this regard”, the Secretary-General said.

CARICOM, in collaboration with the United Nations, will host the Pledging Conference on 21 November, and a number of friendly countries, international development partners, private sector entities and NGO’s will be represented.

Read full congratulatory message: (more…)

CARICOM and major international private sector company discuss hurricane recovery

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CARICOM Chairman Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell (centre) and Virgin’s founder Sir Richard Branson (right) at the discussion forum on post hurricane recovery and reconstruction in Washington, Friday

CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and Founder of of the UK-headquartered Virgin Group of Companies Sir Richard Branson on Friday hosted a Discussion Forum on post hurricane recovery and reconstruction.  The event took place on the margins of this week’s annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington.

Several CARICOM Member States and Associate Members, including Dominica, Antigua/Barbuda, The Bahamas, Anguilla, BVI and Turks and Caicos Islands suffered from the destructive passage of Category Five Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September.  CARICOM has been at the forefront of the post hurricane recovery effort, including helping to coordinate a high-level Donor Conference.   Sir Richard, who has a home on Necker Island in the BVI, has been advocating a ‘Marshall Plan’ type recovery package for the devastated islands.

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Prime Ministers Gaston Browne of Antigua-Barbuda (2nd left) and Allen Chastanet of Saint Lucia (3rd right) along with Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (right) among high level participants at the discussions with Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson