Devastation brought out generosity, spirit of togetherness – CARICOM Chairman

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Chairman of CARICOM, Dr. the Rt Hon Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada
Chairman of CARICOM, Dr. the Rt Hon Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada

END OF YEAR MESSAGE

BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY

DR. THE HONOURABLE KEITH MITCHELL

PRIME MINISTER OF GRENADA

There is no doubt that 2017 has been a most eventful year for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  We experienced a scale of multi-country devastation never before seen in the Region as two category five Hurricanes, Irma and Maria, raged through the Caribbean within two weeks.

The Governments and people of our Community immediately responded to assist their brothers and sisters with the generosity and spirit of togetherness which is our trademark. I therefore must pay tribute to those who so willingly extended a helping hand in the hour of need of our brothers and sisters in the stricken countries.

Even before the hurricane season was over, the resilient people that we are, we had begun to rally. We determined that we could use the rebuilding process to become the first climate resilient region in the world.  Recognising that we did not have the resources to achieve that goal on our own, we sought the assistance of the international community.

First, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), we organised the CARICOM-UN High Level Pledging Conference, “Building a More Climate-Resilient Community,” which was held in November at the UN Headquarters in New York.  It brought together nearly 400 high-level representatives from governments, multilateral and civil society organisations and the private sector, and raised more than US$1.3 billion in pledges and over $1 billion in loans and debt relief.

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Coordinated approach necessary to manage external relations – COTED hears

The importance of effectively managing the external relations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was strongly underscored at the opening of the 45th meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Thursday in Georgetown, Guyana.

Chair of the COTED, the Hon. Paula Gopie-Scoon, Trade and Industry Minister of Trinidad and Tobago,  and Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary General referred to the current international trade climate and stressed the need for coordinated approach to external economic relations.

While many of the agenda items focus on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, the Region’s flagship programme, and trade in goods, Ministers will place emphasis on matters such as future trade with the United Kingdom post-BREXIT; developments within the World Trade Organisation (WTO); and the state of the rum industry in CARIFORUM.

“We must remember that our strength as a Region depends on a coordinated approach to policies. This includes the external economic and trade relations of the Community which we will address during the course of this Meeting”, Minister Gopie-Scoon said at the opening session.

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Media Advisory – Opening, Forty-Fifth Meeting of COTED

Trade Officials at a meeting on Monday at the CARICOM Secretariat in preparation for the Ministerial session of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED)

The Forty-Fifth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) will be held on 9-10 November, 2017, at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana.

Deliberations will be preceded by an opening session that begins at 9:30 am.

During the opening, the Second Protocol to the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between CARICOM and Cuba will be signed.

Please see details below:

 

EVENT: Opening, Forty-Fifth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED)

DATE: 9 November, 2017

VENUE: Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana

TIME: 9:30 am

 

Kindly make every effort to be present at least 15 minutes before the ceremony for ease of security clearance and timely coverage of this event.

 

Regional Trade Ministers meet

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Trade representatives of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States on Monday morning began a two-day meeting in preparation for the Ministerial Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) 9-10 November, 2017.

Given its importance, and the mandate issued by CARICOM Heads of Government last year for a full review, the implementation CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) will be a main agenda item at the two-day Meeting at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown. Discussions will centre on a draft Public Procurement Protocol, police certificates of character, and the harmonisation of laws.

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