Strong regional foreign policy coordination critical in changing global environment – President Granger

PRESIDENT David Granger served as Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) from January to July, 2017 and during his tenure, he emphasised the economic, environmental and physical security of the citizens who make up the populations of member states. The Guyanese Head of State placed at the top of the regional agenda our right, as members of the Community, to citizenship, to food security and economic viability, a safe and secure existence and the protection of our territorial integrity.

AGRICULTURE TALKS: Guyana's President David Granger and Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Freundel Stuart
MEGA FARM VISIT: Guyana’s President David Granger (centre) and Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Freundel Stuart (right)

 

 

Recognising that the small states that make up the Region must stand firmly together in the face of a constantly changing global environment, President Granger believes that the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is the key to addressing these bread and butter issues for CARICOM citizens.

Foreign Policy Coordination
Effective foreign policy coordination is viewed as an important enabler for building resilience by effectively positioning CARICOM and the Member States in the global arena through collaboration, cooperation and strategic alliances, the promotion and protection of the interest of CARICOM and other small states to mitigate vulnerability and the leveraging of resources for regional priorities. Heads of Government of CARICOM continue to articulate and harmonise policies and programmes to safeguard and promote the Community’s interests within the global environment. President Granger has attached great importance to foreign policy coordination, even as individual states within the Community pursue their national interests. He believes that foreign policy coordination is one of the four pillars on which the Caribbean Community stands.

Within a current international environment that is replete with uncertainty and complexity, President Granger warned that the efficacy of the Community’s international advocacy could be impaired if coordinated regional positions are weakened.

“The Caribbean Community cannot cling to an obsolete model of insularity in light of these international changes. The mirage of 15 airlines, 15 cricket teams, 15 defence forces and 15 embassies in the capitals of the world might mesmerise a few sentimental romantics, but could deplete the treasuries of our states. The Community, challenged by the constantly changing international situation, must redouble its efforts to ensure a more safe society for its citizens, more stable economies for its countries, deeper solidarity and a more secure hemisphere,” the President said.

Read More: Guyana Chronicle 

Consultations get underway on comprehensive review of CET, Rules of Origin

The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) mandated the Comprehensive Review
FLASHBACK:  A Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in Georgetown, Guyana 

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat will next week begin consulting with regional stakeholders as it moves to undertake a comprehensive review of the Community’s main trade instruments – the Common External Tariff (CET) and the Rules of Origin.

The consultation will be held at the CARICOM Secretariat on 25 July, 2017, beginning at 9 am. It targets regional organisations that are interested in or likely to be affected by changes to the CET and the Rules of Origin, including Academia, Sector Organisations, Industry Associations, Regional Policy Advocacy Organisations, and Institutions of the Community.

The Consultation, which is in keeping with the Community’s Policy to encourage the inclusion of key stakeholders in policy-making processes, is supported by funding under the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). (more…)

Regional statistics strategy preparation gets nod from CARICOM Heads

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Prime Minister Keith Mitchell addresses the Board Meeting
Prime Minister Keith Mitchell
“We believe that the Region’s Strategy for the Development of Statistics will embody a huge basket of activities and will respond to the statistical needs of the CARICOM Region…” -CARICOM Chair, Dr. Keith Mitchell
As the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) continues to take steps to ensure that its decision-making is underpinned by quality data, Heads of Government last week endorsed the preparation of the Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics (RSDS), one of the key aspects of the Action Plan for Statistics in the Caribbean. The Action Plan was endorsed by Heads of Government at their Thirty-Seventh Meeting last year.


Improvements in the availability of statistics for evidence-based decision-making, sustainable development of Member States, and the empowerment of citizens to hold governments accountable, are among the highlights of the Plan.

The RSDS will play a strategic role in strengthening statistics and improving its availability for evidence-based decision-making and will constitute a shared foundation upon which statistical capacity in the Region will be developed.

The Strategy will also cater for the additional demands that will be made of statistical offices to fulfill obligations related to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the Community Strategic Plan 2015-2019, the United Nations 2030 Development Agenda and the the SIDS Accelerated Modalities for Action (SAMOA) Pathway. In this regard the strengthening of national statistics offices across the Region is a key component of the Action Plan. (more…)

 

CARICOM Single ICT Space Integrated Work Plan and Budget approved

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Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell  (second from left) announcing the approval of the ICT Integrated Work Plan and Budget. Also in photograph are, from left, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, President of Guyana, His Excellency David Granger and Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Hon. Andrew Holness
Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell (second from left) announcing the approval of the ICT Integrated Work Plan and Budget. Also in photograph are, from left, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, President of Guyana, His Excellency David Granger and Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Hon. Andrew Holness

Just five months after signing off on the Vision and Roadmap for the CARICOM Single ICT Space, Heads of Government have signalled that their approval for its Work Plan and Budget. The Single ICT Space represents the digital arm of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).


The approval was given at the Thirty-Eighth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government that concluded on Thursday evening (6 July, 2017) in St. George’s, Grenada, under the Chairmanship of Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada. Dr. Mitchell holds responsibility for science and technology in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet.

In recognition of the importance of ICT for the development of any economy, the Heads of Government mandated the development of a CARICOM Single ICT Space. In February, at their Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting in Georgetown, Guyana, they approved the Vision and Roadmap for the Single ICT Space. This decision increased the momentum of the ICT stakeholders to complete another mandate given by the Heads: the finalisation of an integrated work plan and budget for the Single ICT Space. (more…)

 

Region needs full implementation of CSME, says PM Holness

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Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (10th left) and other regional leaders at the opening ceremony of the 38th Regular Meeting of Heads of Government of CARICOM at the Grenada Trade Centre, Grand Anse, St. George’s, on July 4. (Photo via JIS)
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (10th left) and other regional leaders at the opening ceremony of the 38th Regular Meeting of Heads of Government of CARICOM at the Grenada Trade Centre, Grand Anse, St. George’s, on July 4. (Photo via JIS)

Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday (July 5) urged his colleague Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to fully implement the Single Market and Economy, CSME.

The Prime Minister was contributing to discussions on the CSME during the first plenary session at the 38th Meeting of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Grand Anse, Grenada.

“The true expression of the realisation of the integration dream is to get the CSME going and we have to have the resolve as leaders to do this. It is how our people will experience true development and prosperity. And so, Jamaica wants to urge members to seriously put our efforts and commitment behind the CSME,” said Prime Minister Holness.

Mr. Holness said regional leaders have been speaking about implementing a CSME for too long with little action.

 

Read more at: Jamaica Information Service