CARICOM, Switzerland commit to deeper cooperation

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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Switzerland on Thursday last signalled their  commitment to deepen relations as the first Ambassador from the central European country was accredited to CARICOM.

In accepting the Letters of Credence of His Excellency Didier Chassot, Plenipotentiary Representative of Switzerland to CARICOM, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said beyond this “important gesture,” he looked forward to a concrete programme of cooperation.

Environmental protection, renewable energy, financial services, tourism and agri-business are some areas of mutual interests which could form the basis for establishing a cooperation mechanism, he said. (more…)

‘2017 holds great promise’ – President David Granger, incoming CARICOM Chairman


President David Granger profile

“2017 holds great promise for us to advance our integration process which can only be possible through the involvement and participation of all. Let us resolve to play our part in strengthening our Caribbean Community and to making regional unity a living, breathing experience,”  said President of Guyana, His Excellency Brigadier David Granger, incoming Chairman of the CARICOM.

In a New Year Message, President Granger – who will chair the Community for six months from 1 January, 2017 – placed people at the centre of the integration movement, and pointed to the actions that were being taken to ensure that they were secure and safe, and were equipped for the 21st century economy and society.

“This year marks the mid-point of our Five-Year Strategic Plan for the period 2015-2019, a foundational element in the Community’s Reform Process.  That process is geared towards ensuring that our people feel the impact of the integration movement in their daily lives. Integration is not merely about systems and institutions. It is mostly about people,” he said in the message.

President Granger also took the opportunity to express gratitude to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit who chaired the Community for the past six months.

“As Guyana assumes the Chair of CARICOM, I would like to thank the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, the Prime Minister of Dominica for his able leadership of the Community for the past six months.  As I receive this baton, I will continue to guide our Community in the path of sustainable development which serves the interest of all its people,” President Granger said.



Seeds of change began to bear fruit in 2016 – CARICOM Secretary-General



CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

“We have come to the end of another year of service to our Community.  When the history of this year is written, it will record that the seeds of change in our Secretariat and our Community began to bear fruit in 2016,” Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said.

He made the assertion in an end-of-year message in which he provided details of the strides that were taken in the reform process that the Secretariat and Community have embarked on.

The framework of the reform process had begun to take shape both within the Community and its Secretariat, the Secretary-General said. He added that the Implementing Partners for the Strategic Plan, the Member States, the Regional Institutions and the Secretariat, were embracing the challenge as the groundwork for the cohesive approach had been laid.

 “As difficult and challenging as reform is, it is absolutely essential in order to confront the ever-changing nature of today’s global environment.  This reform is not an end in itself but a means of ensuring that the citizens of CARICOM derive the maximum benefit from our integration process. At the end of it all, our regional integration process would be much more efficient and effective, in serving the interests of our people.

Please read the Secretary-General’s-end-of-year-Message


ICT Ministers meet in Barbados next week


A Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Information and Communication Technology will be held in Barbados on 21 September, 2016.

The meeting will focus on the Draft Roadmap for the CARICOM Single ICT Space which is to be approved by Heads of Government. At their Regular Meeting in July in Georgetown, Guyana, the CARICOM Heads of Government mandated the COTED (ICT) to convene before the end of September.

Developing a Single CARICOM ICT Space to enhance the environment for investment and production in that sector was identified as one of the key areas that the Community should undertake in the short-term to become competitive.

Intense focus to bring the Single ICT Space to fruition began in 2014 and continues through its placement in the CARICOM Strategic Plan as a critical enabler towards achieving technological resilience. (more…)

CARICOM Secretariat conducts staff development sessions

The CARICOM Secretariat will on Tuesday, 30 August, begin training staff members in report writing, speech writing and writing of briefs.

The training is being done under the auspices of the Office of the Deputy Secretary-General, Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan PhD., with assistance from the Canadian Executive Service Organisation (CESO).

Participants will benefit from modules that will be theoretically and practically delivered. The training concludes on 9 September.

This initiative is the result of a needs assessment conducted in 2015, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). That assessment concluded with recommendations for training in specific areas, based on interactions with staff. (more…)