National Drug Observatories critical to fight against drugs in CARICOM

The critical importance of Drug Observatories (DOs) was underscored at the Opening of the Regional Seminar for Drug Observatories in the Caribbean on 4 April, 2018, at the Radisson Georgetown Princess Hotel, Guyana. The significance of international cooperation and synergies in the fight against illicit drugs was emphasised also to the gathering mainly of CARICOM practitioners, policy-makers and researchers in the field.

Ms. Beverly Reynolds, Coordinator for Health and Human Development, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, said Drug Observatories were expected to “provide a more accurate picture of the drugs situation” in a country.

“They help to identify emerging trends at an early stage and they provide decision-makers with the evidence needed for designing and evaluating appropriate strategies…”, she said.

 Chargé d’Affaires for the United States Embassy in Guyana, Terry Steers-Gonzalez, reiterated his government’s continued support for DOs around the world, noting their important functions to collect monitor, analyse and treat data and to disseminate information to local, regional and international stakeholders to inform decision-making.

Mr. Terry Steers-Gonzalez, Chargé d’ Affaires, US Embassy in Guyana, delivers remarks at the opening of the seminar

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Evidence-based, data-driven policies to address drug situation, other crimes – Khemraj Ramjattan

The importance of drug observatories in the fight against the illegal drug situation was reiterated throughout the Opening Ceremony of the Regional Seminar for National Drug Observatories in the Caribbean on 4 April, 2018, at the Ramada Princess Hotel, in Georgetown, Guyana.

Speaker after speaker made the case for evidence-based, data-driven policies and practices, and international cooperation to address the illegal drug situation.

 “If there is one thing that I would like to see coming out of this seminar is your emphasis on evidence-based, data-driven policies and practices ….It is … going to reduce the damning situation in drugs and all related crimes and illegalities”, feature speaker, Guyana’s Minister of Public Security, Hon. Khemraj Ramjattan, told the gathering of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) practitioners, policy-makers and researchers in the field.


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Young people at centre of sustainable energy thrust

Listen as Dr. Devon Gardner, Energy Programme Manager at the CARICOM Secretariat, chats on CARICOM Today about the winners of the 2017 CARICOM Energy Month competitions, and the importance of youth to sustainable development:

Winners of CARICOM Energy Month Competitions announced from Caribbean Community on Vimeo.

According to Dr. Gardner, the youth-centric focus of competitions – held in observance of CARICOM Energy Month last November – was in recognition of the importance of their involvement in shaping their future; a future that is built on a foundation of sustainable energy. (more…)

#PressForProgress – International Women’s Day

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

MESSAGE FROM AMBASSADOR IRWIN LAROCQUE

SECRETARY-GENERAL, CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY

ON THE OCCASION OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

8 MARCH, 2018

It is a distinct honour and pleasure for me to celebrate our women and girls across the Caribbean Community on the occasion of the 107th Anniversary of International Women’s Day.  International Women’s Day affords us the opportunity to reflect on gender equality and the advancement of women and to continue to #PressForProgress as this year’s theme and call to action suggests.

This year’s celebration is being observed in the wider context of significant global movements for women’s rights, justice, equality, development and peace, as well as movements against domestic abuse, sexual harassment and femicide.

These movements for change provide opportunities to combat sexual harassment, and gender-based violence and when linked with the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, additional gains such as good health and well-being, quality education and increased political participation may be realised.  The global community is on a mission to close the gaps that hinder such achievement and leave some behind.

According to the World Economic Forum which measures gender equality on a global scale, “2017 was the first time in more than 10 years that the gender gap began to widen again.”  The Report indicates that it could still take “another 100 years before the Global Equality Gap between men and women disappears entirely.  A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics.”

International Women’s Day (IWD)
International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first March 8 IWD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women equality. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific.
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CARICOM support for hurricane devastated island continues

Steering Committee meeting
Representatives of Member States and Institutions participate online

Following on from the successful staging of the CARICOM-UN High Level Pledging Conference at UN Headquarters in New York on 21 November 2017, the Steering Committee has continued to meet with renewed focus on translating pledges into concrete programmes and initiatives.

Steering Committee meeting-2
CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (2nd left) and other CARICOM Secretariat Officials at the meeting

The Steering Committee, comprising representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Regional Institutions and CARICOM Member States including those devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria, held its most recent meeting on Tuesday 9 January 2018. The Committee is examining the option of a follow-up meeting to the Pledging Conference to map out actions  to meet the objective of building a more climate resilient Community.

The Pledging Conference mobilized a broad partnership to support the rebuilding effort including through US1.3 billion in pledges and over US1 billion in loans and debt relief. This support came from nearly 400 high-level representatives from governments, multilateral and civil society organisations and businesses.

Irma and Maria – two category five hurricanes, hit the region during a two week period in September, decimating decades of development gains in Dominica, Barbuda – the sister island of Antigua, the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla.  The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis and Haiti also suffered damage.  Other Caribbean Islands, notably St. Maarten, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominica Republic were also significantly impacted.