PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Feb 28, CMC – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders have adopted a regional counter-terrorism strategy at their inter-sessional summit that ended here on Tuesday.
The leaders also agreed that the member countries would table in their respective parliaments the legislation by July 4, this year to support the strategy and that an effective monitoring and evaluation process should be put in place to determine the region’s success in addressing this critical matter.
The strategy was developed by the Trinidad-based Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) which, in consultation with its stakeholders and regional and international partners, will review the document biennially to consider updating it to respond to the evolving terrorism landscape.
The summit also agreed that all member states should enact legislation related to the Advance Cargo Information System (ACIS) and Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) to assist counter-terrorism efforts, among other security matters, and to share information on crime and violence among themselves in a more consistent manner.
Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 21, 2018 (SKNIS): Delegates from several CARIFORUM-member states, the Organizstion of American States (OAS), and the European Union (EU) are in St. Kitts to brainstorm and formulate strategies on drug abuse and its prevention that will be implemented in countries across the Caribbean region.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Osmond Petty, welcomed the participants during an opening ceremony on Wednesday (February 21) and noted that this is the second of a two-part workshop that began last Monday. The first was held on February 19 and 20, and was dubbed the CARICOM Regional Drug Demand Reduction Strategy Workshop. This was followed by Wednesday’s OAS Regional National Drug Strategy Workshop, which ends on Thursday (February 21). Both meetings were held at the Ocean Terrace Inn.
Mr. Petty highlighted the challenges posed by the illegal use of marijuana and the trafficking of narcotics and said the leadership in the local Ministry of National Security was looking forward to receiving suggestions and a plan to addresses the myriad issues that St. Kitts and Nevis, and the wider Caribbean Region face from the challenges of drugs.
February 20, 2018, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Accessing finance to fund business ventures has long been an issue across the Caribbean, especially for women. Now that the Caribbean Export Development Agency and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) have joined forces to tackle this challenge, sourcing funds could become easier for women-owned businesses in the Region.
The two organisations on Monday, February 19, signed an agreement to collaborate on a new programme, Women Empowered through Export (WE-Xport), to support capacity-building for women-owned businesses to facilitate their access to finance. A key component of the new initiative to be launched in March 2018 by Caribbean Export will be “Access to Finance”, and will include a two-day workshop that aims to increase participants’ understanding of the requirements of financial institutions and how best to meet them. Ongoing technical assistance through regional business support organisations will also be available to participating companies through the CDB-funded component.
“CDB recognises the importance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as contributors to economic growth and development in our Region. We welcome the opportunity to partner with Caribbean Export to give women-owned businesses the support they need to gain better access to financing. We view WE-Xport as another opportunity for the Bank to directly advance women’s entrepreneurship, and help women business owners overcome one of the greatest obstacles they face when looking to grow their businesses—unlocking financing,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB.
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.
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.