No justice in de-banking Caribbean countries, says Antigua and Barbuda PM

GROS ISLET, St Lucia — There is no justice in the de-banking and barring of small Caribbean states from the international payment system, said Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who has lead responsibility for financial matters in the quasi-Cabinet of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government.

The prime minister was speaking at a forum in Saint Lucia on Thursday organised by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

“De-banking and de-risking undermines the ability of small countries to meet their development agenda and injures them without any mechanism for remedy”, Browne told the audience of fellow Caribbean prime ministers, central bank and financial officials and private sector representatives.

Read more at: Caribbean News Now

Slovenia, CARICOM forging closer relations

The Republic of Slovenia and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are moving to further deepen relations.

New Ambassador of Slovenia to CARICOM, His Excellency Stanislav Vidovič, in a ceremony for the presentation of his credentials to Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Wednesday, pointed to several areas for closer cooperation including sustainable development, environmental issues, climate change and economic integration.

He said as a member of the European Union, Slovenia took an active role in developing the Joint Caribbean EU Partnership Strategy and was one of the chief proponents of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and CARIFORUM which was signed in 2008, the year Slovenia held the EU Presidency.

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Caribbean felt full brunt of climate change in 2017

Dominica hurricane

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,  CMC – In 2017, the Caribbean felt the full brunt of climate change with a warning that current trends indicate that there will be no respite.

Within a two-week period, Hurricanes Irma and Maria brought home the reality of the impact of climate change as they churned their way across the Lesser Antilles destroying everything in their paths. Hurricane Harvey had in August set the stage for what was to come; with devastation in Houston, Texas, amounting to nearly US$200billion.

“The unprecedented nature of this climatic event highlights the unusual nature of weather patterns that continue to affect nations across the globe,” the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said in a message to United States President Donald Trump, as Harvey made landfall in the United States after whipping up strong winds and heavy rains in the Caribbean.

It took less than a month for his statement to bear fruit. Hurricanes Irma and Maria, two Category 5 storms left so many Caribbean islands devastated in September that the CARICOM Chairman and Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said “there can be no question that for us in the Caribbean, climate change is an existential threat”. (more…)

‘Looming’ issue of de-risking in Region remains high on CFATF agenda

Executive Director of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), Calvin Wilson has said that de-risking or the loss of correspondent banking relations is looming largely across the Caribbean region because of what is being perceived by international financial institutions as “high-risk jurisdictions operating in a high-risk region.”

Wilson is disagreeing with this perception on the basis that many of the countries have taken stringent steps to correct the deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, during their mutual evaluations. He disclosed that many of the formerly high-risk countries are now compliant or “largely compliant” with the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

ALBA issues Declaration on solidarity with Caribbean

Alba 2017 photo

The Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA) grouping has come out in support of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on a number of matters including graduation, reparations, de-risking, and climate change.

The support came in the form of a Declaration of solidarity with the Caribbean that was issued at the conclusion of the Fifth Meeting of ALBA’s Political Council, held in Havana, Cuba on Monday 10 April. CARICOM Member States which are members of ALBA were represented at the Meeting.

Please see Declaration below:

We the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas – People Trade Treaty, at the 15th meeting of its Political Council in Havana:

Recognize the need to face together the challenges in order to achieve sustainable development, including our vulnerabilities as Caribbean countries and in particular as Small Island Developing States and countries in low lying coastal zones, especially in the economic and environmental areas, and to build more just and equitable societies; (more…)