Successor Cotonou Agreement must take into account Region’s vulnerabilities – CARIFORUM Council of Ministers

The successor to Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States and the European Union must take into account the inherent and exogenous vulnerabilities of the Caribbean Forum of the ACP States (CARIFORUM) as critical elements in the negotiations.

A Statement of the CARIFORUM Council of Ministers said that successor agreement also had to the take into account the development priorities of the ACP, including CARIFORUM’s priorities, and must aim at sustainable, inclusive and resilient development of the ACP regions.

The Council of Ministers met in St. Kitts and Nevis, 26-27 March, 2018.

At the opening ceremony, CARIFORUM Director General, Mr. Percival Marie, said that the meeting was timely and extremely vital. (more…)

 

Regional stakeholders craft new strategies on drug abuse prevention

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.

Vice Chairman of the National Drug Council, D. Michael Morton (2nd right) thanked CARICOM, OAS and EU officials
Vice Chairman of the National Drug Council, D. Michael Morton (2nd right) thanked CARICOM, OAS and EU officials

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STATEMENT ON ENSLAVEMENT OF AFRICAN MIGRANTS IN LIBYA

Community-Council_Jan_

The Community Council of Ministers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), at its first sitting of 2018, expressed concern at the reports of the dehumanizing situation of African migrants in Libya being auctioned into slavery by criminal elements.

Ministers joined in solidarity with the statements made by African and European leaders at the 5th African Union-European Union Summit on 29-30 November 2017 calling for “an immediate end of these criminal practices” and with that of the United Nations Security Council on 7 December 2017 condemning “such actions as heinous abuses of human rights”.

Ministers also welcomed the statement by the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord of Libya denouncing “slavery and human trafficking” and committing to take action against the reported crimes.

Given the history, lessons and effects of slavery, the Council underscored the need to condemn this gross violation of human rights. As stated in 2007 by then Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, on the occasion of the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, slavery should “never again be experienced in old or new forms”.

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…)

BVI launches Flood-Resilient SMART Communities Project

Three flood-prone communities in the British Virgin Islands to get help (Photo via Caribbean News Service)
Three flood-prone communities in the British Virgin Islands to get help (Photo via Caribbean News Service)

December 28, 2017, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Three flood-prone communities in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) will soon benefit from a project that will help them build resilience to that particular climate change impact.

The Establishing Flood-Resilient SMART Communities through Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Partnerships project will target the communities of Sea Cow’s Bay and East End/Long Look on Tortola, and Great Harbour on the sister island of Jost Van Dyke.

The project is being funded through the Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF), which is managed by the Caribbean Development Bank. It is a collaborative effort among the Government of the British Virgin Islands through the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), and several non-profit organisations, including the Adventist Development Relief Agency, Rotary Family of BVI, BVI Red Cross and the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society. CDRRF funded the project to the tune of USD649,500.

 “The devastation experienced in the Caribbean during the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season is a reminder that tackling the impacts of climate change in one of the world’s most disaster-prone regions must be a matter of urgency,” said Claudia James, Project Manager, CDRRF, CDB. “CDRRF is pleased to help Borrowing Member Countries build greater resilience to these hazards, which continue to threaten the Region’s social and economic development.”

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