Coordinated approach necessary to manage external relations – COTED hears

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.

(more…)

EU commits €665,000 to reduce spread of Zika in the Caribbean

EU representative, Daniela Tramacere
EU Ambassador, Daniela Tramacere

The European Union has committed €655,000 to help Caribbean States reduce the spread and impact of Zika and other mosquito borne diseases in the Region. The activities will be implemented by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) under the leadership of the Caribbean Forum for ACP States (CARIFORUM).

The specific objective is to support CARPHA’s activities to strengthen health systems to effectively monitor, prevent and control Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases in the Caribbean region, ultimately to contribute to improving public health of the Caribbean population.

The main activities are to promote early detection and effective monitoring of Zika, to enhance laboratory capacity for detection, to assist in the development of national registries of pregnant women exposed to Zika, and to strengthen public education and behaviour change regarding Zika and other airborne viruses. (more…)

CARICOM SG asks Sweden’s help on blacklisting issue

Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque during the accreditation ceremony on Wednesday
Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque during the accreditation ceremony on Wednesday

Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has urged Sweden to use its position in two major international organisations to highlight the unfair labelling of some of the Community’s Member States as “non-cooperative tax jurisdictions”.

Speaking at the CARICOM Secretariat’s Turkeyen, Guyana headquarters during the accreditation ceremony of Sweden’s news Ambassador to the Community, the Secretary-General said, “as we seek to diversify our economies and build our services sector, some of our Member States, engaged in financial services, have been labelled as “non-cooperative tax jurisdictions”. This is despite the fact that the countries in question are not so designated by the relevant global authorities, such as the Financial Action Task Force and the OECD Global Forum.”

“As a member of the EU and the OECD, Sweden can assist in encouraging these bodies to be guided by the informed position of the relevant global regulatory authorities and desist from their unnecessary seemingly punitive actions,” he added.

Please see more photos here (more…)

CARICOM opens environment policy, action plan for discussions

 

The consultations have been planned for Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, the OECS Sub-region and Trinidad and Tobago
The consultations on the draft CARICOM Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Action Plan have been planned for Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, the OECS Sub-region and Trinidad and Tobago

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat has opened the draft CARICOM Environment and Natural Resources Policy, as well as the Action Plan for national, sub-regional and regional discussions beginning early August.

The consultations have been planned for Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, the OECS Sub-region and Trinidad and Tobago involving wide-ranging stakeholders drawn from the public and private sectors, civil society, CARICOM Institutions, and academia. Discussions are scheduled for August 3-4 in Barbados, 7-8 in Guyana; 14-15, Jamaica; 17-18, Saint Lucia, and 21-22 in Trinidad and Tobago.

The consultations are supported by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund. (more…)

Outgoing CARICOM Chairman makes impassioned plea for closer unity

38cochog-facebook
Outgoing Chairman of CARICOM H.E. David Granger (R), interacts with The Hon. Andrew Holness, PM, Jamaica
Outgoing Chairman of CARICOM H.E. David Granger (R), interacts with The Hon. Andrew Holness, PM, Jamaica

“The Community, challenged by the constantly changing international situation, must redouble its efforts to ensure a more safe society for its citizens, more stable economies for its countries, deeper solidarity and a more secure hemisphere.”

This impassioned plea for closer unity within CARICOM was issued by outgoing Chairman, His Excellency David Granger, President of Guyana, in his address to the opening of the Thirty-Eighth CARICOM Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government.

His message last evening (4 July, 2017) at the Grenada Trade Centre, in Grand Anse, paralleled a similar charge by Heads of Government 28 years ago to deepen the integration process in response to the emerging geo-political order of that time.

Within the current international environment, replete with uncertainty and complexity, President Granger warned that the efficacy of the Community’s international advocacy could be impaired if efforts of coordination among the four pillars of CARICOM were weak. (more…)