UN SG lauds CARICOM leadership on global issues

 

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As the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and United Nations (UN) meet in New York, USA, to discuss how the international body can better support the Region’s strategic goals, UN Secretary-General, His Excellency António Guterres, has lauded CARICOM’s leadership on many pressing global issues.

Speaking at the opening of the 9th Biennial CARICOM-UN General Meeting in New York on Thursday, 20 July, the UN SG said:

“This year marks the 25th anniversary of the decision by the General Assembly to grant the Caribbean Community observer status. Since then, we have worked productively together and, today, our organisations are both undergoing processes of review and strategic planning to better face the challenges of a changing international reality. We are grateful to have benefited from your leadership on many pressing global issues.”


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CARICOM continues advocacy for SIDs at UN

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Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, has renewed his call for International Financial Institutions and development partners to review the criterion for access to concessionary development financing by small developing states.

He told the opening of the 9th Biennial CARICOM-United Nations (UN) General Meeting in New York on Thursday, 20 July, 2017, that access based on GDP per capita was not an adequate measurement since it did not take account of the inherent vulnerabilities of Small Island Low Lying Coastal Developing States (SIDs).

CARICOM and the UN Systems held the two-day meeting to build on areas of cooperation in relation to the regional and global development agenda.

As the Community leverages this engagement, Ambassador LaRocque said small and vulnerable states were not a factor in shaping the global changes which impact them. (more…)

Heads put spotlight on tackling scourge of NCDs

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CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell of Grenada receives a Blood Pressure Apparatus from CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General Human and Social Development, Dr. Douglas Slater

The Region’s on-going challenges with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) came before the Thirty-Eighth CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in Grenada on Thursday.

This year is the tenth anniversary of the 2007 signing of the Port-of-Spain Declaration through which CARICOM Heads committed to tackling the scourge of NCDs.

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CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, receives a Blood Pressure Apparatus from Assistant Secretary-General for Human and Social Development Dr. Douglas Slater

As a signal of the Region’s commitment to stepping up the fight, each Head was given a Blood Pressure Apparatus, and a symbolic presentation was made to CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. Keith Mitchell and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

CSME remains best vehicle for sustainable economic growth in the Region – CARICOM SG

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SG Heads 2017Secretary General of the Caribbean Community, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, is of the view that the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is still the most viable way for sustainable development in the Region. He made this disclosure at the Opening Ceremony of the Thirty Eighth Regular Meeting of the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government on Tuesday evening in Grenada. He said the task now was to ensure the private sector fully utilises its provisions.

“We must move to strengthen the enabling environment to support their efforts. Trade facilitation and the ease of doing business at the regional level are at least equally important as fiscal incentives. We must come to a conclusion on issues such as government procurement, harmonisation of customs rules and regulations and transparent harmonised sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

Citing results from an Inter-American Development Bank study, the CARICOM Secretary-General explained that if the Region addressed challenges associated with regional transportation, inter-regional trade could be doubled. This, he said would have a positive effect on competitiveness and external trade as well as Member States’ ability to attract investment.  He also said that a new CARICOM Multilateral Air Services agreement – which will be an item on the Heads’ agenda – could result in reduced freight rates and passenger airfares and increase air transport services, leading to more options for consumers and expanded inter-regional tourism.

Another topic on the agenda for the Heads of Government will be the Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy. Secretary-General LaRocque said the Commission on Human Resource Development would present the Strategy, which will address the development of skills for the 21st century economy and society. He said that the important factor in education and training was providing employable skills, opening the mind to identify opportunities and encouraging the process of lifelong learning. According to him, the plan was to have a globally competitive innovative and seamlessly integrated education system for the Region by 2030. (more…)

 

Grand Anse and beyond

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Today, we continue to place the spotlight on Grenada ahead of the Thirty-Eighth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM. We flash back through Grenada’s milestones as a champion of closer integration among the territories of the Region. The Regular Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government will be held from 4 – 6 July at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort. The Opening Ceremony will be held this afternoon at the Grenada Trade Centre.

 

Remembering the Landmark Grand Anse Agreement, the genesis of the CSME

Once again, Grenada became associated with  another major milestone in regional integration.  The regional integration architecture was re-fuelled in 1989 in Grand Anse, Grenada. The Grand Anse Declaration and Work Programme for the Advancement of the Integration Movement symbolised a new era of integration embodied in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, the Community’s people centred- flagship programme.

In Grande Anse, Heads of Government articulated their vision to advance the regional integration process through the establishment of a single economic space, with social and cultural spin-offs. The objectives included more efficient use of labour, natural resources, capital and other factors of production; competitive production for a greater variety and quantity of products and services to trade with other countries; and the resulting improvement in standards of living. (more…)