CARICOM, China discuss strengthened cooperation in margins of CELAC Forum

Suriname’s Foreign Minister Ms Yldiz Pollack-Beighle greets China’s Foreign Minister Mr Wang Yi at the meeting
Suriname’s Foreign Minister the Hon. Yldiz Pollack-Beighle greets China’s Foreign Minister Mr. Wang Yi at the meeting

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has signalled its interest in working with China to ascertain how its goals and priorities can be best linked with existing, new and emerging development initiatives from the East Asian country.

Foreign Ministers of the nine CARICOM countries which recognise the People’s Republic of China met with their Chinese counterpart, Mr. Wang Yi,   on Sunday, 21 January, 2018, in the margins of the CELAC-China Forum (CCF) Second Ministerial Meeting that took place in Santiago, Chile, on 19-22 January, 2018.

“Concessional development funding is essential for the building of economic and climate resilience to serve as the platform for our sustainable development.” – Chair of COFCOR, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Senator Maxine McClean

In remarks at the meeting, Chair of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Senator Maxine McClean, underscored the importance CARICOM attached to the existing Caribbean-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, and the Caribbean-China Consultations. The latter was held in May 2016, and is expected to take place again later this year.

Describing those consultations as “valuable mechanisms for continued dialogue and cooperation,” she said the Community also saw the One Belt, One Road initiative China announced in Santiago, as a “very important cooperation and development mechanism.” (more…)

Clear link between sustainable energy and sustainable development – Dr. Devon Gardner

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Energy Programme Manager at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, Dr. Devon Gardner said Monday that there were clear linkages between sustainable energy and sustainable development.

Delivering remarks at the launching of CARICOM Energy Month at the Quiskeya University, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Dr. Gardner referred to CARICOM’s Five-Year Strategic Plan. He said that the economic, social and environmental resilience targeted by the Plan could be derived from suitably designed energy systems and projects that could positively contribute to environmental protection, water production and food security, for example.

“The catalytic role of the energy sector has become evident too for other socioeconomic issues, such as the enabling of education, health and sustainable agriculture, and creating jobs”, he said.

The launch took the form of a half-day mini-symposium, which focused on the expectations and opportunities of the CARICOM’s Energy Policy, Roadmap and Strategy as well as Haiti’s sustainable energy pathway, highlighting realistic options and priority actions. An exhibition which featured projects and technologies of private sector energy companies and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), was held after the symposium. A section of the exhibition was dedicated to presentations of prototypes and project models designed by University engineering students. President of Haiti, His Excellency Jovenel Moise, addressed the opening ceremony and visited the exhibition site at the Quiskeya University.


Climate Change Vulnerability: OECD head meets with Prime Minister Allen Chastanet

St. Lucia News Online – With climate change reality confronting the Caribbean, OECS Chairman and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Hon. Allen Chastanet has met with the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Secretary General H.E Angel Gurria to examine ways in which to bolster Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the region.

The meeting comes in the wake of three disastrous hurricanes, two of which decimated Dominica, the British Virgin Islands, Barbuda and Puerto Rico.

Speaking from OECD Headquarters in Paris, Prime Minister Chastanet said unprecedented events suggested that a new era of climate reality was upon the Caribbean and that an enhanced international development assistance framework was urgently needed to combat what was likely to be severe growing threats to the region.

“As one Caribbean family spread across Small Island Developing States (SIDS), we don’t lack resilience but we do lack disaster management resources and the meetings I have had with Secretary General Gurria has proven fruitful in fortifying OECD assistance” said Prime Minister Chastanet. (more…)

Regional statisticians identify 113 core Indicators for SDGs

Ms. Prayma Carrette
Ms. Prayma Carrette

Regional statisticians have listed an initial 113 core Indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

The statisticians identified the core Indicators during a three-day meeting held in Dominica late last month at which a CARICOM Technical Working Group (TWG) on SDGs was established.

The criteria for the CARICOM recommended core Indicators include linkages to the CARICOM Five-Year Strategic Plan, as well as national development plans and priorities of Member States. In addition, the Indicators must be able to aid in monitoring the diverse population groups in CARICOM on the key challenge of the SDGs to leave no one behind. The Indicators also should reflect the unique vulnerabilities of CARICOM Member States as Small Island Developing States (SIDS ), and have the scope for national, regional and international comparability.

A second set of 35 Indicators was also identified.


Region moves to develop core indicators for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development


Dr. Philomen Harrison, Director, Regional Statistics, CARICOM Secretariat
Dr. Philomen Harrison, Director, Regional Statistics, CARICOM Secretariat

Regional statisticians began meeting in Roseau, Dominica, on Monday to develop core indicators as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) moves towards fulfilling the requirements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At a Technical Workshop on the Indicator Framework for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, statisticians will craft robust recommendations on the core indicators for further review towards approval by the Standing Committee of Caribbean Statisticians (SCCS) and ultimately to the organs of the Community for endorsement.

The meeting will also develop a Technical Working Group (TWG), procedures for its operation/functioning, and also make recommendations on its work programme and on the way forward. Member States have been keen on establishing the TWG and 10 have already volunteered to participate.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr. Philomen Harrison, Director, Regional Statistics at the CARICOM Secretariat, pointed out that the SDGs “will be it us for a long time, and therefore the development of this TWG and its work” were critical and timely. The SIDS framework SAMOA Pathway must also be taken on board, she said.   (more…)