Regional Ministers of Culture, Officials to meet in Guyana for COHSOD this week

A colorful costume from the launch of CARIFESTA in October 2018 Photo: Jeff Mayers
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The Thirty-Sixth Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD), will be held on Thursday and Friday (June 6-7, 2019) to discuss matters in relation to Culture within CARICOM.

The Regional Ministers and Officials will convene at the CARICOM Secretariat located in Georgetown, Guyana. Dr. the Hon. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Trinidad and Tobago will give the feature address at the opening ceremony on Thursday morning. Dr. the Hon. George Norton, Minister of Social Cohesion of Guyana, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General and Dr. Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, will also speak at the opening.

Topping the agenda of the Meeting is CARIFESTA XIV, which will be held in Trinidad and Tobago August 16-25, 2019, under the theme ‘Connect, Share, Invest’.

The Council will be updated on the progress made with preparations for the Festival and issues related to its management, financing and sustainability. The Meeting will also review and adopt a new, permanent logo for the Regional roving mega-cultural festival.

THROWBACK: The Regional Cultural Committee with Minister of Community Development and the Arts Trinidad and Tobago Dr. the Hon Nyan Gadsby Dolly (c) after the opening ceremony for their meeting in Trinidad and Tobago in March 2019

At the Twenty-Second Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD), held in Guyana in February 2012, Ministers endorsed a strategic direction for a Draft Regional Development Strategy and Action Plan for the Cultural Industries in CARICOM. They agreed on ten priority actions arising from the Strategy for immediate implementation. Since then, a Revised Draft Regional Development Strategy for the Cultural Industries in CARICOM, 2020–2025, was developed and will be presented to COHSOD for approval.

The Meeting will also be apprised of the work of a number of regional and international partner agencies in support of culture and the creative industries. These include capacity-building, technical assistance and funding opportunities available to the culture sector in the Caribbean.

The Meeting will discuss two areas considered to be critical to the development of creative industries in CARICOM: a proposal for the establishment of the Caribbean Creative Industries Management Unit (CCIMU), developed by Caribbean Export; and the establishment of national and regional registry of artists and cultural workers.

The CCIMU is intended to provide business and other support services to the sector, to build the export capacity of artists and cultural entrepreneurs. The national registries and the regional registry are  important tools to complement the free movement provision for  artists and cultural workers under the CSME and enable greater market access to the European Union as Contractual Service Suppliers.

The matter of Reparations for Native Genocide and Slavery has been high on the agenda of the Community since July 2013, when the Thirty-Fourth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government agreed to pursue Reparations from the relevant European nations. COHSOD will receive an update on the progress made to date in advancing the claim; the achievements realised and the challenges faced by national committees and the regional CARICOM Reparations Commission in carrying out their mandates.



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