Caribbean States to make strong showing at OAS Tourism Ministerial Congress in Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (March 7, 2018) – The XXIV Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-Level Authorities of Tourism, which will be held in Guyana on March 21– 22, is attracting participation from a large number of Caribbean States that are members of the Organisation of the American States (OAS). Of the 13 Caribbean countries that are members of the OAS, 10 have so far indicated their intention to be represented at the Congress, being held for the first time in Guyana.

This robust indication of participation on the part of the Caribbean region vindicates efforts made over the years by Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Mr. Hugh Riley, to extend the Caribbean’s voice and influence in hemispheric tourism matters, and even to bring more of the Hispanic and Francophone Caribbean within the fold of the CTO. The Caribbean’s strong presence in Guyana is also evidence of an interest, on the part of the English-speaking Caribbean, in raising its tourism profile in the hemisphere of the Americas and in having a greater say in shaping the Tourism development agenda.

The Secretary General of the CTO and several Tourism Ministers of Caribbean States will be making presentations at the OAS Congress in Georgetown on a range of issues ranging from Building Tourism resilience to enhancing multi-destination travel and strengthening business alliances in the Americas. In addition, there will be presentations at the Congress by a range of industry experts, CEOs, academics and others on various aspects of the theme – Connecting the Americas through Sustainable Tourism.  (Guyana Department of Public Information Press Release)

‘There is still work to be done’ – PANCAP Director in International Women’s Day message

Message from the Director of PANCAP, Mr. Dereck Springer, on the occasion of
International Women’s Day 2018
Thursday 8 March
Theme: “Press for Progress”

The observance of International Women’s Day is more significant than ever in 2018.  From well-organised marches to workshops and events in our region, women continue to make their fight for equality in health, economics, politics among others a very relevant part of our daily discussions.  While progress has been made since the days of the suffragettes, there is still work to be done.

I endorse the 2018 theme “press for progress” as the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings revealed that gender parity is over 200 years away.  This makes it even more critical for women and men to sincerely support advocating for equal pay and especially more access to health and sexual reproductive services.  There has never been a more important time to keep motivated and find ways of removing barriers to fast-tracking equal access for women.

In 2014, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) called on Caribbean countries to guarantee all women access to essential health services and interventions.  Have we heeded this call?  Are we adequately vigilant that our women and girls are receiving equal access to health care services?  These are questions that we should be constantly examining, not just on International Women’s Day, but at every opportunity possible in recognition that women and girls have invaluable contributions to make to our society.

International Women’s Day (IWD)
International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first March 8 IWD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women equality. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific.

CDEMA to recommend ways to expedite implementation of building codes

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government have asked the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) with recommending how the Community could expedite the implementation of building codes.

This discussion took place at the just concluded Twenty-Ninth Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, which prioritised discussions on building a climate-resilient Community on its packed agenda. The decisions of the Conference were recorded in the Communique that was issued following the Meeting at the Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel in Haiti under the Chairmanship of His Excellency Jovenel Moise, President of Haiti.

Heads of Government recognised the implementation of building codes as a key mechanism to safeguard critical infrastructure, and as an important component of the Community’s resilience agenda.

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Unusual weather across Region sparks concern; but no tsunami threat

Even as preparations are underway for the upcoming hurricane season that is predicted to be another active one, concern is high across the Region at the manifestation of the changing climate.

Over the past few weeks, the Caribbean has been experiencing unusually high tides, massive waves, flooding and coastal erosion.

Warnings of high surf, large waves, rip currents and floods have been issued several Member States, but there is no tsunami alert for the Region, contrary to information that has been circulating that some 30 countries are on tsunami alert following a large earthquake in Costa Rica. (more…)