Even as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) continues to consider the creation of an Enlargement Policy, Heads of Government have mandated the Secretary-General to begin negotiations for Associate Membership by the Dutch territories of Curacao and Aruba.
During their Twenty-Ninth Inter-Sessional Meeting in Haiti, last week, the Heads of Government agreed that the Community would proceed, in the first instance, with those two applications. They said further consideration would be given to the applications from the French Overseas territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana.
The mandate to Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque is to start talks with Curacao and Aruba to better determine their expectations of Associate Membership as well as what benefits this relationship could yield for the Community.
March 6, 2018, Montego Bay, Jamaica – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on Monday signed an agreement to strengthen their partnership to help countries in the Region achieve key development goals in agriculture.
The Framework Cooperation Agreement makes provisions for CDB to partner with FAO to provide technical assistance for projects financed by the Bank. It will also allow countries with common membership in both organisations to directly engage FAO using loan or grant funds provided by CDB.
“CDB welcomes this new Agreement, which will broaden and strengthen collaboration between our Bank and FAO, which has been ongoing since 1986. Today, through the signing of this document, we are opening the door for our regional members to achieve even greater development gains in agriculture through our partnership,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB, who signed the Agreement on behalf of the Bank.
“We need closer ties between FAO and other development partners such as the development banks, if we are to tackle the main challenges that threaten regional food security – rising hunger and overweight, rural poverty and climate change”, said Lystra Fletcher-Paul, FAO’s Subregional Representative for the Caribbean.
For more than three decades, CDB and FAO have partnered on several interventions, including the development of an Agricultural Water Investment Plan for Belize; a study on the Feasibility of Rainwater Harvesting in the Caribbean; an Evaluation of Greenhouse Technology in Crop Production; and studies in support of CDB’s preparation and appraisal of agricultural development projects in Jamaica.
During the signing ceremony, Best also announced that CDB and FAO are collaborating on a study, “The State of Agriculture in the Caribbean”, scheduled for completion in May. It will detail key trends in agriculture in the Bank’s borrowing member countries, and highlight related opportunities for investments to support social and economic growth, poverty reduction, and sustainability.
The two organisations signed the Agreement in Montego Bay, Jamaica at the start of the FAO’s 35th Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, which is being attended by Ministers of agriculture, education, environment, health and social development from its member countries.
Protecting the Region from climate change impacts remains a priority for the Caribbean Development Bank. Through investments and partnerships, CDB is helping its Borrowing Member Countries build resilience to natural hazards and protect development gains in a range of sectors, including tourism, infrastructure, agriculture and renewable energy and energy efficiency.
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