Minister Samuda calls on Caribbean to revisit agricultural priorities

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon. Karl Samuda says that the Caribbean needs to revisit its agricultural priorities.

Chief among these priorities are the region’s trade policy, food security, and its response to climate change, which he said is now emerging as one of the most significant impediments to growth and development.

Other priorities are nutrition and livelihood security; rural and agricultural development; local, regional and international market expansion.

Minister Samuda was participating in a panel discussion on “Agrifood trade in Latin America and the Caribbean in the current international context”, on day three of the 35th Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean being held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Rose Hall, Montego Bay from March 5-8, 2018.

Read more at: Jamaica Information Service

Following CARICOM-Mexico Summit – GDF to benefit from disaster response expertise of Mexican Army

Georgetown, Guyana – (March 7, 2018) With an already strong defence cooperation programme with several bilateral partners, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) is now set to benefit from the expertise of the Mexican Army in the area of disaster response and management. This was confirmed (on Wednesday) when President David Granger met with Mexico’s Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Ivan Robero Sierra Medel. The meeting was held at State House.

The Ambassador said that the move to strengthen military to military relations between the two countries came out of discussions at the CARICOM-Mexico Summit, which was held in Belize in October 2017. Upon the invitation of the Mexican Army, two GDF officers are to be identified to be part of a four-month training programme, which is scheduled to commence later this month at the National Defence College in Mexico City.

Guyana, Mexico strengthen military to military relations in the area of disaster response and management following CARICOM-Mexico Summit
Guyana and Mexico strengthen military to military relations in the area of disaster response and management following CARICOM-Mexico Summit

The Mexican Army has over 50 years of experience and expertise, particularly in the area of disaster response, an area in which the GDF can benefit significantly. Ambassador Sierra Medel explained that in Mexico, the military has a comprehensive strategy consisting of six pillars to deal with natural disasters. These include: search and rescue, evacuation of at-risk communities, interaction with the population during a crisis, protection of families and securing communities and these are the areas in which the two GDF officers will be trained.

Expressing his appreciation to the Ambassador and the Mexican Government, President Granger said, “I see this as the start of a relationship that we will continue to build on and over time we will be able to develop our own disaster response capabilities.”

See Joint Declaration – IV CARICOM-MEXICO Summit (25.10.17)

Read more at: Ministry of the Presidency

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.

CARICOM to monitor Grenada’s elections

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has deployed an electoral observer mission to monitor General Elections in Grenada to be held on Tuesday 13 March 2018.

The CARICOM Electoral Observer Mission (CEOM) was organised by the CARICOM Secretariat through its Directorate of Foreign and Community Relations, following an invitation from the Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the  Hon. Keith Mitchell. The Mission was invited to provide an impartial assessment of the conduct of the elections.

The Chief of Mission is Ms. Paulin Welsh, Director, Legal Affairs, Research and Development, in the Electoral Office of Jamaica. Other members are nationals of The Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. The Mission will be supported by two members of staff from the Secretariat. (more…)