“The graduation of small states to Middle and High Income status is one example of the policy prescriptions that do not take account of the vulnerabilities that significantly affect our ambition to achieve resilient and sustainable development.” OECS Chairman, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Hon. Allen Chastanet
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 — The Member States of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States have been working assiduously with the OECS Commission and their joint Embassy in Brussels to address the ongoing challenges raised by the European Union’s prescriptions on international standards on transparency and exchange of information in relation to financial services. 

The reality is that in an increasingly competitive and unpredictable global environment many traditional partners are advocating policies that promote national interests, many of those protective in nature and take very little account of the impact on small economies like ours.

OECS Chairman and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Hon. Allen Chastanet said that with the loss of preferential market access for bananas and sugar, and non-tariff barriers for other products, practically all of our economies have had to make difficult transitions from agriculture to full services such as financial services and tourism and these transitions have been made more difficult by the requirements of multiple external policies.

Read more at: OECS Secretariat

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

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.