GUYANA CHRONICLE Thursday, February 16, 2017
GUYANA CHRONICLE Thursday, February 16, 2017
About the Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government
THE Conference of Heads of Government which consists of the Heads of Government of the Member States is the supreme Organ of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and determines and provides its policy direction. In addition to this function, it is the final authority for the conclusion of Treaties on behalf of the Community and for entering into relationships between the Community and International Organisations and States. The Conference is also responsible for making the financial arrangements to meet the expenses of the Community, but has delegated this function to the Community Council. Decisions of the Conference are generally taken unanimously. THE CHAIRMAN’S COMMITMENT Assuming Chairmanship of CARICOM in January of this year, President David Granger of Guyana has pledged to continue to guide the community in the path of sustainable development. He has asserted that 2017 holds great promise for the region to advance its integration process which can only be possible through the involvement and participa-
By Ravin Singh ACTIVATED by the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas on July 4, 1973, the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) is a shared market, comprising 20 states and dependencies in the Caribbean that have collectively joined to expand trade and economic relations with international players. CARICOM emerged as a replacement to the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) (1965) which failed to allow the free movement of labor and capital, as well as the harmonization of industrial and for-
tion of all. He has since pointed out that this year marks the
mid-point of the community’s Five-Year Strategic Plan for the period 2015-
2019 - a foundational element in the Community’s Reform Process.
“That process is geared towards ensuring that our people feel the impact of
the integration movement in their daily lives. Integration is not merely about systems and institutions. It is mostly about people,” he has said. In examining economic development in the region, President Granger announced recently that the level of manufacturing is very low than what is expected. He reasoned that a combination of the expertise and the capital that is available in the island states, particularly tourism combined with the resources of the larger mainland states, could have faster economic growth; and the people of the Community could enjoy a higher standard of living. He contended too that the regional bloc has not been able to benefit fully from the single market. “At present, I don’t think we have benefited fully from the single market. There is still heavy penetration from major external manufacturers and this penetration is undermining local manufacturing capabilities and the very purpose for which the market was established,” the Chair said. And with CARICOM founded largely as an economic grouping, he said that it is time for the spotlight to be placed on economic integration.
eign policies throughout the region. An earlier effort was made at functional cooperation and political union in the region through the formation of the West Indies Federation in 1958. In 2002, the Treaty was revised to allow for the eventual establishment of a Single Market and Economy – termed CSME (CARICOM Single Market and Economy). The Community rests on four main pillars: economic integration, foreign policy coordination, human and social development, and security. These pillars, according to CARICOM, underpin the stated objectives of the Community. These include; to improve standards of liv-
ing and work; full employment of labour and other factors of production; accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development and convergence; expansion of trade and economic relations with Third States; enhanced levels of international competitiveness; organization for increased production and productivity; achievement of a greater measure of economic leverage; effectiveness of Member States in dealing with Third States, groups of States and entities of any description; and the enhanced coordination of Member States’ foreign and foreign economic policies and enhanced functional cooperation. Only fifteen participating members in CARICOM
are full members, leaving five members with Associate Member status. The 15 member-states include; Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. The Associate members include; Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands. Stretching from The Bahamas in the north to Suriname and Guyana in South America, the regional bloc comprises states which are considered developing countries. With the exception of Belize in Central America and Guyana and Suriname on the coast of South Amer-
ica, a l l Members and Associate Members are island states. According to CARICOM, the region is home to approximately sixteen million citizens, 60 per cent of whom are under the age of 30, and from the main ethnic groups of Indigenous Peoples, Africans, East Indians, Europeans, Chinese and Portuguese. While states are all relatively small, both in terms of population and size, there is also great diversity with regards to geography and population as well as the levels of economic and social development. The Community is multi-lingual; with English as the main language complemented by French and Dutch and variations of
these, as well as African and Indian expressions. CARICOM is the oldest surviving integration movement in the developing world and according to the Community, its achievements along the way are many. Its secretariat is located in Georgetown. “Great strides have been made, particularly through functional cooperation in education, in health, in culture, in security. Its Single Market functions, and it is a respected voice in international affairs because of a coordinated foreign policy” CARICOM contends.
CARICOM Chairman, President David Granger of Guyana (3rd left) and his team, including Foreign Minister Mr. Carl Greenidge (2nd left) met on Friday with CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (3rd right) and his team from the CARICOM Secretariat ahead of today’s 28th Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government to be held at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana. Others in the photo are (from left): Mr. Ivan Evelyn, Head of Protocol Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Guyana; Ms Audrey Waddle, Director of Foreign Affairs, Guyana; Ms Sharlene Phoenix, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Guyana; Mr. Neville Bissember, Adviser, Office of the Secretary-General; Charmaine Atkinson-Jordan, Chef-de-Cabinet, Office of the Secretary-General; Ambassador Colin Granderson, Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations, CARICOM Secretariat; and Mr. Joseph Cox, Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat.
GUYANA CHRONICLE Thursday, February 16, 2017
Heads of Government of CARICOM
Hon. Gaston Browne Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda
Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit Prime Minister of Dominica
The Most Hon. Andrew Holness Prime Minister of Jamaica
H.E. DesirĂŠ Delano Bouterse President of Suriname
Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie Prime Minister of the Bahamas
Dr. Hon. Keith Mitchell Prime Minister of Grenada
Hon. Donaldson Romeo Primier of Montserrat
Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart Prime Minister of Barbados
H.E. Brigadier (rtd.) David Arthur Granger President of Guyana
Hon. Allen Chastenet Prime Minister of St. Lucia
Dr. Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow Prime Minister of Belize
H.E. Jovenel Moise President of Haiti
Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis
Dr. Hon. Keith Rowley Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago
GUYANA CHRONICLE Thursday, February 16, 2017
-Guyana, Trinidad to re-establish MOU for cooperation in energy sector
WITH recent oil discovery positioning Guyana to become the breadbasket of the Caribbean, moves have been made to re-establish a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), for cooperation in the energy sector with Trinidad and Tobago. The MoU was initiated between the two countries in 2013 but has expired. Additionally, the two countries will move to resuscitate the Guyana-Trinidad and Tobago High Level Committee to deal with all the agreements between the two countries that have lapsed. This Committee will be revamped by March 30 and its first meeting will be convened in the Twin-Island Republic. These agreements were reached on Wednesday during a meeting between Guyana’s President David Granger and his Trinidadian counterpart Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley. Dr. Rowley arrived in Guyana on Wednesday for the 28th Inter-sessional Meeting of Heads of Government the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which com-
From left: Trinidad and Tobago’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Dennis Moses, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, President David Granger and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge mences today. The two parties discussed moving forward on a number of agreements and MoUs, which the two CARICOM countries have committed to over a number of
years; some of which were not adequately pursued. Addressing Dr. Rowley, President David Granger explained that Guyana would like to move forward in these areas.
“We are interested in food security. You are too, but we have the land space. We are embarking on the development of an oil and gas industry and you have decades of experience and
Help is here!
SPOUSES of Heads of Government of CARICOM leaders will meet today to discuss the ‘Every Caribbean Woman, Every Caribbean Child (ECWECC) initiative’ which seeks to provide opportunities to improve the lives of women, children and adolescents. The initiative focuses on four priority issues: teenage pregnancy; violence against women and children (including trafficking in persons); cervical cancer and mother to child transmission of HIV in the Caribbean. The forum of the spouses will be the first event of a two-day programme, which includes a Technical Meeting to hammer out specifics of the way forward for the initiative. First Lady of Guyana, and wife of CARICOM’s present Chair, Sandra Granger explained that the initiative evolved out of the Every Woman, Every Girl (EWEG) Initiative of former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon. She said that ECWECC took on board Caribbean realities, resulting in the four
First Lady of Guyana, Sandra Granger areas for priority intervention and the expanded focus to include the child, irrespective
of gender. Among those realities is the fact that the Caribbean
has the second highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the world, after sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated 20 percent giving birth before the age of 19. Meanwhile, cervical cancer (a vaccine-preventable disease) was recorded to have been the second leading cause of cancer deaths among Caribbean women aged 15 to 49, accounting for 13 per cent of all cancer cases and 10.4 per cent of all cancer deaths. Additionally, the high rate of violence against women and girls, which also involves trafficking in persons was pointed out as an area of concern. And according to Mrs. Granger, such trafficking was not limited to prostitution but included slave labour. In light of these issues, the Forum on the ECWECC initiative is expected to identify specific actions and interventions to address the underlying factors, gaps and challenges associated with the priority areas. In this process, it seeks to promote the synergies between national and regional agencies, programmes and
expertise,” he told the Trinidadian leader. The Head-of-State of Guyana noted too that while Guyana does not have the white sand and blue sea tourism product possessed
by other CARICOM countries, his country has a unique brand of eco-tourism. He added that together, the two countries can offer a consolidated tourism package to the world. Meanwhile, Dr. Rowley assured President Granger that the twin Island Republic is ready to offer its full support to Guyana and make available its diplomatic, economic and intellectual resources. He said too, that Guyana does not have to re-invent the wheel but rather it has the unique opportunity to examine and learn from the successes and failures of his country so as to develop the best model for its oil and gas sector. Also attending the meeting which was held at State House, were; Trinidad’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Dennis Moses; and for Guyana Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge, Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Raphael Trotman, Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Noel Holder and Director General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Audrey Waddell.
- CARICOM First Ladies, Spouses meet to design initiative for vulnerable groups policies; mobilise resources; and establish strategic partnerships for its interventions. Guyana’s First Lady has identified partnerships as being one of the essential elements for a successful initiative. Referring to the forum, she said “… invitees include regional and international partners who have expressed a willingness to come on board to assist…, providing resources, both financial and intellectual to push it [the initiative] forward”. The Forum is funded by Gilead Sciences, Inc., and organized by the Office of the First Lady of Guyana in collaboration with the United
Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat. Its projected outputs include a summary report capturing the plans for the implementation of the initiative and the establishment of the Caribbean Network of First Ladies. CARICOM Heads of Government endorsed the ECWECC initiative at their 37th Regular Meeting in 2016 in Guyana. The Report of the Forum is expected to be presented to them at their 28th Inter-Sessional Meeting which is currently taking place in Guyana.