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Premier Hon. Sharlene L. Cartwright Robinson and UKOT Leaders meet in London to begin negotions on BREXIT

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London, England, February 16, 2017 – The Premier and Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade, Honourable Sharlene L. Cartwright Robinson, this week joined other leaders of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOT) in London at an extraordinary Joint Ministerial Council (Overseas Territories – Europe Negotiations) (JMC (OT-EN)) Meeting specifically arranged to begin preliminary negotiations with the United Kingdom (UK) Government in anticipation of the enactment of Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon and Britain’s exit from the European Union.
The two-day meeting of the JMC (OT-EN), which was agreed in London back in October last year among the Overseas Territories (OT) Leaders during the annual Joint Ministerial Council Meeting as the primary forum for dialogue on the UK’s exit from the EU, sought to facilitate political engagement and collaboration between the UK Government and the Governments of the Overseas Territories to ensure that OT’s requirements are taken into consideration in the preparations of the UK to exit the EU.
Among the opportunities presented by the forum was the discussion on areas of opportunity for EU cooperation and collaboration with the OTs that may be affected during the period that the UK remains a member of the EU; the basis for a future relationship between the UK, OTs and EU; and it further provided a road map for future engagement at the Ministerial and Official level to ensure that matters agreed at the forum are upheld during UK negotiations on their exit from the EU.
JMC (OT-EN) was hosted by the Rt. Hon. Baroness Anelay of St. Johns DBE Minister of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Mr. Robin Walker MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, DExEU, and was attended by leaders of twelve members of the Overseas Territories of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA) which includes: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, St Helena and Ascension Islands, Tristan Da Cunha and The Turks and Caicos Islands.
During the week-long visit, Premier Cartwright Robinson also had three other key engagements: a bilateral meeting with Baroness Anelay on key areas of concern for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government, among which are national security, border protection and policing, human rights concerns and SIPT funding; a meeting with the Minister of State for Security, Hon. Ben Wallace MP on proposed amendments to the Criminal Finances Bill, which if passed in the UK Parliament could see the introduction of open registries in British Overseas Territories sooner than originally anticipated; and an Introduction and Photocall Session and Tour along with the other leaders, with the Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP, The Prime Minister at No. 10 Downing Street in London.
While in the UK, the Premier also hosted receptions in London and Manchester, where the she addressed the Turks and Caicos Islands students and diaspora on matters of national priority and the focus of her Government, and further had the opportunity to hear from attendees on matters of interest to them. As an advocate for the development and empowerment of young people, the Premier found the evenings informative and invigorating and noted that she looks forward to engaging with the diaspora further when she next visits London in June of this year for the next OT-EN and Pre-JMC meetings.
Premier Cartwright-Robinson returned to the TCI to attend the meeting of the House of Assembly that was scheduled on Monday, February 13, 2017 in the capital, Grand Turk.
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Bahamas News

Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Will US President Biden deliver on Climate Change funding?

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, October 1, 2022 – US President Joe Biden has reiterated his promise that low income countries, which are also low carbon emitters will receive increased climate aid from the US to the tune of $11 billion per year.

The President was speaking at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly recently where he maintained his administration was working with Congress to get the funds which would ‘help lower-income countries implement their climate goals and ensure a just energy transition.’

The plan was announced in September 2021 and is a reflection of the USA’s part in the 2010 global pledge made by developed countries to give $100 billion annually in climate financing to developing nations each year.  Biden has indicated that the plan will be in effect by 2024.

While he stressed at the UN that the need is ‘enormous’ the President is having trouble convincing lawmakers at home.  So far the funding which must be approved by Congress has not materialized. The United States Congress is known for having a particularly tight hold on the national purse in regards to climate change funding.

In fact congress dedicated only a little over $1 billion to climate change this year according to Bloomberg.  The US also has a history of promising funding for climate change but not delivering on those high priced promises.

Whether this $11 billion will actually get to nations like those in the Caribbean region is yet to be seen.

This year, the General Assembly heard from 190 speakers, including 76 Heads of State, 50 Heads of Government, four Vice-Presidents, five Deputy Prime Ministers, 48 Ministers and seven Heads of Delegations according to General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi as he summed up the first in-person General Debate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Caribbean News

Hurricane Ian impact on Cayman Islands

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, October 1, 2022 – The Cayman Islands experienced fierce winds and high seas from Hurricane Ian on Monday, as the storm passed offshore, causing little lasting damage.

Some areas on the island experienced flooding as low-lying condo complexes and some residential back roads were inundated with water. Almost 4,000 homes were without power on Monday; however, most had electricity restored by the evening.

There were also no reports of any injuries, deaths, or serious structural damage.  The country started its restoration process on Monday afternoon, clearing debris from the roads, surveying the damage and providing support to residents where needed.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, Premier of the Cayman Islands Wayne Panton said he was pleased with how residents handled the situation.

“While we have been very fortunate to have been spared the worst of a potentially very serious storm, I’m extremely pleased to have seen the efforts made by the Caymanian public to prepare for ‘the worst, while praying for the best. In this situation, this is simply the safest, most strategic thing to do,” the Premier said

Despite the all-clear being issued on Monday evening, the Ministry of Education announced that government schools will remain closed to students until Wednesday, 28 September.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, authorities have declared emergencies in six areas, with forecasters warning of storm surges on the coast along with flash floods and mudslides.

Tens of thousands of people were told to leave their homes and seek shelter. Cuba could see up to 12 inches of rain from Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian dramatically intensified and is blamed for at least two dozen deaths in Florida; where the storm struck with near category five force winds and a near 20 foot storm surge.

Over 700 rescue operations were activated in Florida in the aftermath of the storm, which is still wreaking havoc in the U.S.

 

Cayman photo credit:  RC Cord

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