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CARICOM Communique coming out of 33rd Inter-Sessional Meeting held in Belize

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Belize, March 11, 2022 – Several agreements were signed by the CARICOM states in attendance of the 33rd Inter-Sessional meeting in Belize last week, including a protocol to change the definition of what is a CARICOM national.

The final Communique informs that an agreement was also signed between Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Grenada to allow enhanced cooperation among member states.

 

COVID-19 

CARICOM leaders have also pledged to work together to get to a higher rate of Covid-19 vaccination and the plan is to also mount a regional campaign to “combat disinformation that encourages vaccine hesitancy.”

CARICOM heads of government also agreed to a ‘regional strategy for manufacturing vaccines in the region. The move is a significant one, as the possibility of another pandemic demands that our small island states not be in a waiting pattern as has been the case in the current Coronavirus pandemic.

It took months for regional countries to get the vaccine, despite global promises of equity in distribution.

 

TRADE, ENERGY & FOOD

When it comes to Energy and Trade and Climate Change, CARICOM leaders have coalesced around the need for ‘urgent attention’ when it comes to the development of an energy strategy in respect of fossil fuels and renewables.’

An action plan to hasten the implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy has also been approved.

Heads of State agreed that the CSME is the Caribbean’s best option for beating the economic downturn caused by Covid-19 and making the region stronger, saying that ‘urgent and immediate action was needed.’

This means the CSME is now much closer to fruition in policy.

The secretariat will investigate the ten major no- food items imported into the region that we can make ourselves in the Caribbean, as they could be big investment opportunities.

Food security was also addressed with Guyana and Suriname both offering up land for the production of major import foods. There were also promises made to modernize food production in the Caribbean with greater use of technology and emphasis on human resource development.

Guyana, in particular will train 30 people in the construction of shade houses, a move aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and output.

The Heads of Government who attended the meeting based on the agreement signed rallied around the call for integration made at the start of the meeting and have pushed CARICOM that much closer to the single market.

Caribbean News

Yellow Fever Outbreak in Region and Beyond, Travellers Warned

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

#YellowFever#Caribbean, April 10, 2024 – Reports say there is an outbreak of Yellow fever in the Caribbean according to the Department of Health and official government advice website, Travel Health Pro, and travelers are being warned to be vigilant. The authorities say the outbreak is also in parts of Africa, and Central and South America.

Guyana and Peru so far have seen two cases. Brazil reports the disease in monkeys, an indication that it is spreading across the ccounty. Colombia has seen 3 cases.

In South America, between January 1 and March 18 2024, there have been seven confirmed cases, four fatal.

Yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and can cause potentially fatal hemorrhagic illness. Fortunately, it can be prevented with vaccination and so the World Health Organisation (WHO) is advising people ages nine months and older, traveling to the affected areas, to get vaccinated.

 

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Caribbean News

Four Year Old Beheaded Trinidad 

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

#Homicide#FourYearOld#TrinidadandTobago, April 9, 2024 – Trinidad was left in shock and sorrow with the beheading of a four year old girl, reportedly by her stepfather, early Tuesday April 9, at her home in Arouca, a town in the East-West Corridor of Trinidad and Tobago. The Police informed that when they arrived on the scene, the head of the little girl, identified as Amarah Lallitte, was in one room and her body in another.  

 

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Caribbean News

CariSECURE 2.0 Equipping Youth to Take Charge Against Crime

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Bridgetown, 9 April, 2024 – Amidst rising concerns over citizen security in the Caribbean, a deliberate effort is being made to empower the region’s youth to step into leadership roles and drive change from within. Through a free, online course by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), youth will be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle pressing security challenges head-on.

The “Youth on the way to Peace and Security” course is being launched regionally as part of CariSECURE 2.0 (CS2.0), which works to reduce youth involvement in crime and trafficking in persons (TIP) in the region. It will run from 16 April – 3 May, with support from InfoSegura.

This course comes at a crucial time when security issues like crime and violence are on the rise in the Caribbean. By the end of the course, participants will have improved understanding of regional security challenges, enhanced leadership skills, and greater opportunity to network with peers and experts around the region, empowering them to take leadership roles in regional conversations and citizen security activities.

Maia Hibben, Project Manager for CariSECURE 2.0, underscored the significance of engaging young people in matters of citizen security.  ” Throughout the life of our project, input from young people has been invaluable,” she said. “Whether it be helping to craft national workplans to reduce crime, developing a roadmap for youth empowerment in the Caribbean, or creating digital solutions to improve crime reporting as planned for this year, youth have proven that their perspectives are indispensable. This course is just another way for youth to strengthen their skills to address regional security challenges.”

By building capacity of young leaders to address security challenges and promote social cohesion, the course contributes directly to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 16, towards Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.

The course will offer lessons in the current mechanisms that impact youth decision making, insight into youth citizen security challenges in the Caribbean, and give practical guidance on the positive roles participants can play in conflict resolution, with complementary webinars, podcasts and practical resources tailored to the English-speaking Caribbean. It is free of charge and open to participants from all backgrounds, regardless of age, nationality, or level of experience. A certificate will be awarded upon completion.

Register for the course by 15 April: escuelavirtualpnud.org/login/index.php?lang=en

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