Earl of Wessex returning to TCI, Official Royal trip with his wife Countess Sophie this Month
By Deandrea Hamilton and Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, February 11, 2023 – In mere days, members of the Royal Family will arrive in The Turks and Caicos islands for the first time since the turn of the millennium.
Magnetic Media learned of arrival of the prestigious guests via a police bulletin in circulation early Friday; it has since been confirmed by Governor Nigel Dakin. The Earl and Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie will land in The Turks and Caicos on February 22nd for a two- day visit.
The Earl is the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II and brother to King Charles III. Like the Queen in 1966 before them, Grand Turk will be their first stop, where they will meet the residents and elected representatives at a reception hosted by Governor Nigel Dakin at Waterloo.
“Here, as well as Government leaders, they will be introduced to some of our remarkable people; everyday heroes who go above and beyond the call of duty in the course of their daily lives,” Dakin said.
After that Providenciales will host the Royals where they will be briefed on the country’s border security, crime and immigration issues first hand as well as meet the people and witness ‘our extraordinary natural habitat including mangroves, unique Iguanas and the third largest Barrier Reef in the world’; witness the competitiveness of our school children; meet our sporting heroes and those working to mentor and empower our young,’ the Governor explained.
Royal Visits are a major undertaking for any country; Turks and Caicos has played host at least seven times ‘officially’ over the years, stretching as far back as the early 1900s as chronicled by the Turks and Caicos National Museum.
There was a 1928 visit by Prince George; the first Royal to travel to Turks and Caicos in an ‘unofficial’ stop aboard the HMS Durban on what was a humanitarian mission. In 1960, the first official Royal visit was by the Princess Royal, Princess Mary which happened in March that year on the island of Grand Turk.
In 1966, the most legendary Royal Visit to the TCI included the Queen and her husband and gave life to the now iconic South Caicos Regatta as the Royal Yacht Britannia sailed with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip aboard, greeted in the country’s ‘fishing capital’ by an island sloop flotilla. A regatta was held, awards were bestowed to Islanders and tours in Grand Turk with particular emphasis on the military prowess and role of TCI in the Space Race made the Royal moment particularly distinct.
By 1973, the then Prince Charles would officially drop in, playing two cricket matches. Turks and Caicos players soundly beat the UK marines, but the Prince would go down as having made 12 runs in a losing effort against South Caicos. Twenty years on, in 1993 Prince Philip, his father and the Duke of Edinburgh would repeat in a visit to the Turks and Caicos Islands seeing artifacts of the Molasses Reef Wreck.
History records that the late Duke is the Royal with the most visits to the archipelago. Prince Philip came again in 1977, passing through at the Grand Turk airport and on the 10th October 1980 when he returned as a co-pilot of an RAF Viscount aircraft, which refuelled at Grand Turk airport during its flight from Venezuela to Nassau.
Prince Andrew visited Turks and Caicos in 2000, and was the last Royal to officially make a stop in the territory. It was a three-day stay in March, where he dropped in at Clement Howell High, the Conch Farm, Cheshire Hall Plantation, Beaches Resort and enjoyed a display by the children of Grand Turk.
It is interesting to note that for Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, this will not be his first time in the Turks and Caicos. It is on record that he enjoyed the world-famous beauty of the islands some 22 years, visiting unofficially in 2001 and staying at the award-winning Parrot Cay.
Now, here in a Royal and Official capacity it is expected that a modern day Turks and Caicos will roll out a range of amazing cultural and scenic opportunities for the pair, giving the world a very public and unique look at the breath-taking wonders and natural beauties of the islands and islanders.
The Office of the Premier will prepare for several invited guests “representing different aspects of the islands’ commercial and civic life” who “will meet the Royals along with Premier Washington Misick and first lady Delthia Misick in a lunch he will host.”
The Governor expressed that he has very specific ambitions for the upcoming Royal visit.
“Our hope is that their Royal Highnesses leave these Islands both better informed but also intrigued by the natural beauty, vibrant society, the challenges and ambitious opportunities, these Islands represent.”
Kamala Harris to meet with Caribbean leaders in The Bahamas
#USA, June 5, 2023 – Kamala Harris, United States Vice President will journey to Nassau Bahamas in June for a top level meeting with Caribbean leaders, marking the first time she will visit the region since occupying office in 2021.
According to the White House in a statement, the meeting will bring attention to a range of regional issues. Harris and the Caribbean leaders will continue talks on the shared efforts to address the climate crisis, such as promoting climate resilience and adaptation in the region and increasing energy security through clean energy.
Additionally, the statement informed that Harris’ trip “delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance cooperation with the Caribbean in pursuit of shared prosperity and security, and in recognition of the common bonds and interests between our nations.”
The June 8th meeting builds on and strengthens the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030, which was launched by the Vice President and Caribbean leaders in Los Angeles at the Summit of the Americas as further mentioned by White House Statement.
CARPHA Observes World No Tobacco Day
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, June 5, 2023 – Tobacco use remains a major public health concern in the Caribbean Region. There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. The use of tobacco products in any form harms nearly every organ of the body, irrespective of whether it is smoked, smokeless, or electronic. Of all the forms of tobacco use, most common in the Caribbean region is cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. Using other tobacco products such as cigars or pipes also increases the risk for this disease.
Second-hand smoke exposure causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults; and acute respiratory infections and severe asthma in children. It is a preventable risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which are the leading cause of death, disease and disability among Caribbean people.
This year, World No Tobacco Day focuses on Grow Food, Not Tobacco. This campaign advocates for ending tobacco cultivation and switching to more sustainable crops that improve food security and nutrition. The campaign observed annually on 31 May, also informs the public on the dangers of direct use, and exposure to tobacco.
In the Caribbean Region, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death and disability – 76.8% of the total deaths (non-Latin Caribbean, excluding Haiti) were due to NCDs in 2016. Cardiovascular diseases 30.8% and cancer 17.2% are the leading causes of death due to NCD, both linked to tobacco use. Many of these persons die in the prime of their lives before the age of 70 years old. The prevalence of smokers for overall tobacco products ranged from 57.2% prevalence (95%CI 48.4 to 65.4%) to 16.2% (95%CI 11.2 to 23.0%). According to the Report on Tobacco Control in the Region of the Americas (2018) Caribbean countries have the highest levels of tobacco experimentation before the age of 10.
Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) “Smokeless does not mean harmless. Nicotine in e-cigarettes is a highly addictive drug and can damage children’s developing brains. Children and adolescents who use e-cigarettes at least double their chance of smoking cigarettes later in life. Preventing tobacco product use among youth is therefore critical. It is important that we educate children and adolescents about the harms of nicotine and tobacco product use. We must work to prevent future generations from seeing such products as “normal”.”
In 2008, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) endorsed the recommendation to ban smoking in public spaces. Later, in 2012, CARICOM regulated a standard for labelling retail packages of tobacco products with health warnings. Caribbean civil society organisations (CSOs), working in collaboration with local governments and international partners, have led the charge in fighting for significant gains in tobacco control in the Caribbean region.
Dr Heather Armstrong, Head, Chronic Disease and Injury: “At CARPHA, we believe that reducing the harm caused by tobacco use requires a collective approach, where government, civil society, and the individual play a critical role. CARPHA promotes the prevention of tobacco use in all forms and commitment to the WHO FCTC. The focus on tobacco control deals with the youth of the Region. Children and adolescents who use e-cigarettes at least double their chance of smoking cigarettes later in life.”
The Chronic Diseases and Injury Department of CARPHA provides leadership, strategic direction, coordinates and implements technical cooperation activities directed towards the prevention and control of NCDs in CARPHA Member States. CARPHA’s message for prevention of tobacco product use has spread across its Member States.
In 2018, CARPHA in partnership with the University of the West Indies (UWI), Global Health Diplomacy Program at the University of Toronto, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the Healthy Caribbean Coalition evaluated the Port of Spain Declaration to learn which mandates helped to prevent and control NCDs. Taxation, smoke-free public places mandate, and mandatory labelling of tobacco products are some of the leading policies making the biggest impact on reduction of tobacco use in the Caribbean regions.
CARPHA urges Member States to work together to prevent and reduce the use of all forms of tobacco products, and scale-up efforts to implement their commitments under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). By doing so, the negative impact of smoking and its consequences on the health of our people, especially the younger generation, and the tremendous burden on the economies of the countries in our Region, will greatly be reduced.
Hunger rates rise in Latin America and the Caribbean
June 5, 2023 – It’s an unfortunate reality for Latin America and the Caribbean as the number of people suffering from hunger surged by 30 percent; 56 million people now facing hunger, a large increase from 43 million in 2019.
It was revealed by Mario Lubetkin, Deputy Director General and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), where he further informed that the war in Ukraine, COVID-19, and the ongoing climate crisis are to blame for the surge.
Regarding the climate crisis, he emphasized that climate related challenges are on the rise as the region experiences combinations of droughts and floods; and to combat this, he expressed that proactive measures should be put in place to prepare farmers for potential severe impacts.
To help mitigate the surge in hunger rate, he put forth a three fold approach.
The first is the importance of effectively managing the current situation by whatever means necessary; for the second, he fingered the need for the creation of sufficient funds to mitigate the impact on farmers, for the third, he highlighted the need for collaboration among Governments, public sectors, and private sectors in order to mollify the burden of rising prices on consumers.
These highlighted efforts are in line with the aspirations and duties of the FAO which is devoted to supporting family farming, which makes up 80 percent of the workforce in the Agriculture sector.
Additionally, Lubetkin spoke of FAO’s commitment to quality products and brought attention to the United Nations Decade of Family Farming, which is geared towards eradicating hunger, ensuring food security, and promoting sustainable development in rural areas.
The organization also aims to enhance food security, a needed element in the regions, through innovation and digitization processes for example “1,000 digital villages,” one of their projects aids countries in using digital tools in agri-food systems and rural territories.
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