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TCI New Governor, Current Governor and Minister deepen OPBAT

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By Dana Malcolm  

Staff Writer  

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 27, 2023 – The incoming TCI Governor is already at work for the islands, and last week joined the Minister of Immigration and the current Governor in the US for high-level, trilateral border security talks.  The meeting has unfolded as the Humanitarian crises in Haiti sends shockwaves to its closest neighbours with 9,000 migrants caught at sea by the US and Bahamas, and $5 million spent on repatriation by TCI last year alone.

The three countries have agreed to significantly enhance their 30-year-old OPBAT agreement.

In this vein, the Turks and Caicos signed a new Statement of Intent with The Bahamas and the United States Governments last week, in the presence of several high-level officials. Representing the Turks and Caicos was Governor Nigel Dakin, who is essentially the Minister of National Security and the Minister of Foreign Affairs all rolled into one.

Dakin was joined on the National Security trip, held in the US, by Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services; Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, incoming TCI Governor as well as various permanent secretaries.

“OPBAT offers admirable operational flexibility to all parties involved and is unique to the Northern Caribbean. While it cannot be replaced, it can – through mutual agreement and discussion – be enhanced to counter 21st century threats,” the statement read.

The success of OPBAT notwithstanding, in the face of these new threats, challenges the countries, “accept the need to leverage our authorities against complex threats, commit to coming together to combat transnational organised crime, and pledge ourselves to our common goal of security and stability in the northern Caribbean.”

The three countries signed off to ‘bear witness to the evolving threats in the region and acknowledge the need to dedicate resources to combating irregular migration, illegal financial transactions, unlicensed fishing, international criminal operations, and the trafficking of guns, goods, and people.’

The threats of the major displacement from extreme weather, ongoing crisis, and political instability were also acknowledged.

Last December the TCI visited The Bahamas in an effort to deepen security alliances with the neighbouring nation and the US, a goal which the country has now achieved, and one which Dakin describes as vital.

The trip introduced Selvaratnam to intricate immigration issues in the Turks and Caicos which she will oversee come June, as she takes over as the country’s head of National Security.

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RTCIPF Observes World Down Syndrome Day

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On March 21st, 2024, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force joined the international, regional and local communities in observing World Down Syndrome Day. 

Officers showed their support by wearing brightly coloured and mismatched socks to raise awareness. 

The head of the Safeguarding and Public Protection Unit, Assistant Superintendent of Police Grantley Williams, Training Manager Mrs Odessa Forbes and Media Relations Officer Denyse Renne visited the SNAP Centre and interacted with the students.

In a message to the TCI community, the RTCIPF noted that stereotypes perpetuate stigma and hinder inclusion, preventing individuals from reaching their full potential. 

Instead, the RTCIPF calls for individuals to foster an environment of acceptance and support where everyone is valued for who they are. 

By breaking down barriers and challenging misconceptions, we can create a more inclusive society where individuals with Down Syndrome are empowered to live fulfilling lives and contribute meaningfully to their communities and, by extension, the TCI. 

As law enforcement officers, we must protect and serve all members of society, regardless of their abilities. 

Let’s work together to ensure that individuals with Down Syndrome are treated with dignity and respect and that their rights are upheld.

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CARICOM speaks out on Climate Change, looking to May meeting to amplify call for Climate Funding

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March 3, 2024

 

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) remains on the frontlines of global climate crisis, an issue the Region has been aggressively advocating on for the past thirty years. Despite the many commitments and promises of international partners, the window of opportunity to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is rapidly closing.

Heads of Government are concerned that while COP 28 was widely regarded as a historic event, with the completion of the first global stocktake (GST), on progress in achievement of the Paris Agreement goals, the outcomes of GST show that emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise and the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of Parties will not keep global temperatures below the 1.5 degree goal enshrined in the Paris Agreement.

Heads of Government also expressed concern to be heading to COP 29 where a New Finance Goal will be articulated to replace the 100bn goal, which has not yet been met, even as developing countries require trillions to deal with the escalating impacts of climate change. Developed country parties have not provided enough finance at scale, technology and capacity building support required to help developing countries tackle their pressing needs to build their resilience, especially in adapting to the adverse and increasingly catastrophic impacts of climate change. The clear absence of definitive timelines for action and quantitative commitments for scaling up of investments, and particularly adaptation finance emerging out of COP 28, cause great concern to our Region.

The Conference noted that Small Island Developing States (SIDS), recognized as the most vulnerable group of countries and a special case for sustainable development, have been facing strong push back against the recognition of their special circumstances especially in the context of climate finance. There is limited international support for special allocations for SIDS within financing arrangements and available climate finance from international and private sources is limited, expensive and too onerous to access.

In light of the preceding, Heads of Government called for CARICOM to take a strategic, unified and coordinated approach to ensure that the Region remains influential in the climate and development arena through engagements with key partners and advocacy groups.

They called for renewed focus by the Region to advocate for inclusion of forests, nature-based solutions and blue carbon into market mechanisms with the aim of articulating clear regional positions and strategies.

Heads of Government reiterated the call for improved readiness programmes, simplified approval procedures, a change to the criteria for determining access to low-cost finance, and for the adoption of programmatic approaches to address the bottlenecks in accessing finance.

The Region reiterates its support for the Bridgetown Initiative’s call to expand capital adequacy of international financial institutions.

Heads recognized that the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States, scheduled to be held in Antigua and Barbuda, 27 – 30 May 2024, will be an inflection point for many of these discussions to be articulated. As such, the Region remains committed to participating in the Conference at the highest level.

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South Caicos Development Plans shared with Washington-Misick led Administration

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On Monday, 12 February 2024, the Premier led a delegation to tour the island of South Caicos to view the ongoing public and private sector projects, involving the remodelling and rebranding of the airport terminals, historical districts, and the East Bay Hotel.

The tour of the various developments reinforced the Government’s commitment to collaborating with stakeholders to boost the island’s activity and economy.

Photos courtesy of the TCI Office of the Premier

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