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CARICOM Development Fund To Be Restructured
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday February 24, 2020 – So serious are the issues facing the region that its leaders have
decided to restructure the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) to enable it to raise
additional monies from individuals, companies, institutions, regional countries
and extra regional countries.
CARICOM Chairman, Barbados’ Prime
Minister Mia Mottley, said the issue of the CDF and its management was one that
had “bedevilled the Community for some time”, noting that it was created as a
way to assist disadvantaged countries, sectors, and regions.
“Member states have committed to capitalizing this Fund, but this will never be enough to do what needs to be done, particularly with all of the challenges that the region faces at this point in time…. I outlined a number of them and we keep seeing new challenges as we did with the COVID-19, and to that extent, therefore, we feel strongly that we need to revisit the structure of the CARICOM Development Fund,” she said on the heels of the 31st Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government which her country hosted.
Mottley added that the restructuring
would be long-term, explaining that the CDF would ultimately drive the development
of regional institutions that had been taken over by technological developments
which made them obsolete or incapable of being competitive.
As a result, she said a transition
period was needed since a middle developed country that was affected by a
climatic or other event would require an injection of capital in order to
The CARICOM chairman noted that going
forward, once the restructuring was done correctly, the Fund would be one of
the key pillars of the integration movement, allowing leaders to deal with the
disparities that exist as far as size and capacity were concerned, and carrying
all nations from the very large to the very smallest ones on the integration
She opined that in any Single Market
and Single Economy there would be winners and losers, pointing out that this
decision by heads of government would “make a significant difference” to the
At the end of the two-day summit, a number of agreements were also signed. Dominica signed the Protocol on the Public Procurement and an agreement on the Return or Sharing of Recovered Assets; the British Virgin Islands signed an agreement for the establishment of the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for the Education in Medicine and other Health Professions; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines signed the Protocol on Public Procurement and Declaration of Intent to Provisionally Apply the Protocol on Public Procurement.
CARICOM Heads of Government will meet in St Vincent and the Grenadines for their Regular summit from July 2 to 3, but they have promised to confer before that date by teleconference.
PAHO Calls for Action to Improve Childhood Cancer Survival in the Caribbean
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday February 24, 2020 – Paediatric cancer experts and health authorities convened by the Pan
American Health Organization (PAHO), together with the Hospital for Sick
Children (SickKids) and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, are calling for
stepped-up action to improve the survival rate for children suffering from
cancer in the Caribbean.
In the Caribbean and globally, cancer
is among the leading causes of death in children under age 15.
In high-income countries, more than 8
in 10 children with cancer are able to survive the illness, thanks to early
diagnosis and effective treatment. But in several Caribbean countries, two-year
overall survival is only about 55 per cent. Higher toxicity of cancer
treatments and patients’ abandoning their treatment are the main barriers to
successful outcomes, and experts say that strengthening health systems is the
best way to address these challenges.
“Childhood cancer treatment is very
cost-effective, and many more children’s lives can be saved by ensuring that
the health system is well equipped to diagnose and treat children with cancer
and provide support to their families,’’ said Silvana Luciani, head of PAHO’s non-communicable
The experts convened by PAHO include paediatricians,
paediatric oncologists, and non-communicable disease programme managers from
nine Caribbean countries and territories, along with representatives of
ministries of health and other collaborating organizations. The group met in
Port of Spain Trinidad recently to map out ways to increase support and
action—at both the country and international levels—to reduce deaths in
children and adolescents with cancer in the Caribbean through strengthened
health systems, focusing on improving diagnosis, treatment, training, and
The meeting identified priority areas
of action as: earlier detection and diagnosis of childhood cancer in primary
care, with timely referral for specialized treatment; increased access to
essential medicines for childhood cancer; training and continuing
multi-disciplinary medical education for specialists and primary care
providers; improved continuity of care, including for children who live far
from treatment centres to prevent abandonment of treatment; and the production
and sharing of evidence for public health use and to mobilize political and
The actions proposed by the experts
in Trinidad build on earlier efforts by the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative
(SCI), established in 2013 to build sustainable local capacity to diagnose,
treat and manage paediatric cancers and blood disorders in six participating
countries – The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the
Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago –, and a regional working group for Latin
America and the Caribbean set up by PAHO in 2017 to develop strategies and
recommendations for health system strengthening for childhood cancer.
The current efforts are also part of the broader Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018 to improve survival rates by addressing barriers to access and quality of care for children with cancer.
Barbados Government Exploring Possibility of Ferry System for Local and Regional Transportation
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday February 24, 2020 – Government is presently exploring possibilities for investment to
establish a ferry system to move people and cargo from coast to coast and
throughout the island chain.
Minister of Maritime Affairs and the
Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey recently shared his vision to move cargo from
Oistins in Christ Church all the way to the north of the island, as he also spoke
about his desire to see service expand even further.
“We have now an expression of
interest out to encourage those who have the wherewithal to help us build out
those jetties from the north all the way to the south and move cargo along the
coastline, and also think bigger, and move between the islands,” he said.
He added that Government had
determined that there was need for a “nicely built and stabilized” ferry that
could move great containers and people.
Humphrey noted that lessons learnt
from the aftermath of past disasters indicated that getting food into the
island chain was almost impossible.
“The Caribbean should not be in a
position where it is waiting on someone to come and save us. That is why it is necessary to have the
ferries,” he said, making reference to the difficulties experienced in getting
planes into Dominica after the passage of Hurricane Maria.
Minister Humphrey also pointed out that investing in ferries would also benefit the country, as the costs could be “recouped” in shipping, and assist with reducing export costs.
Guyana-Venezuela And International Law | Sir Ronald Sanders
By Sir Ronald Sanders
WASHINGTON, United States, Monday February 24, 2020 – Global attention to Guyana has focused on the current campaigning for
general elections due on March 2. Reports indicate a vigorous campaign with the
country’s newly found resources in oil and gas very much on the minds of the
contesting political parties.
While the election campaign is
proceeding and the electorate awaits the date on which the majority will decide
which party forms the next government and who will be the President of the
country, the long-standing contention between Guyana and Venezuela has been
ambling its way through the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague.
Three weeks after the general
election, the ICJ will begin four days of legal arguments, between 23 and 27
March, from Guyana and Venezuelan teams on whether the Court has jurisdiction
to pronounce a judgement. It is important to emphasize that this hearing is to
determine whether the Court has jurisdiction; it is not yet concerned with the
merits of the case which the Court will hear if it decides that it is properly
vested with jurisdiction.
The Venezuelan Government disputes
the ICJ’s jurisdiction. In a statement issued on 29 November 2019, the
authorities in Caracas said it “reiterates its historical position on the lack
of jurisdiction of that international body”.
Calling the Guyana application to the Court “absurd and disturbing”, the
Venezuelan government revealed that it had informed the ICJ of its position in
a memorandum the day before.
Conveniently ignored by the
Venezuelan government is the binding international Award of 1899 that
established and demarcated the boundary between Guyana and Venezuela. That
boundary had been accepted, respected and even protected by Venezuela for
almost 60 years until 1965 when Guyana’s independence from Britain was set to take
place the following year. Venezuela
resurrected an unsubstantiated claim, attributed to one of its long dead
lawyers from the 1899 arbitral process, that the US Chief Justice – one of the Arbitrators
– had been bribed. It is upon this shaky and shady allegation that Venezuela
asserts the nullity of the 1899 award.
In any event, it was the ICJ that had
decided it wished to hold a hearing on the matter of jurisdiction, inviting
Guyana and Venezuela to submit arguments.
Having informed the Court on 18 June 2010 that “Venezuela would not
participate in the proceedings”, the Venezuelan government nonetheless
submitted its memorandum. However, it remains unclear whether legal
representatives of the Venezuelan government will turn up to make arguments before
the Court in accordance with the Court’s advice.
What is clear is that the Venezuelan
government does not want any legal arbitration of its territorial claim;
instead it wants Guyana to halt the ICJ proceedings and “to recommence the
negotiation for a definitive solution”.
That negotiation would be between the Venezuela and Guyana governments –
one that has been on-going in different formats since 1965 and which made no
progress because there was no shift from the Venezuelan position that it has “historic
and legitimate rights over the ‘Guayana Esequiba’ since its own birth in 1810”.
Venezuelan governments have not been
averse to flexing their military muscle by invading Guyanese territory and
seizing ships in Guyana’s territorial waters.
These instances are well-recorded.
It should be noted that the Maduro
government’s continuing claim to two-thirds of Guyana is matched by the
position of leaders of opposition parties, including Juan Guaidó who some
governments regard as the President of Venezuela.
Venezuela has traditionally wanted
negotiations with Guyana instead of arbitration by international legal
machinery because successive governments have felt that their larger
population, superior military might, and greater wealth (from oil and gas)
placed them in a powerful position. Bigger and more powerful countries,
regardless of their ideological stripe, prefer to deal directly with weaker
countries precisely because the strong can bully the weak and, in so doing, get
their way without regard to justice.
Throughout the entire period of this
Venezuelan claim, Guyana has been relatively poor, lacking in military strength
and of no particular strategic interest to the hemispheric or international
community. All of Guyana’s options for development were constrained by that
reality. In part, it explains why the Guyana government was anxious to settle a
deal with Exxon Mobil and others for the production of oil and gas.
As of 2020, Guyana officially joined
the ranks of petroleum-producing states, and a big one as well. While Guyana is still a militarily weak
nation, its economic standing will improve on the back of oil and gas reserves.
Further, there will be far greater international interest in the preservation
of Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity than there was before.
But the risk posed by Venezuela
remains, despite its current weak economic situation and its fragile military
circumstances. In time, these conditions could change while the ambition for
claiming two-thirds of Guyana remains. That is why the Guyana government is
right to pursue legal recourse at the ICJ as many other nations have done from
the time of the Court’s inception. Settlement of the issue will come only from
The 15-nation Caribbean Community
(CARICOM) countries have always stated their support for Guyana in the
territorial claim from Venezuela, notwithstanding the close relationship that
developed between some of their governments and the Chavez/Maduro governments
because of the benefits of the now defunct PetroCaribe arrangements.
At their 31st Inter-Sessional Meeting
in Barbados on 18-19 February, CARICOM Heads of Government repeated their “full
support for the judicial process that is intended to bring a peaceful and
definitive end to the long-standing controversy between the two countries”.
They did so while reiterating “their firm and unswerving support for the
maintenance and preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of
This unanimous decision of the meeting – to stand up for a determination of the Guyana-Venezuela boundary under the rule of international law by the world’s highest Court – was one of its better outcomes, showing real value for membership of the treaty organization.
Sir Ronald Sanders is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the US and the OAS. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and at Massey College in the University of Toronto. The views expressed are entirely his own.
Download DJ Wass “2020 Vision” Dancehall Mixtape Vybz Kartel, Govana, Daddy1, Sparta
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Stream DJ Wass 2020 Vision Dancehall Mix January 2020
DJ WASS 2020 VISION DANCEHALL MIX TRACK LIST:
01 – INTRO
02 – GOVANA – CONVO
03 – GOVANA – UPFRONT
04 – DING DONG – WATCH DEM
05 – AIDONIA – AIRCRAFT
06 – MAVADO – TOP SHOTTA
07 – TEEJAY – DRACO
08 – SHENSEEA – TRICK A TREAT
09 – JAHMIEL – MONEY MONEY
10 – JAHVILLANI – RUBBER BAND
11 – TEEJAY – HENNE & WEED
12 – SKILLI – BRICKS PON BRICK
13 – KOREXX – LOGO
14 – DADDY 1 – TRENDING KING
15 – DING DONG – FI WI DANCEHALL
16 – CHRONIC LAW – CYAAH STOP
17 – RYGIN KING – NEW MACHINE
18 – TEEJAY – HIGH GRADE
19 – SQUASH – MIGHTY
20 – VYBZ KARTEL – WORLD GOVERNMENT
21 – VYBZ KARTEL – SCORCHED EARTH
22 – TOMMY LEE SPARTA – TOP SHOTTA
23 – TOMMY LEE SPARTA – UNDER VIBES
24 – DAMELL – VIBE
25 – MR G – SHUT YOU MOUTH
26 – VYBZ KARTEL – BRAVE
27 – INVINCIBLE DAN – 2020 BADNESS
28 – BAZZA T – DEVIL REJECT
29 – JAHVILLANI – FIREWORKS
30 – I-SANE – 100 GRAND
31 – SWAZZ – ANO YOU ALONE
32 – J-RILE – KUFF [MAD OVA]
33 – POPCAAN – NUMBERS DON’T LIE
34 – CHRONIC LAW FT QUADA – WILD & RICH
35 – DANE RAY – MONEY PILE UP
36 – TOMMY LEE SPARTA – THE POWER
37 – GOVANA – PROTECTION
38 – VYBZ KARTEL – ROCKET TO DA MOON
39 – VYBZ KARTEL – FELL APART
40 – VYBZ KARTEL – NEVA WAS DA ONE
41 – VYBZ KARTEL – THEN YOU AND ME
42 – MIKEYLOUS – UNGRATEFUL
43 – TEEJAY – DAY ONE
44 – KOREXX – BUSINESS
45 – MASICKA – IMAGE
46 – MASICKA – RICH
47 – FIYAH KONCHOUS – NASCAR
48 – J-RILE – BAD GAL ALERT
49 – I-SANE – WORLD FILM [CUTE & GOOD]
50 – VYBZ KARTE FT JADA KINGDOM – CASDE IRON HEART
51 – JAHVILLANI – PRESERVE MI LIFE
52 – VERSHON – LOVE TALK
53 – CHRONIC LAW – STAY REAL
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