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Justice Adrian Saunders - CCJ

CCJ President to receive UWI honorary doctorate

by staff writer

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Oct 19, CMC – The President of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Justice Adrian Saunders, will receive an honorary doctorate from the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

Justice Saunders will be conferred with the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws during the UWI graduation ceremony on Saturday.

Justice Adrian Saunders – CCJ

He will also be a guest speaker at The UWI’s graduation dinner on Friday night. Justice Saunders will be speaking on behalf of his fellow graduand Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana and Professor of Entomology at the Department of Animal Biology and Conservation Science.

“I am most appreciative of this honour that The UWI will bestow upon me and I am incredibly humbled and honoured by this recognition. I will accept it gratefully on behalf of my parents and siblings, my family, my colleagues at the CCJ, and all the people I have worked with who have all contributed to my success,” said Justice Saunders, who is the third Caribbean national to head the CCJ that was established in 2001 to replace the London-based Privy Council as the region’s final court.

“I would be remiss if I did not also mention the role that the  UWI has played in my success. My years at UWI gave me a depth of knowledge and a foundation that I am indebted to the institution for. Those years also provided me with mentors, life-long friends and many fond memories,” he added.

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines-born native  holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the UWI in 1975 and a Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago in 1977.

The CCJ President said that the UWI had over the past 70 years been able to nurture generations of Caribbean leaders, as well as making an indelible mark on the development of the region.

 

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Guyana and Austria sign MOU

Guyana and Austria sign MOU

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Sept 12, CMC – Guyana Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Austria for transport, innovation and technology to enhance the local healthcare facilities.

Health Minister Volda Lawrence said the MOU is the beginning of a process which will result in enhanced healthcare facilities for citizens and that “concrete” projects could begin next year.

Health Minister Volda Lawrence and Dr. Gernot Grimm signing the MoU

“We are looking at the GPHC (Guyana Public Health Corporation) since it is our tertiary institution. You will be aware that particularly our A and E (Accident and Emergency) department is really under the threshold, in terms of a standard operating procedure that should pertain in a critical care unit.

“So, the first two aspects we will be getting involved with is a trauma centre and a critical care centre which will be able to take off the deficiencies which we do have presently. This will ensure improved delivery of care for our patients and also upgraded equipment for the staff works,” Lawrence said at the signing ceremony.

Chief of staff at the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, Dr. Gernot Grimm said the signing of the MOU is in keeping with the good relations enjoyed by the two countries over a number of years.

He said the success of the MOU would be seen in the tangible achievements sooner rather than later.

“We have brought along a couple of technical experts from Austria to have this work done as soon as possible to our bilateral negotiations, so we really want to show and speed up the whole process to be in a position to start as soon as possible,” he said.

The signing of the MOU was witnessed by Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge, Minister within the Ministry of Public Health Karen Cummings along with GPHC chief executive officer, Patrick West.

Meanwhile, the Austrian-based AMED Engineering Company has pledged to support Guyana in its efforts to modernise the public health and other sectors.

The company is holding discussions with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Public Health in developing the “Lighthouse” project and Grimm said ‘the health sector is not the only technology we are ready to co-operate with you but it’s the first one.

“I call it the lighthouse project to show the public in Guyana and in Austria that a co-operation can exceed political excellent relations by far through well-functioning economic ties and relations.”

VAMED is recognised internationally as one of the leading companies in the healthcare sector. VAMED provides a complete package of services for every type of healthcare facility. The range of services provided covers the entire healthcare value chain, from project development, planning and construction to total operational, biomedical engineering and facility management.

Greenidge said Guyana has long benefitted from initiatives introduced by the Austrian government. He added however that the administration is prepared to take advantage of the advanced ideas and projects that VAMED has to offe

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Trinidad and Tobago observing 56th anniversary of independence

Trinidad and Tobago observing 56th anniversary of independence

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Aug 31, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago observed its 56th anniversary of political independence from Britain on Friday with the traditional military parade and differing statements from the politicians regarding the socio-economic development of the oil-rich twin island republic.

While President Paula Mae Weekes noted that independence is a work in progress she urged citizens to continue ensuring the development of the country.

“Fellow citizens, on 31 August 1962, Trinidad and Tobago shook off the reins of colonialism and dared to go it alone. To the tolling of bells, the Union Jack was lowered for the final time and the red, white and black hoisted to signal the birth of our nation.”

She said since that time Trinidad and Tobago has enjoyed a relatively stable democracy, significant economic transformation and general improvement in the quality of life of its citizens.

But she said considering the current challenges of crime and the economy, plus the island’s use of the London-based Privy Council as its final court, the world economy and global climate change, she asked how independent Trinidad and Tobago is.

“Political separation from the United Kingdom was only the first step of our long journey of self-discovery.

“Independence has never been a static notion. It implies the constant working-out of identity and purpose, sovereignty over one’s decisions and taking responsibility for one’s actions.”

In his message Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley the anniversary of independence provides citizens with another opportunity to reflect on the meaning of citizenship and the value of its national identity.

“The world has brought us news of nations gripped by civil war, anarchy and terror. In many countries people do not enjoy the freedoms we may be tempted to take for granted. That our democracy has remained intact these 56 years is no small feat.

“This deserves celebration given our status as one of the most multi-cultural societies in the western world. We have largely used our diversity as a bridge to make connections with each other. We’ve enjoyed a deep harmony that is intrinsic to our identity as nationals of this beloved country. We must guard our unity zealously. This defence is especially needed in turbulent times,” he said.

Rowley said that it is times of difficulty that the urge to retreat to narrow interests and partisan lines can become the strongest.

“But we must resist this and seek instead an agreeable guidepost. But how do we find common ground in an often polarising environment?,” he asked suggesting that the country remember the words of the first prime minister Dr. Eric Williams who said “whatever the challenge that faces you, from whatever quarter, place always first that national interest and the national cause”.

Rowley said he has no doubt that “we will do what is needed to create sustainable growth and national development. It is our responsibility as loyal citizens to ensure that our children can be proud of the decisions that we must make today”.

However, Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad Bissessar said the independence anniversary provides an opportunity “to undertake a sober, piercing assessment of our progress and the difficulties that still lie ahead.

“The question must be asked: Have we achieved the Trinidad and Tobago which the leaders of our fight for independence envisioned more than half a century ago? In answering this question, we must decide whether we wish to maintain the status quo, or determine the future that we want for our children and grandchildren.

“There is no question that our country today faces significant issues, and there appear to be no moves by the current administration to deal frontally with the problems affecting people, including escalating crime, inadequate health care, reduced opportunities for education of our young people, job losses, high cost of living, and a declining economy,” she said.

She was critical of the government’s “silence” over the decision to shut down the oil refinery at the state-owned oil company, PETROTRIN, saying that the government had “failed to articulate a plan to address the issue of the state-owned company’s debt, and the long-term impact of the restructuring exercise on Trinidad and Tobago’s economy”.

Meanwhile, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General, Irwin laRocque has in a congratulatory message paid tribute to the creativity and dynamism of the people of Trinidad and Tobago as well as recognising the “significant contributions” that the country has made to the regional integration process.

“Additionally, Trinidad and Tobago, as a founding member of the Community and lead Member State on regional security and energy issues, continues to make significant contributions to Caribbean integration and to the promotion and attainment of citizen and energy security,” he said.

United States Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, said that Washington and Port of Spain “have always enjoyed rich cross-cultural exchange, friendship, and the shared goal of building a more safe and secure region as underscored in the Caribbean 2020 strategy.

“We are grateful for the continued strong partnership as our countries work to deepen cooperation on trade, energy, and opportunity for all,” he said.

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Premier Romeo attends conference of Heads of Government Meeting

Premier Romeo attends conference of Heads of Government Meeting

Premier Donaldson Romeo

Premier, the Honourable Donaldson Romeo will be attending the ‘39th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community’ to be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, this week.  

The Heads of Government Meeting from July 4 to 6 will bring together Heads from CARICOM and Associate Member States, to discuss a number of matters of importance for the Caribbean community.  The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and how to make it more effective, is one of the agenda items. 

Other matters to be discussed include, ‘Building Resilience’ specifically as it relates to disaster resilience in the Caribbean Community Post Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  A draft declaration on climate change which was requested by the Council for Foreign and Community Relations is also on the agenda for approval by the Heads.  Security and boarder issues, the report on the marijuana commission, matters related to the Caribbean Court of Justice and a CARICOM Regional strategy for the development of statistics are also carded for deliberations.   

The Conference of Heads of Government meeting also includes the ‘24th Meeting of the Prime Ministerial Sub Committee (PMSC) On External Economic Negotiations’ to be held on Thursday, July 5.  During this meeting, the PMSC will receive an overview of the regional and global developments relevant to CARICOM’s external trade agenda.  There will also be discussions on future trade relations with the United Kingdom post Brexit. 

Premier Romeo will be accompanied by the Deputy Financial Secretary, Mr. Phillip Chambers.  

 

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Counterfeit EC Notes

Counterfeit EC Notes

Final EC Bank Notes Security Features (2017)

In a public service announcement, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is advising the public to be on the lookout for counterfeit notes.

This comes after the Financial Crime and Analysis Unit of the Royal Montserrat Police Service has confirmed that a sum of counterfeit EC notes has been confiscated in Montserrat.   

As a result, “The ECCB wishes to remind the public that counterfeit notes have no value, and that it is a criminal offence to use or be in possession of counterfeit notes.”

Further, “The ECCB urges the public to note the security features of genuine EC notes which include:

  1. A security thread with text reading “ECCB” which incorporated into the paper. The thread can be seen clearly through the paper.
  2. A serial number printed vertically on the left hand side and horizontally on the right hand side of the notes. No two notes of the same denomination bear the same serial number. 
  3. On the front left hand side, a watermark of Queen Elizabeth II can be seen when the note is held up to light. A watermark highlight, which reads “ECCB” can also be seen clearly when the note is held up to light.
  4. An image of several fishes, printed with special ink, which glows is at the centre of the back of the note.
  5. Genuine bank notes are printed on special paper which gives them a unique feel.”

Further information suggests that the notes of specific interest would be the higher denominations of $100.00 and $50.00, but of course not ignoring the others.

The authorities are requesting, on account of the information provided: “Persons who think they may be in possession of EC counterfeit notes, should report the matter to the Royal Montserrat Police Service. Telephone Numbers: 664-491-2555/6 and 999.

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Caribbean Economic Forum

Caribbean Economic Forum

Caribbean Economic Forum – Tuesday, March 27, 2018

 CEF_2018 Promo_01_Social Media Version_preview.mp4

 

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Paula-Mae Weekes first female-president-sworn-in Trinidad and Tobago

First Female President of Trinidad and Tobago Takes Office

 

Paula-Mae Weekes first female-president-sworn-in Trinidad and Tobago

(From left) Former President Anthony Carmona, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Chief Justice Ivor Archie look on as Paula-Mae Weekes, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, takes the oath of office. (Photo credit: Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago)


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Tuesday March 20, 2018
– Paula-Mae Weekes was yesterday sworn in as the first female President and sixth overall Head of State of Trinidad and Tobago.

A large crowd, including Government Ministers, Members of Parliament, senior members of the judiciary gathered at the Queen’s Park Oval for the inauguration ceremony where President Weekes appealed to citizens to walk side-by-side with her in rebuilding the twin-island republic which continues to grapple with crime and other social ills.

She said there were many who lamented that Trinidad and Tobago “is perilously close to the point of no return”, with crime, corruption, racism, abysmal public services and an ineffective judicial system, among other problems, so thick on the ground that all hope is lost, and the country had two choices: “Option 1 – We can lament, blame, criticise and allow a miasma of despair to overwhelm us or Option 2 we can consciously and intentionally choose the alternative.”

“I know what the murder count is and how many of the victims have been women and children slaughtered in acts of domestic violence, I am cognizant of the volatile tensions in east Port of Spain. I see people affected by mental illness, addiction and homelessness sleeping on the streets and if I needed to get to Tobago in a hurry I could not be certain if or when I would arrive. I comprehend fully the state of the state and so understand why we might have every reason to despair.

“None of us is blind or foolish enough to deny that Trinidad and Tobago is going through dark times, but I echo the words of C.S. Lewis when I say: ‘this a good world gone wrong but it still retains the memory of what ought to have been’….So let us today choose Option 2 confront the darkness and declare that it will not take over,” President Weekes said.

She said that as a servant of a people, she would do her best by word and deed to both be a light and spread the light of others at every opportunity.

But Weekes said she needed citizens to help her along.

“If you feel that you are going to leave me alone to do all the heavy lifting, you’re sadly mistaken. I have something to ask of you….I am going to rub my imaginary lamp and appeal to the collective genie that you are,” she said, before outlining her three wishes.

“First of all, I ask you to find ways to make a positive difference in whatever your sphere of influence, not necessarily ambitious designs but rather specific, practical, doable projects – the results of which can be seen and measured in the short term, and then let us celebrate each success. Many individuals and organisations have asked to meet with me. Let’s not meet just for meeting sake—we do not have that luxury. Come armed with your ideas, your feasible projects to improve our quality of life. Nothing will catch my attention faster than a man or woman with a plan.

“Next, I ask those of you with a platform from which to disseminate your views to find new and creative ways to inspire your audience while reporting responsibly and commenting civilly on the facts, in particular on social media which is here to stay and has great value in giving a voice to those who might otherwise be voiceless but reckless use of this or any communication channel will defeat its very purpose.

“And last…we speak all the time about how violent a society we’ve become. True, but the climate of violence is not created or even birthed in overt acts; it’s embedded in everyday talk, in commonplace interaction, in schools, in the market, in business places, in the rum shop and, worst of all, in the home. I ask you to be mindful in your use of language remembering that a soft answer often turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger and that pleasant speech increases one’s persuasiveness. When we have the inevitable differences of opinion we can do so without the savagery, the ad hominem attacks, the gratuitous insults.”

Speaking to the media after the swearing-in ceremony, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said he was looking forward to working closely with President Weekes, who takes over from the retired Anthony Carmona.

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ADDITIONAL FERRY SERVICE ANNOUNCED FOR POST ST. PATRICK’S FESTIVAL EXODUS

Download (PDF, Unknown)

As a courtesy to our readers and the many who enquired about the ferry service through this medium, we provide the following submitted to us ‘for information’…

The Access Division has made arrangements to ensure persons leaving Montserrat in the coming days make their international flight connections in Antigua.

On Monday March 19th, 2018, the MV Lovely 1, with a capacity of 350, will leave Montserrat at 7:00am. Passengers are advised to check in 2 and a half hours before departure to allow early boarding of the vessel. The MV Lovely 1 will depart Antigua at 3:00pm with passengers for Luciano’s show at Salem Park.

On Tuesday March 20, 2018, the MV Lovely 1 will depart Montserrat at 7:00am. Check in time is at 4:30am to facilitate the early departure of the vessel.

The MV Jaden Sun will be on standby in the morning and will take additional passengers to Antigua if necessary. The ferry is however, scheduled to depart Montserrat at 5:00pm; leaving Antigua at 7:30pm.

On Wednesday March 21, 2018, the MV Jayden Sun will depart Montserrat at 6:30am and arrive in Antigua at 8:00am. The MV Jayden Sun will then leave Antigua at 7:00pm and arrive in Montserrat at 8:30pm.

Two trips will be scheduled on Wednesday if necessary.

For more information please contact Mr. Roosevelt Jemmotte on 496-9912 or Crenston Buffonge on 392-8731.

 

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IMFF

Improvements in economic prospects for Caribbean/Latin America – IMF

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, CMC – The International Monetary Fund (IMF), says economic prospects for the region are generally improving and modest growth is expected in 2018 and 2019.

The IMF, in its Regional Economic Outlook Update for Latin America and the Caribbean, released on Thursday, said the positive outlook is supported by growth in the United States following the recent U.S. tax reform.

IMFFHowever, the international lending agency noted that some of the islands that were hit hard during the 2017 hurricane season face a protracted recovery.

One such country is Dominica.

“In Dominica,  gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to decline by 16 percent in 2018, before rebounding in 2019 as reconstruction gathers pace.”

The IMF also noted that overall, recent trends in the world economy and financial markets are good news for  the Caribbean and Latin America.

“Global growth and trade are on an upswing, and we expect the momentum to continue in 2018.  Stronger commodity prices have also helped the region rebound.”

The report said consumption and exports were the main growth drivers last year and the recovery is broad based across the region.

“Encouragingly, investment is no longer a drag, and is expected to be an important factor behind the acceleration in output this year and next. Inflation came down significantly in 2017 in many countries, providing some scope for easing monetary policy.”

The Washington based lending agency said that while Mexico, Central America, and parts of the Caribbean are benefitting from stronger growth in the United States, growth in South America is mainly driven by the end of recessions in Brazil, Argentina, and Ecuador, as well as higher commodity prices.

It said that in the United States, reforms to U.S. corporate and personal income taxes passed in December 2017 will likely raise private investment and private consumption over the short term

The report also revealed that in Central America and the Dominican Republic, output growth remains robust, helped by stronger than anticipated remittances flows, improved financial conditions, and good harvests.

However it was also stated that some risks could hurt the region’s recovery – including upcoming elections in some countries  – an event that could cfreate economic and policy uncertainties in the next year.

“Pressures for inward-looking policies in advanced economies—including through a retreat from cross-border integration—and factors such as global geopolitical tensions and extreme weather events could compound these uncertainties.”

The IMF said  in looking beyond the near term, the region also faces serious medium-term challenges.

“As we have been emphasizing, despite the current economic acceleration, Latin America’s output growth is returning to an underwhelming mean. Subdued potential growth and downside medium-term risks call for further efforts to rebuild buffers and implement structural policies to address growth bottlenecks and improve resilience.”

The lending institution said countries that need to lower  fiscal deficits should give attention to the fine balance between preserving inclusive growth and stabilizing high public debt, which has been rising.

“To better withstand future shocks, maintaining exchange rate flexibility, and further improving central bank communication and transparency would increase the resilience and effectiveness of monetary policy,” the IMF stated.

CMC/kb/2018

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Pres. George Maxwell Richards

Former President George Maxwell Richards has died

 PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jan. 9, CMC – The fourth president of the Trinidad and Tobago –  Professor George Maxwell Richards is dead.

Richards, who was 86, died on Monday, following a heart attack.

Pres. George Maxwell RichardsPrime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley in offering condolences said Trinidad and Tobago has lost a much-loved son of the soil

The Prime Minister said Richards, who served in the highest office of the land from 2003 to 2013, carried out his duties with class and distinction “even as he remained grounded in his love for all things Trinidad and Tobago especially Carnival and soca music.”

“Max as he was affectionately known by the citizens of our twin-island republic, struck you as a man who was not only accomplished but also enjoyed life to the fullest. He distinguished himself as a true patriot throughout his career, first as a chemical engineer with Shell then as a staffer and eventually Principal of the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies.”

“Moreover, one would be hard-pressed to ever be part of or overhear a conversation where the name ‘Max Richards’ is mentioned and not hear the admiration that people had for his love of culture and his down to earth nature.”

The Prime Minister said flags on public buildings will be flown at half-mast n accordance with the directive of the Minister of National Security.

He said further details of funeral arrangements will be released after consulting with the Richards family.

With Richards’s passing, all former presidents of Trinidad and Tobago are now deceased.

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