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UN expert urges more aid for Hurricane Matthew victims

13 March 2017 – An independent United Nations expert on human rights today welcomed the recent completion of the electoral process as “remarkable progress” for the island nation, while he also urged the authorities to address the situation in prisons, and redouble efforts to help Haitians affected by Hurricane Matthew and the 2010 earthquake.

Following his eight official mission, Gustavo Gallón, the Independent Expert praised “the transparency, professionalism and commitment of the Provisional Electoral Council, and the provisional government authorities in leading the elections.”

Even though not enough, the Independent Expert has noted the election of a female senator as well as three female parliamentarians to the lower Chamber. He also invited the authorities to intensify their efforts in continuing to promote the political participation of women.

He went on to say that detention conditions in Haitian prisons are extremely inhuman, cruel and degrading, according to the Independent Expert. Long pre-trial detention, which amounts to an average of 70 per cent at national level, is among the main causes of prison overcrowding, which reaches a rate of 358 per cent, equivalent to 1.43 square meters per prisoner.

There are prisons where the situation is even worse, according to a study conducted in 2016 of the National. “It can be said that 91 per cent of all detainees in this prison who are awaiting trial are illegally or arbitrarily detained, which represents an increase of 23 per cent since 2014,” Mr. Gallón explained, adding that the excessive level of overcrowding is also a factor, among others, that contributes to the high level of death in prison.

read more “If the current trend continues, projections for the year 2017 can result in the death of 229 prisoners, an annual mortality rate of 21.8 per 1,000," he said. Taking note of the establishment of a new Presidential Commission to assess the situation in prisons, he made an appeal to the authorities to implement urgent actions aimed at the abolition of prolonged pre-trial detention in order to improve prison conditions and to respect the rights of people deprived of their liberty.

The Independent Expert also called for efforts to continue to deal with the issue of people displaced following the 2010 earthquake, Hurricane Matthew last year, and the expulsions of Haitians from the Dominican Republic. “The dialogue between the Haitian authorities and their Dominican counterparts should be strengthened to ensure the rights to nationality and identity of Haitian people and their descendants,” he said.

Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

10th ILO Caribbean Minister of Labour Meeting adopts its Conclusions

Kingston (ILO News) - Following two days of deliberation on realizing decent work under the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Ministers of Labour and other high-level representatives of the Ministries and Departments of Labour of the English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, adopted their Conclusions  for action on key themes for the Caribbean growth, development and labour rights challenges:

  1. Elevating Decent Work to the national and regional policy level and the role of social partnership;
  2. Non-standard forms of employment;
  3. Harmonization of labour laws;
  4. Regional Initiative: Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour;
  5. Skilled Workforce for Sustainable Growth and Development;
  6. Improving productivity and competitiveness: the role of the labour management relations and transitioning to formality;
  7. Labour cooperation in the region.

“The objectives have been realized. You have defined a clear set of priorities and we as ILO depart with a much clearer understanding of the challenges, how to address them and what your expectations are” ...

  ILO Director-General, Mr Guy Ryder




ILO Director-General,congratulated  the delegations stating that he was encouraged by the assets constituents brought to the process and the “strength of the determination of Governments, Employers and Workers to come together to deal with the challenges. This is not a given in many parts of the world.” He was committed to make sure the distinctive nature of the Caribbean constituency forms part of the ILO global community. He expressed sincere appreciation to the host country Jamaica and all participants.



UN in the Caribbean - working towards the SDGs

ECLAC - Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean (CEPAL)

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 07ECLAC has been involved in a project entitled “Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean: Reducing the Carbon Footprint in the Caribbean through the Promotion of Energy Efficiency and the Use of Renewable Energy Technologies” through which ECLAC and German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) have helped provide countries in the Caribbean with increased opportunities to develop projects in energy efficiency and renewable energy, along with possible avenues for funding these projects. 


This has led to policy changes throughout the region, and even a new regulatory board, the National Utilities Regulatory Commission (NURC) in Saint Lucia.


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Through the project entitled “Strengthening the technical capacity of public finance officials in select Caribbean Small Island 

Developing States (SIDS)”, ECLAC has provided training and workshops to policy-makers and finance managers in the application of methods and procedures for better management and forecasting of public expenditure and revenue

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An ECLAC-led team carried out a mission to Belize in August, to support the Government as it assessed and strived to recover from the damage from Hurricane Earl.

In February, ECLAC and UNISDR carried out training in Panama to prepare participants for disaster and how best to use the methodology provided.





ITU - International Telecommunications Union 

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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes that “The spread of information and communication technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies". ITU is continuously making a concerted effort to highlight the role that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) will play in achieving the SDGs within its Member States.


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ITU is helping with the development of a National ICT plan for Trinidad and Tobago (2017-2027). This will take the form of technical advice to the government to ensure an organizational, functional and governance structures that are consistent with the Government’s national agenda and goals for the sector; taking into consideration the country’s specific requirements, circumstances and limitations.

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ITU is coordinating a Cyber Security Awareness Programme for Caribbean Schools. This will include Child Online Protection (COP) - Caribbean Cyber Awareness & Anti Cyber Bullying workshop and Train the Trainer Programme in 2017







 FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization

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The right to adequate food is a human right. FAO continues to play a role in promoting policy dialogue and developing partnerships between the Government, producer groups, commercial sectors and civil society.


In direct support to the national goal to reduce Non Communicable Diseases, the Ministry of Health, FAO, PAHO and UNDP trained thirty persons on Communications for Behaviour Impact.




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With the funding of the Global Environment Facility, FAO, state agencies and environment interest groups are working on forestry and protected areas co-management plans and biodiversity conservation targets in Matura, Trinity Hills, Nariva, Main Ridge Forest reserve and the Marine Park of North East Tobago.

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With GEF Funding, FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and fisheries are working together to improve the national action plan 

and the institutional and regulatory arrangements for shrimp/bottom trawl fisheries.



E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 12FAO, Ministry of Agriculture, NAMDEVCO and farmer groups tested and developed Post Harvest Protocols for the production of pumpkin and cassava.


 E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 13In support of national food safety 34 public health inspectors and an FAO food expert came together to standardize food inspection protocols and to draft a national food inspection manual.

FAO and Caribbean governments mobilized funding for a technical assistance project to produce Agriculture Disaster Risk management plans and preparedness training.

UNHCR-  United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 04Collaborates with the Living Water Community (LWC) in Trinidad and Tobago and the Ministry of Education to develop a protocol for UNHCR’s persons of concern, which would ensure that their children have access to education and that registration requirements, including immunization cards, identification documents and previous school records do not constitute barriers.


E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 03Ensure, through the LWC, that refugees are able to access services at public health facilities and through a network of private doctors who provide pro bono services to refugees. This year, six families received either one-time financial assistance for medical costs or regular support for chronic conditions.


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Through the LWC, UNHCR assisted 98 individuals with financial assistance to cover accommodation costs. Additionally, each month an average of 80 families receive food items through LWC’s Food Bank, which UNHCR partially funds. Food items frequently include, milk, beans, rice, flour, sugar and coffee. Families are selected to receive this assistance based on particular vulnerabilities. In addition, this year, eight families participated in a monthly cash-for-work program





 WHO/PAHO - Pan American Health Organization



E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 03PAHO/WHO, alongside the Ministry of Health, conducted a two-day training workshop for obstetricians and midwives on the Medical Management of Post-Partum Haemorrhaging, a leading cause of maternal deaths world-wide and in Trinidad and Tobago.


E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 17This was followed by the pilot roll out of the Perinatal Information System (SIP) which saw Health Care and IT professionals from the five RHAs, Ministry of Health, the HIV Coordinating Unit in the Ministry of Health and MAMATOTO receive training on the PIS System which will assist the country to improve the care of mothers and their babies and avert maternal and newborn deaths.


PAHO has done work in collaboration with the Ministry of Health contributing to the strengthening of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Management system in Trinidad and Tobago, including procurement of antiretroviral drugs. The aim of this mission was to assist the country in averting any future shortages of multiple health products including key medicines used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria and the adverse effects on patients and patient care in the public sector.


E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 02In July 2016, a two day workshop was held for Public Health Inspectors to train them on proper food hygiene and good manufacturing practices. This workshop was also used to validate a new WHO/FAO manual for training food handlers and entailed a project in which all Public Health Inspectors spanning all counties of Trinidad and Tobago came together in strategizing for the requirements needed to register all food handlers.


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PAHO has collaborated with the Ministries of Health, Planning and Agriculture to address the safety in the consumption of locally caught fish following the “Fish kill” incident in the Gulf of Paria. PAHO has helped find an internationally accredited laboratory to conduct toxicological analyses on the locally caught fish and to develop a Terms of Reference to conduct a public health risk assessment on consuming the fish caught in the Gulf of Paria.







UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund

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Promotes Universal Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) for all, particularly groups most at risk, through the adoption of a national SRH policy.

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Provides support to the Ministry of Education in implementing Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)/Life Skills Education in schools through Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) through technical assistance and South to South collaboration with Jamaica.


E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 05Developed a mobile SRH application, to provide information on SRH to young people.

Works with organisations such as the Inter-religious Organization and networks of men and boys to address gender equality





Rural Latin American and Caribbean areas need targeted agricultural policies, investments – UN

30 September 2016 – Economic growth is not enough to eliminate poverty in rural areas of Latin America and the Caribbean, and governments need targeted policies and investments for agricultural development and correct historic inequality experienced by millions of people across the region, says a United Nations report released today.

“With the region's poorest people living in rural areas, the Rural Development Report 2016 demonstrates the need for a far more comprehensive and holistic approach to economic development in order to eradicate poverty and ensure prosperity for millions of people,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in a news release from the UN agency.

“The report makes it clear that investing in rural and agricultural development means investing in the whole economy,” Mr. Nwanze said.

The Rural Development Report 2016: Fostering Inclusive Rural Transformation , released by IFAD, is a rallying call to policymakers and development practitioners to win the global war against poverty, the release said.

It brings together leading thinkers to analyse the experiences of rural development in over 60 developing countries, 16 of them in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Of the countries analysed in Latin America, Bolivia is the only case in which reduction of poverty has progressed fast in spite of the fact that the transformation of its nationwide and rural economies has been slow. The Bolivian example, the report says, proves that proper, targeted policies can reduce poverty in every kind of social and economic context.

“Although millions of people in the region have left poverty behind over the last few decades, inequality remains extremely high in the region and one quarter of the population still lives in poverty,” said Joaquín Lozano, IFAD Director for Latin American and the Caribbean. “To change this situation, we have to start in the rural areas where poverty is more pervasive.”

The report establishes that to enable Latin America and the Caribbean to overcome poverty, inclusive rural transformation needs a comprehensive approach that goes beyond just increasing agricultural productivity. It has to give rural people access to land, infrastructure, health, education, finance and contribute to establishing stronger local, regional and national institutions.

Great strides made to overcome traditional urban-rural dichotomy

According to the report, over the past few decades great strides had been made to overcome the traditional urban-rural dichotomy. For instance, agriculture is no longer the only economic activity in rural areas where more and more families are combining farming and non-farming activities to make a living; cultural differences between rural and urban populations, especially among youth, are blurring; and the divide between urban and rural areas is also blurring as rural communities grow into medium-sized cities and more people live between rural and urban areas.

This complex reality represents opportunities as well as challenges that require policymakers and development practitioners to change their approach to rural poverty issues.

The report concludes that policies and investments need to bring poor, often marginalized, rural people into the economic mainstream so that rural development is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. In the case of Latin America this applies especially to historically neglected segments of the population, including rural women and youth, indigenous peoples and Afro-descendant communities.

“If we want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of eliminating extreme poverty and hunger, rural areas need to be transformed,” said Mr. Nwanze. “But we know from this report that the process is not automatic. It is a choice governments need to make, and it is a choice that is becoming increasingly urgent. The future prosperity of people and nations depend on it.”

[ story was originally posted in UN News Centre - http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=55169#.V_JsbZgrKM8


New UNDP report highlights the need to rethink the methods for ranking development in the region’s countries

Bridgetown, September 12, 2016 – Caribbean countries need a new generation of public policies to increase gains in the economic, social and environmental fronts while boosting climate and financial resilience and protecting people throughout their life cycles, says the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report (HDR) for the Caribbean, launched here today.

 The Caribbean HDR titled “Multidimensional Progress: human resilience beyond income” highlights the need to rethink the methods for ranking development in the region’s countries that go beyond per capita income, economic growth rates and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Caribbean HDR calls on governments, the private sector and all of society to rethink the region’s progress along multidimensional lines, inspired by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): nothing that reduces the rights of people and communities or threatens environmental sustainability can be considered progress, the report highlights.

 “The inspiration for this report comes from the strong demands of Caribbean leaders for more comprehensive metrics for assessing development, and for a more nuanced examination of the meaning of ‘graduation,’ recognizing that income per capita does not reflect the vulnerabilities, development needs and challenges of middle income countries,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark at the launch with Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Irwin LaRocque and Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Didacus Jules and Caribbean academic authorities.

 The report also highlights the fact that Caribbean countries‘ high debt hinders the ability to access finance for sustainable development, limiting the region’s ability to achieve the SDGs. In view of the development financing context in the Caribbean, the report demonstrates how, for the most part, Caribbean countries are ineligible for concessional finance due to their status as middle-income countries. With average national per capita income levels above the international financial eligibility benchmark, the report makes a case for a review of eligibility criteria to access concessional financing. The report underscores the extreme economic and environmental vulnerabilities in Caribbean countries that – like other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) – make the region’s countries special cases for development.


"The challenges of sustainable, holistic and universal development do not end at a certain income threshold: we don’t ‘graduate' from development challenges unless we can respond accordingly to the multiple dimensions that enable people to live the lives they consider valuable, " said UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Jessica Faieta.

 In line with the SDGs, the report stresses that on the one hand it is crucial to invest in people, environment, sustainable and affordable energy, institutional efficiency, stability and security as these are key factors to boost economic growth. On the other hand, it is essential to ensure that economic growth is inclusive, empowers people, leaves no one behind, and is not achieved at the expense of the environment.

 This also entails investing in people, protecting women and men throughout their life cycle, particularly the most vulnerable, according to the report, which contains Caribbean-specific data, analysis and recommendations, complementing the regional HDR launched 14 June.

 The report focuses on several groups and their “vulnerabilities”, which accumulate over a life cycle hindering people’s capacity to fulfil their potential and also to leave poverty behind, the report stresses.


Women are disadvantaged in the labour market, with lower level and lower paying jobs than men in the Caribbean, according to the report. Although women head nearly half of the Caribbean households, the participation of women in senior managerial jobs is still limited to less than one quarter of these jobs in all researched Caribbean countries, with the exceptions of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados.


In the Caribbean, women are more affected by unemployment than men, although the gap is reducing over time, the report shows. Between 2000 and 2013, the labour force participation rate of women aged 15-64 increased by 2.2 percent whilst that of men decreased by 2.5 percent.  However, gender differences are large with 59.3 percent of women in labour force versus 78.7 percent for men according to the report.



are studying more, causing the educational gap between women and men in the Caribbean to widen in the last years in favour of women. According to the report, education can be a potential protective factor against women´s disadvantages in the labour market, but women are still earning less than male colleagues and are proportionally holding fewer decision-making positions in the public and private sectors. An example of women’s underrepresentation in politics is that the percentage of women MPs ranged from 6.7 percent in St. Kitts and Nevis to 25.7 percent in Antigua and Barbuda in 2014.


The report stresses that violence against women is a key challenge for the Caribbean, not only threatening lives but also negatively impacting all of society. Different types of violence – physical, sexual, psychological or a combination of them – affect between 20 and 35 percent of women in Caribbean countries for which data are available.



are also a critical group in vulnerability, the Caribbean report stresses. Youth unemployment is a common challenge for both women and men. Youth unemployment rates range between 18 percent and 47 percent except in Trinidad and Tobago where it is 10 percent. For young women, teenage pregnancy can hinder the possibilities of studying, working – and leaving poverty behind. Young men, especially in poor communities, are both the main victims and the main perpetrators of crime in the Caribbean. These vulnerabilities must be addressed in all ages, the report stresses, so they do not build up over the life cycles.


Older persons

- On average, the Caribbean has a higher rate of population 65 years old and above, and is ageing faster, than the Latin America region. It is estimated that by 2025, 11,4 percent of the Caribbean population will be 65 years or above. Older women are more at risk of poverty and chronic diseases than older men (whose life expectancy is lower and who are less likely to access health care and detect disease especially at earlier stages), but benefit more from family support, according to the report. Pension schemes, especially non-contributory ones, are often inefficient and inadequate both in coverage and value. Older women’s contributory pensions tend to be lower than men´s as a consequence of women in their earlier years concentrated in lower remuneration jobs.


Indigenous peoples and Maroons are also acutely vulnerable to poverty, unemployment, teenage pregnancies, and substance abuse, the report highlights.


Factors that have pushed people out of poverty in the Caribbean are different from those that prevent them from falling back, the HDR stresses. In the past decade, labour markets and education were the biggest engines behind exiting poverty. However, the report argues that it is essential that a new generation of public policies strengthen the four factors that prevent setbacks: social protection, care systems (particularly for children and older persons), physical and financial assets (such as owning a car, a home, savings or bank accounts that act as ‘cushions’ when crisis hit), and labour skills. This is especially important during economic slowdowns.


The report stresses the importance of social investments, showcasing that Caribbean countries proportionately spend one-tenth of what other Latin American countries spend on social policies. “At the core of the multi-dimensional perspective on poverty, is the recognition that economic growth and income accretion are insufficient for lifting and keeping people out of poverty. As a consequence, measures to target and address key sources of vulnerability and deprivation and to strengthen adaptive capabilities, such as in the areas of education, health, training, employment opportunities, and social protection are of critical importance,” the report argues.





Time to improve governance in labour migration in Latin America and Caribbean – UN

1 September 2016 – With migrant workers representing 64 per cent of the 232 million migrants in the world in 2015, it is urgent to deal “correctly” with labour migration by implementing good governance mechanisms, a United Nations report on these movements in Latin America and the Caribbean has warned.

The last five years have seen the number of migrant workers living in this region rise from 3.2 million to 4.3 million, according to a news release from the International Labour Organization (ILO) centred on the report “Labour migration in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

“The search for work opportunities is definitely the main motivation of the migrants,” ILO Regional Director José Manuel Salazar said as he launched the report in México City earlier this week. “Nevertheless, migratory policies are often seen from the border control and national security paradigm, and do not take into account the labour dimension.”

Furthermore, “there is a clear divorce between employment policies and labour migration policies, and now it is extremely urgent for them to complement each other,” Mr. Salazar said.

The ILO study identifies and analyzes a “complex system” of 11 main corridors used by workers, nine of them interregional south-south corridors which connect countries within this region, and two south-north corridors with the United States and Spain as destinations.

The ILO suggested that labour migration must be urgently dealt with by implementing good governance mechanisms, and by linking it with the necessities and dynamics of the world of work.

At the Casa del Migrante de Saltillo, a migrant shelter in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, a day’s journey to the Texas border, migrants are given food, medical care and legal aid. Photo: Amy Stillman/IRIN

“If we can handle labour migration, we can maintain and increase inclusive economic growth in destination countries and reduce poverty in origin countries,” Mr. Salazar said.

The Regional Director added that “history teaches us nothing can stop migratory flows, neither fences nor walls; we also know it is not easy for destination societies to adapt to the arrival of workers, but we need to take advantage of the opportunities and the potential these human resources represent for our societies.”

The report also underlined several features in the corridors: the “feminization” of labour migration, with women accounting for more than 50 per cent of migrants; the high proportion of irregular and informal migrant workers and the low access to social protection; and the frequently deficient work conditions as well as abuse, exploitation and discrimination facing many migrant workers.

Better strategies needed

The report highlighted empties and fragmentation in regional migratory agreements, a weak labour and rights perspective in migratory institutions and governing, and lack of coherence between migratory and employment policies.

The report stated that stakeholders of the world of work, including Labour Ministries, employers and workers’ organizations, must participate more actively in creating migration strategies. It also warned that migrant workers do not participate enough in unionization and collective bargaining processes.

The main action points suggested by the ILO for Latin America and the Caribbean are:

  • Promoting a regular, safe and equal migration;
  • Promoting fair recruitment processes;
  • Improving work conditions and formalization of migrant workers;
  • Promoting a better governability of migrations and a more solid social dialogue;
  • Use a rights perspective to tackle migration;
  • Strengthen the links between employment and labour migration policies;
  • Promoting perspectives of gender, protection of migrant children and prevention of migrant child labour; and
  • Raise awareness about the contribution to development made by migrant workers.

CARICOM Partners With UNEP To Raise Awareness On Conservation Of Migratory Species Of Wild Animals

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Aug 27 2016 – CARICOM and the UNEP/Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Secretariat will host a Regional Capacity-Building Workshop for CMS Non-Parties of the Caribbean Region in Bridgetown, Barbados, 31 August – 2 September.

The purpose of the workshop is to raise awareness about the CMS. This convention is an environmental treaty under the aegis of UNEP, that provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. CMS brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.

The Regional Capacity-Building Workshop aims to inform CARICOM countries that are not yet Parties to CMS about the work and goals of the Convention. Already existing capacity-building tools, such as the CMS Family Manual, will be discussed and guidance to accede to CMS will be provided.

The workshop is funded by the Programme for Capacity-Building Related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries, known as the ACP-MEAs Programme. The CARICOM Secretariat is the Caribbean Hub of the ACP-MEAs Programme which is funded by the European Commission through the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States. UNEP is the overall global programme coordinator and facilitator, and the project is being implemented in the Caribbean through the CARICOM Secretariat’s Sustainable Development and Environment Programme.

The first phase of the ACP-MEAs programme ran from 2009-2014, and the current phase is scheduled to run until 2017. The ACP-MEAs project has been very supportive of bio-diversity conservation and management initiatives across the CARICOM Region and most recently provided sponsorship for 20 students in Guyana to participate in the fourth International Congress on Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield.

* This story was first published in the Caribbean News Service (http://caribbeannewsservice.com/now/caricom-partners-with-unep-to-raise-awareness-on-conservation-of-migratory-species-of-wild-animals/) - external link. Photo Credit: CMS


Xenophobia ( people on the move)

ibelong twitter card 2An estimated 232 million people currently live outside their country of origin, many having moved for a variety of reasons in which the search for protection and the search for opportunity are inextricably entwined.

Migration affects every region of the world, and many countries are now simultaneously countries of origin, destination and transit. Large numbers of migrants today move between developing countries, and around 40 percent of the total global migrant population have moved to a neighbouring country within their region of origin. 

Migrants are often to be found working in jobs that are dirty, dangerous and degrading (the 3 Ds). While for some migration is a positive and empowering experience, far too many migrants have to endure human rights violations, discrimination, and exploitation.

[ learn more ]

Xenophobia in the Caribbean:

Across the Caribbean region discrimination against people of different places of origin exists today.  This region shares a common history of the Trans-atlantic slave trade and the following indentureship, but yet still there are challenges that arise between peoples as they move around the region in search of a better quality of life.

Negative attitueds towards foreign natonals from 'other islands' is a common occurence and is often related  to social and economic policies or decisions taken by states to limit or restrict inwards migration or the perception that alien nationals are stealing jobs or draiing the national purse and social services. Other types of issues include fear of loss of national culutre , mores and values to those of migrants and mistrust of nationals from organisations that acquire local companies.

 Most Caribbean states are not party to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, of 18 December 1990.

Another issue for this region is the issue of and influx of refugees, although in not as the same magnitude as the US  Canada or Europe. In some cases the High Commissioner for Huan Rights and High Commissioner for Refugees have reported that some nationals from the Caribbean have filed as refugees in other countries based on human rights abuses. 


 Table of Refugees & Assylum seekers - Caribbean ( as at Dec 2014) reported by each government



 Originating From


Residing In

 Country  Refugees 













Antigua & Barbuda


53 17








215 42


0 13 17 0 75



86 20


0 1 0 0 0



45 84


0 10 114 0 0



38 17


0 0 0 0 0



324 52


0 0 0 0 0



700 145


0 11 1 0 0



1,692 608


0 22 0 0 0

St. Kitts & Nevis


22 12


0 1 0 0 0

St. Lucia


922 33


0 3 0 0 0

St. Vincent & the Grenadines


1,736 46


0 0 0 0 0



17 47


0 0 2 0 0

Trinidad & Tobago


371 173


0 83 87 0 0

* Refers to individuals who do not necessarily fall directly into any of the other groups but to whom UNHCR may extend its protection and/or assistance services.

These activities might be based on humanitarian or other special grounds. Source: UNHCR/Governments. Compiled by: UNHCR, FICSS.


7 Billion Dreams and 20 million dollars to get the ball rolling: Fulfilling the GEF IWEco Dream.

Billion Dreams and 20 million dollars to get the ball rolling: Fulfilling the GEF IWEco Dream. 

For World Environment Day 2015, celebrated on June 5, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) seeks seven billion dreams in consuming with care our planet’s resources. 

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has converted one dream to a reality for ten Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with the approval of a regional, multifocal project which will contribute to the preservation and sustainable use of the Caribbean’s natural resources.

The Integrated Water, Land and Ecosystems Management in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (GEF IWEco) Project recently secured approval and funding of USD20,722,572 towards the use of integrated approaches for the management of fresh and coastal water resources, ecosystem services and sustainable land and forest use across the Caribbean region. The five year project will see the participation of Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. The Bahamas has also received approval for the development of a Medium-sized Project to be executed alongside the major project.

GEF IWEco will support policy, institutional and legislative reforms, and the implementation of effective appropriate technologies to help accelerate the Caribbean’s contribution to global targets such as those highlighted in the SAMOA Pathway and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Christopher Corbin, Programme Officer for UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme’s Assessment and Management of Environmental Pollution (AMEP) Sub-programme noted that‘the approval of the GEF IWEco project will provide the necessary funding for addressing environmental priorities such as poor sanitation, unreliable water supply, the sustainable use of biodiversity and enhanced capacity for climate change resilience’. He added that ‘as we consume our natural resources at an unsustainable rate, we must find viable innovative solutions, such as those available through the project, to manage the use of our islands’ resources’.

Currently in its inception phase, the project falls within the scope of the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region (Cartagena Convention) and its Protocols concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities (LBS) and Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW).These agreements commit Governments of the region to take serious measures in the management and sustainable use of their critical coastal and marine resources.

GEF IWEco will be co-implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and co-executed by UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP), the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the GEF Small Grants Programme and several other regional partners.

Mrs Alessandra Vanzella-Khouri, Officer in Charge of UNEP CEP noted that ‘the increased support of approximately 30 varied stakeholders meant that the project would garner support from local, commercial and industrial sectors and provide greater community level benefits’. She added that the ‘GEF IWEco Project is a fulfilled dream of its predecessor the Integrated Watershed and Coastal Areas Management in Caribbean SIDS (IWCAM) Project, which was also funded by the GEF and executed by UNEP CEP, and will implement many of the lessons learnt from that project’.

In his message for this year’s World Environment Day, Mr Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UNEP stated that ‘there is still time to transform the challenges of dwindling and finite resources into opportunities that will promote prosperous economies and a healthy planet for generations to come’ and that is the dream the GEF IWEco hopes to set into motion for countries of the Wider Caribbean.


SDGs seen as the right space for inclusion - UN S-G Advisor

One of the thematic issues that was addressed by United Nations Speical Advisor  Amina Mohamed at the Forum for the future of the Caribbean in Port of Spain is ensuring social inclusion for economic and human development. In her keynote address she stated "we must invest in our human capital to ensure stronger economies and peaceful, inclusive societies". While women are  more vulnerable in society, their role in leadership and impelmenting sustainable livelihoods , together with youth are pivotal for  successful development in the future.

"the core of the post-2015 agenda is poverty eradication. In achieving sustainable development and dignity for all, the agenda aims to address the essential needs of the most marginalized populations so that no one is left behind"

Amina also addressed addressing communications technologies, partnerships, mobilising finance and  'making institiutions fit for purpose' as part of the role that Caribbean sates sould have to assume in integrating the SDGs as as part of their development strategies.  

During a townhall session at the UNIC office, questions came out from five countries that participated online.  Some of them were on whether inclusion also ment members of the LGBTI communities; reporting procedures and accuracy for the SDGs, the self determination of women and inclusion of boys in the gender issue. Amina reiterated that the SDGs propose that no one should be left behind and that lessons learned from MDGs as well as collaborations and knowledge sharing among Caribbean member states could all make for greater accuracy. 

She also suggested a need to for ministers of  finance in the region to play a greater role in the SDG agenda and also for society to challenge politicians to build that will to include the  17 goals as part of national development goals in part of a broader vison for countries.

To learn more about what Amina said , download her key speech address from the link below. ( pdf document ) or read it online - here


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