COMMUNIQUÉ Issued at the Conclusion of the Thirtieth Inter-Sessional Meeting of…

first_imgMultilateral Air Services Agreement –Dominica Grenada, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago You may be interested in… Declaration of Intent to Provisionally apply the Protocol on Contingent Rights Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines APPRECIATION Heads of Government expressed their appreciation for the gracious hospitality and excellent arrangements provided by the Government and People of St Kitts and Nevis for this meeting. Protocol on Contingent Rights Belize, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis OPENING SESSION Chairman of Conference Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris, immediate past Chairman, Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness and Secretary-General of the Community, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque addressed the opening session. The themes of the statements reflected: the need to advance the progress already achieved with regard to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME); closer regional unity in order to respond strategically and decisively to a changing global environment; as well as the Community’s concerns with respect to blacklisting and the situation in Venezuela. The text of their statements can be accessed at www.caricom.org. Jul 6, 2019 Revised Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC)–Dominica Communique – Thirty-Eighth CARICOM Heads of Government… CARICOM SINGLE MARKET AND ECONOMY Heads of Government reviewed progress on decisions taken at the Eighteenth Special Meeting, of the Conference on the CSME. They welcomed the fact that all countries party to the CSME have signed the Protocol on Contingent Rights.  In addition, eight countries have decided to apply the measures that would allow their nationals to benefit in those countries from the provisions of that agreement on contingent rights which allows for spouses and dependents of skilled workers who move to another country to access services such as education and health on the same basis as nationals.  The countries involved are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. They welcomed the opening for signature of the Agreement on the Protocol for Public Procurement and noted that the Protocol can be provisionally applied when seven Member States have signed a Declaration of Intent while recognizing that for entry into force, the Protocol must be signed by all parties to the Revised Treaty. Heads of Government, in pursuit of strengthening the consultative mechanisms for engagements with the private sector, labour and civil society agreed to meet with representatives of national Business and Labour Advisory Committees (BLAC) twice every year. They emphasised that this was essential for enhanced regional decision-making, particularly in the context of the CSME. They urged Member States that had not yet done so to give legal effect to the free movement of the 10 categories of skilled persons already agreed by the Conference ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP: UPDATE ON APPLICATIONS FROM ARUBA, CURAÇAO AND SINT MAARTEN Heads of Government considered a report from the Secretary-General on the visit to three countries that have applied for Associate Membership, namely Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, in pursuance of the mandate given to him to begin the process of negotiations. Heads of Government, taking into account the existence of common areas of interest and the mutual benefit that could be derived, mandated the Secretary-General to continue negotiations with those countries, with a view to making appropriate recommendations at the next meeting of Conference. Guyana-Venezuela Relations Heads of Government received an update on the most recent developments between the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. They noted that Guyana had submitted its Memorial on Jurisdiction to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on November 19, 2018, in accordance with an Order of the Court and that the Court had established April 18, 2019 for the submission of the Counter Memorial by Venezuela. Heads of Government expressed support for the judicial process underway which was intended to bring a peaceful and definitive end to the long standing controversy and which was in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and the decision of the Secretary General of the United Nations under the Geneva Agreement of 1966. Heads of Government reiterated their firm and unswerving support for the maintenance and preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Guyana. Agreement on the Return and Sharing of Recovered AssetsBarbados Declaration of Intent to Provisionally Apply the Protocol on Public ProcurementBarbados, St Kitts and Nevis BLACKLISTING Heads of Government recognised that the blacklisting of CARICOM Member States by the European Union (EU) has wrought considerable reputational damage to the Community.  Despite all Member States, with the exception of one, being removed from the EU blacklist, the damage inflicted is irreparable and has consequential implications for building Member States’ economic and climate resilience given their inherent vulnerabilities. Heads of Government emphasised the Community’s commitment to good governance and the drive to enhance Domestic Resource Mobilisation (DRM) in accordance with the United Nations (UN) Addis Ababa Action Agenda, while recognizing that small, highly vulnerable States also require access to external capital to build resilience. In this regard, Heads of Government viewed the EU’s approach to “tax good governance” as inappropriate. In addition, Heads of Government recall that the appropriate forum to deal with these matters is the OECD Forum for Harmful Tax Practices which is inclusive in allowing other Member States to be present and to be consulted.  This was settled by the global community more than a decade ago.  The OECD has already reviewed the steps taken by Member States and had no difficulty with them.  It is an infringement of their sovereignty, coercive and harmful to the future of a key economic sector in CARICOM for the EU to demand these political commitments.  In addition they have not provided any empirical evidence of instances of tax evasion. Heads of Government agreed that the Community’s strategy against blacklisting will be multi-dimensional and targeted to both the immediate protection of Member States’ sovereignty and their future relations with Europe. Heads of Government have accordingly requested the EU to cease the blacklisting of CARICOM States which have already made commitments to reform their tax structures in good faith. Heads of Government have proposed that the EU should adopt a more collaborative approach which would allow Member States to conduct the required impact and sensitivity analyses to determine how to further align their tax regimes with global standards for tax transparency and governance. Heads of Government noted other EU initiatives to identify countries with strategic deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) frameworks as well as to monitor investor citizenship and residence schemes within the context of their visa suspension mechanism for visa-free countries. In this regard, Heads of Government welcomed the initiative of the CARICOM Committee of Central Bank Governors to convene a Biennial Caribbean Regional Conference on AML/CFT Risk Management commencing in 2020.  This Conference will allow for the dissemination of information on Member States’ AML/CFT Frameworks as well as facilitate the Community’s engagement with AML/CFT stakeholders internationally. May 9, 2018 The Thirtieth Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was held at Frigate Bay, St Kitts and Nevis 26-27, February 2019.  Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris, chaired the proceedings. Other Members of the Conference in attendance were: Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Honourable Gaston Browne; Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Honourable Dr. Hubert Minnis; Prime Minister of Barbados, Honourable Mia Mottley;  Prime Minister of Dominica, Honourable Roosevelt Skerritt; Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Honourable Keith Mitchell; Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness; Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Honourable Allen Chastanet; Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves; and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley. Belize was represented by the Attorney General Honourable Michael Peyrefitte; Guyana was represented by His Excellency Second Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge; Haiti was represented by Foreign Minister, Honourable Bocchit Edmond; and Suriname was represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honourable Yidiz Pollack-Beighle. VENEZUELA Heads of Government discussed the situation in Venezuela and issued a “Statement on Escalating Tensions in Venezuela”. BORDER ISSUES Belize-Guatemala Relations Heads of Government received an update on the most recent developments between Belize and Guatemala. Heads of Government recalled that in accordance with the Special Agreement to Submit Guatemala’s Claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Guatemala successfully held their referendum on 15 April 2018 to submit its claim on Belize to the ICJ for a final resolution, and that Belize has scheduled the date of 10 April 2019 for its national referendum.  They further welcomed an update on progress of the nationwide public education campaign, which the Government of Belize is undertaking to prepare Belizeans to make an informed decision. Heads of Government reiterated their concern that the undertaking by both countries and the Organisation of American States (OAS) to engage in the design and development of a mechanism of co-operation for the Sarstoon River remains outstanding and urged both countries and the OAS to reinvigorate their efforts to this end. They expressed support for the crucial role of the OAS in the process aimed at resolving the dispute, arising from Guatemala’s claims on Belize; and further called on the international community to continue supporting the OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone. Heads of Government re-emphasised their unwavering support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of Belize. AGREEMENTS SIGNED  TRANSPORTATION Heads of Government met in Special Session on Transportation in keeping with their quest to deliver adequate, fair, competitive, efficient transportation services at affordable costs. Heads of Government recalled that the Multi-lateral Air Services Agreement (MASA) had been opened for signature in February 2018 and acknowledged the assent by all Member States to the MASA would give effect to the Community becoming a liberalised environment for CARICOM air carriers.  In that regard they urged those Member States which had not done so, to sign and ratify the Agreement.  Nine (9) countries have now signed the MASA allowing for provisional application. Heads of Government agreed that Member States should undertake a review of their domestic taxes and other charges related to the air transportation sector, with a view to rationalising the relevant tax structures as deemed appropriate by Member States Ministries of Finance. With respect to maritime travel, Heads of Government agreed to establish a joint private and public sector team to review the findings and recommendations of reports on a regional ferry service. The team has been requested to provide preliminary estimates for the implementation of a ferry services following discussions and negotiations with prospective ferry operators. Heads of Government also agreed that the Directors of Maritime Affairs of each Member State should meet regularly with the intention of coordinating and presenting a holistic approach to addressing the maritime safety and security issues of the Community. Heads of Government further agreed to restructure the Regional Transportation Commission (RTRC) and its programmes to enable greater efficiency.center_img Declaration of Intent to provisionally apply the Agreement on the Return and Sharing of Recovered AssetsBarbados Protocol on Public ProcurementBarbados, St Kitts and Nevis Jul 7, 2017 Declaration of Intent to Provisionally Apply Multilateral Air Services Agreement –Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago STATEMENT ON ESCALATING TENSIONS IN VENEZUELA  ISSUED BY THE THIRTIETH INTER-SESSIONAL MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF GOVERNMENT OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY DATE OF THE FORTIETH REGULAR MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF GOVERNMENT OF CARICOM (JULY 2019) The Government of Saint Lucia indicated that the Fortieth Regular Meeting of the Conference will be held on 3-5 July 2019. COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE FORTIETH REGULAR… Situation in Haiti Heads of Government expressed deep concern about the situation prevailing in Haiti during the past three weeks characterized by violent protests jeopardizing the political, economic and social stability of the country. Heads of Government recognised that the violent protests violated the fundamental and inalienable rights and freedoms of a large part of the population. Heads of Government call upon all stakeholders to prioritise dialogue as a means to address peacefully and meaningfully all relevant issues and to create the conditions for lasting political stability essential to the sustainable economic and social development of Haiti. Heads of Government also encourage and support the Haitian Government in its efforts and initiatives and call on all Opposition Leaders and other stakeholders to put the national interests and the wellbeing of the Haitian People at the forefront. Mar 1, 2019 Associate Members in attendance were: Bermuda represented by Deputy Premier and Minister of Home Affairs, Honourable Walter Roban; and the Turks and Caicos Islands, represented by Deputy Premier, Honourable Sean Astwood. Frigate Bay, St. Kitts and Nevis 27 February 2019 STATEMENT ON ESCALATING TENSIONS IN VENEZUELA ISSUED BY THE… SECURITY Heads of Government reiterated the critical importance to the Region of the national and regional security architectures in combatting crime and violence, transnational crime and other security threats as well as for the effective functioning of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Free Movement Regimes. Heads of Government also welcomed the adoption and opening for signature of the Agreement on the Return and Sharing of Recovered Assets from criminal activity. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is deeply concerned by the recent further escalation of tensions in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the ensuing increase in hardship and suffering of the population exacerbated by the imposition of sanctions. The people of Venezuela must be allowed to decide their own future in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter – non-intervention, non-interference, prohibition of the threat or use of force, respect for the rule of law, human rights and democracy. As CARICOM has ceaselessly advocated, for this objective to be attained, there has to be a meaningful and internal dialogue between the contending parties. This dialogue must determine how best the crisis can be resolved within the confines of the constitution and the rule of law, whether by referendum, elections or any other agreed mechanism. Nothing short of this will lead to the quelling of this crisis or provide the relief that all Venezuelans desire. Pending this, there must be a commitment to the delivery of humanitarian aid in a manner that is not politicised but which uses United Nations mechanisms that have been used over the years for the impartial and effective delivery of humanitarian relief. EXCHANGE OF VIEWS WITH SPECIAL GUEST Heads of Government welcomed Her Excellency the President of Estonia and acknowledged the forging of new relations between CARICOM and Estonia based on shared interests. They agreed to continue to explore areas of cooperation in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and e-government. The President outlined the development of her country as a digital nation emphasising its value to economic growth and development which could be an example for small countries. Heads of Government agreed on the need for cooperation initiatives between CARICOM and the Government of Estonia in order to advance the digital development of the Community and to promote the collective approach to the CARICOM Single ICT Space and the ‘CARICOM Digital Agenda 2025’ initiative. Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Frigate Bay, St. Kitts and Nevis 27 February 2019 ………………………………………………………….. See also: Press Conference – 30th Inter-Sessional Meeting CARICOM Heads of Government Bilateral relations matters among COFCOR’s key… COMMUNIQUÉ – 29th Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOMCOMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE TWENTY-NINTH INTER-SESSIONAL MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF GOVERNMENT OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY 26-27 February, 2018, Port-au-Prince, Haiti   The Twenty-Ninth Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was held at Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on 26-27…March 1, 2018In “Anguilla”PM Harris meets CARICOM SG ahead of assuming Community Chairmanship(OPM St. Kitts and Nevis Press Release) Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris met today, Monday, 17 December, 2018, with the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, in the Office of the Prime Minister at Government Headquarters. Prime Minister Harris said it was a special privilege…December 17, 2018In “CARICOM”PM Harris welcomes efforts to strengthen CDF(St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service Press Release) Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, says he welcomes efforts advanced at the recent 31st Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Caribbean Community’s Heads of Government to strengthen the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) headquartered in St. Michael, Barbados.…February 21, 2020In “31Intersessional”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

Revenues down at Allen & Overy

first_imgHalf-year revenues at magic circle firm Allen & Overy fell by 7% as the City giant became the first to announce its financial performance results over the past six months. Revenues fell from £548m to £511m during the six months to 31 October. More than half of the firm’s turnover was generated outside the UK. The firm said that it has benefited from increased demand for high-end litigation, restructuring and regulatory work. For the year ending 30 April 2009, revenues at the firm rose 7% to £1.09bn from £1.02bn in 2007/08. Over the same period, profits fell 4% from £447m to £431m, while profits per equity partner fell 9% from £1.1m to £1m. Managing partner Wim Dejonghe said of the half-year results: ‘As expected, market conditions remain challenging for us and our clients. Despite last year’s drop-off in activity carrying over into the first few months of this year, we have recently seen an increase in our activity levels. This is highlighted by our involvement in some high-profile international instructions, such as the sale of Gatwick Airport, the government of Abu Dhabi’s bank bailouts and each of the first four major UCC foreclosures on landmark properties in the US in 2009. ‘While everyone adjusts to the new size and shape of global markets, demand for high quality legal advice remains. Now we have our capacity right and have improved cost controls, our increased activity levels mean we are cautiously optimistic about what lies ahead. We have made significant strategic investments, such as the recent lateral hires in high yield and litigation, and where we see further opportunities to improve our position we will continue to invest.’last_img read more

First look: Olivia Pope meets Annalise Keating in the Scandal and HTGAWM crossover eve

first_imgScandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC, followed by HTGAWM at 10 p.m. ET.Powered by WPeMatico Related ABC/Eric McCandlessOlivia Pope and Annalise Keating will officially cross paths on March 1. Washington adds, “ I really love Viola. I have such immense respect and admiration for her.“ In the first look photo from the upcoming Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder crossover event, obtained by Entertainment Weekly, Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope and Viola Davis’ Annalise Keating are seen walking into a conference room together, both with no-nonsense looks on their faces.While the exact storyline hasn’t been announced, it’s rumored to have something to do with Annalise’s class action lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania. Davis tells EW, “It was black girl magic on steroids! Me and Kerry dancing to ‘Rock the Boat’? Hey, it can’t get any better.“ last_img read more

FA Cup replays scrapped for next season

first_imgWith a shortened season starting a month later than usual in September there is more pressure on an already hectic calendar.The FA has taken the decision that all ties in the FA Cup will be decided on the day rather than allowing for the usual replay.“In order to assist in easing pressure on the football schedule, there will be no replays for the 2020-21 season,” the FA said in a statement.“After two seasons of record levels of prize funds, the Emirates FA Cup prize fund has returned back in line with 2017-18 levels due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”Significant changes have also been made by the English Football League to the League Cup in a bid to help teams cope with the schedule.The first four rounds will be compressed into consecutive weeks in September, with the fifth round held the week before Christmas to avoid clashes with the Champions League.The two-legged semi-finals, often criticised by managers, will now be played on January 5 or 6, with the club drawn first benefiting from home advantage.Premier League clubs will enter the competition in either round two, or round three for sides with European commitments.last_img read more

GTU must take some responsibility for current situation

first_imgDear Editor,I sincerely hope that the current impasse in relation to the contract for teachers could be resolved without a prolonged saga; our teachers deserve better. Having said that, I cannot help but feel that the Guyana Teachers Union must also take some responsibility for the current sad situation our teachers find themselves in. This position was arrived at as a result of the following three points:1. The initial offer proposed could at best be regarded as reckless and would have contributed to the perception that the Union is not taking this process seriously. It is one thing to devise a wish list for consideration under ideal circumstances and entirely another to establish a basis for serious engagement in the best interest of those you represent.The proposal from the Union was clearly the former and would have undermined their ability to sit at the table and engage in worthwhile negotiations without seeming to lose significantly – let us be real, a 40 per cent increase for over 9000 teachers retroactive to 2015 in this economic climate is a tall ask. Add that to the request for debunching, which any government would balk at given the enormity of the payout, you leave yourself in the untenable situation we currently face.More importantly, the Union seems to lack the capacity to devise alternative practical arrangements that would see the disbursement of those funds over a protracted period in forms that would see teachers potentially benefiting without an actual cash payout – it appears that they are hoping that the Government would devise same and they will wait forever for that.2. The Guyana Teachers Union, whether they would accept it or not, appeared to be playing politics all along rather than strictly sticking to the business of teachers’ welfare.Unfortunately, like other unions in Guyana, the GTU showed its hand early in 2015 when the pre-existing contract expired under the previous Government and just prior to the general elections they decided to ‘work to rule’ as a form of protest for not arriving at a speedy contract renewal engagement. Three years hence, they have not yet treated the business of teachers’ livelihoods with equal urgency and allowed themselves to be exposed in numerous charades and exercises in futility.The fact that it was Minister Ally who was sent to the meeting with the GTU, instead of someone with more authority to fully address the issues at hand, speaks volumes in relation to how the Union is regarded by the Government. One could only assume that she was sent there to appeal to their political sensibilities.As such, the opportunity for objective and balanced engagement has long been squandered and teachers are now in a rather tenuous situation. Few would be surprised if in a few days a different pronouncement is heard from the Union regarding some compromise that leaves teachers in no better position than they currently are – that has been the pattern, talk big then back down.3. The GTU has failed to establish themselves as a formidable force that would give them the clout to truly orchestrate the coup they are attempting. Their laughable mini protests to date, with the same faces I might add, are a reflection of the fact that they are out of step with the masses they represent. Teachers are not engaged in the type of professional experiences that would move them to develop the collective consciousness that the Union is now desperately relying on. The occasional meeting and some cases of advocacy on the part of teachers within the system is a far cry from the role this Union should play in the lives of the almost 10,000 teachers they represent.The Union needs to demonstrate that they are contributing to the professional development of teachers on a consistent basis. Teachers need to see tangible evidence that they are part of a professional association that contributes to their professional and personal advancement.On this count, the Union has failed miserably. Unfortunately, our teachers are now asked to awaken some dormant affiliation to a cause that they have no faith has been handled in the best manner.The almost three-year delay in promotions a few years ago did nothing to help thousands of teachers who saw their professional advancement delayed for an issue few still understand –who really won? In the midst of this crisis, this might be bitter medicine for the Union to stomach, but it should at the least awaken a desire to do better in the future, because simply put, our teachers truly deserve better.Sincerely,Vivian D Brothersonlast_img read more