Crime, security and BAICO/CLICO matters get the attention of CARICOM heads

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MARCH 12TH 2012 (CUOPM) – Caribbean leaders have discussed current trends in criminal activity, including the international dimension and new and emerging threats to security in the region and agreed that the security of the Region continued to be of high priority, especially in the context of the international criminal architecture confronting the Region.

Heads of Government in the Official Photo at the 23rd Inter-Sessional in Paramaribo, Suriname

The Heads of Government who received an update on the CARICOM Framework for the Management of Crime and Security during the 23rd Inter-Sessional also discussed the future Regional Crime and Security Agenda including, possible areas for extra-regional co-operation and initiatives for sustaining it.

In this context, they received an interim report on the Consultancy to examine the institutions involved in implementing the Regional Security Agenda and agreed on the need for a closer working relationship among these institutions.

On the CLICO/BAICO matter, Heads of Government had previously recognized the systemic risk to the regional financial system, and had deemed the financial collapse of the Colonial Life Insurance Company and its subsidiary British American Insurance Company, in the Eastern Caribbean as a regional problem which required a regional resolution.

Accordingly, the Regional Technical Committee under the chairmanship of the President of the Caribbean Development Bank, which was set up by the Council for Finance and Planning, in early 2011 has submitted a slate of proposals to address this situation.

The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting said the proposals range from mechanisms to allow for the re-imbursement of policyholders, sharing of the burden of this reimbursement among affected States to institutional arrangements to support the stability of the financial system particularly in the Eastern Caribbean.

These proposals will shortly be considered for adoption by the Council for Finance and Planning with a view to providing early relief to the many policy-holders who have been adversely affected by this situation.

Heads of Government have requested the Central Bank Governors to provide an early report on the stability of the financial system in the Community, along with appropriate measures to enhance the regulation and monitoring of financial entities which operate cross-border.

Heads of Government commended the Government of Suriname on its initiative to develop a regional commercial enterprise to assist with the funding of the Community’s institutions. They agreed to support this initiative and endorsed the proposal for Suriname to undertake an initial feasibility study for the establishment of CARICOM Enterprises.

Heads of Government also agreed to the establishment of a Regional Task Force to examine the proposal in greater detail. In this regard, they further agreed that Suriname should serve as the Chair of the Task Force with Barbados, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, a representative of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Trinidad and Tobago as members.

In the area of climate change, Heads of Government approved the ‘Implementation Plan for the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change’ which defines the Region’s strategic approach for coping with climate change for the period 2011 – 2021.

They expressed appreciation for the support of International Development Partners with respect to the Implementation Plan and pledged to support the further efforts of the Climate Change Centre and the CARICOM Secretariat in the execution of the Plan.

Heads also acknowledged the significance of the upcoming United Nations Conference on Environment and Sustainable Development (Rio +20) scheduled for Brazil, 20 – 22June, 2012.

In recognizing the importance and sensitivities of the issues relating to the “Green Economy Framework” and the institutional strengthening of the International Framework for Sustainable Development, the Heads of Government agreed that the special development challenges faced by the small vulnerable developing states like those in the Caribbean, should be fully acknowledged in the Rio + 20 outcome.

To address these and other related matters, Heads of Government endorsed the hosting of a special meeting of the COTED on Sustainable Development to finalise a common regional position on the issues before the Rio+20 Conference.

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