Members of the new government in Barbados will still have to declare their assets in order to serve, despite the absence of integrity legislation.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley made the announcement recently as members of Cabinet, the House of Assembly, Senate, and parliamentary secretaries were sworn in, a week after the Barbados Labor Party’s (BLP) clean sweep at the polls.
Mottley said she remains hopeful that there would be the passing of integrity legislation on the third attempt to bring it before Parliament.
However, she noted, a modern Corruption Act was passed, as well the Whistleblower Act and Deferred Prosecution, which give additional powers to law enforcement and prosecution officials.
She highlighted that recent reports described Barbados as being among the top 30 countries in the world that were least corrupt and the least corrupt Caribbean nation.
CARICOM (Caribbean Community) and Colombia foreign ministers have agreed that regional cooperation is an important instrument to achieve sustainable and inclusive development in each of their countries. They also reiterated their willingness to deepen the relationship between them.
According to the Declaration of Barranquilla issued at the end of the second Colombia-CARICOM Ministerial Summit issued recently in Barranquilla, Colombia, the foreign ministers agreed that the summit provides the “optimal space for dialogue and the strengthen of political, economic, cultural, social and cooperation ties.”
They also agreed to commit to strengthening the regional integration and co-ordinated mechanism in which they share membership, renewing their support for the proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace.
The summit expressed “profound gratitude” to the Colombia government for the donation of US$1million to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to support vaccination programs in CARICOM member countries.
The Cayman Islands (CI) says children 11 years and younger will now be permitted to enter the British Overseas Territory regardless of their vaccination status.
In a statement, the CI said the island has officially entered Phase 5 of its strategic phased re-opening plan, allowing for “children aged 11 years and younger…. to travel to the destination accompanied by vaccinated adults regardless of the child’s vaccination status.
“In addition, quarantine requirements for all travelers are shortened from ten days to seven days and testing protocols have been altered, now requiring travelers to submit a lateral flow test on days two, five and seven of their stay.”
Tourism and Transport Minister Kenneth V Bryan said these changes will make it much easier to travel to the destination with children and allow families to enjoy a “well-deserved, relaxing holiday in Cayman once again.”
The Cayman Islands has recorded 15 deaths and 13, 734 infections linked to the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020.
Guyana will soon launch a GUY$2,000 bill. Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr. Gobind Ganga said the new currency note would go into circulation in a few weeks after all the administrative procedures, such as publication in the Official Gazette, alerting the public about the security features and presenting one of the notes symbolically to President Irfaan Ali.
He said that the new currency note was expected to go into circulation to commemorate Guyana’s 55th Independence anniversary, but that was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He told News Talk radio listeners that Mashramani often abbreviated to “Mash” is an annual festival that celebrates Guyana becoming a Republic on Feb. 23, 1970.
Ganga said the GUY$2,000 note will depict the One Guyana unity theme and is part of plans to commemorate Guyana’s 55th Independence anniversary.
He said it would not have been a good idea to have introduced a higher denomination because of expected currency revaluation in the coming years.
Ganga said Guyana may have to return to one-dollar, five-dollar and ten-dollar notes because ‘the currency shouldn’t be depreciating any further.”
GUYANA banknotes are in the GUY$20, GUY$50, GUY$100, GUY$500, GUY$
1,000 and GUY$5,000 denominations.
The Grenada government has joined other countries in the region to become a signatory to a new United Nations Multi-country Sustainable Development Framework (MSDF) for the Caribbean for the years 2022 to 2026.
The framework, which will align with Individual Country Implementation Plans, will govern UN collaboration in the region for the next five years, to support countries to recover and build from the Covid-19 pandemic, eliminate shocks and other vulnerabilities in a sustainable way, that leaves no one behind.
The new co-operation was signed by Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell and Didier Trebuckq, the UN resident co-oordinator during a hybrid ceremony between UN House in Barbados and Grenada’s Cabinet Office.
The other countries that are signatories for the framework are the British Virgin Islands, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Lucia.
It has been a bloody start to the new year in Jamaica as the country recorded 112 murders during the first 23 days in January — 15.5 percent increase compared to January 2021, according to figures released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
It said that the death toll is 15.5 percent higher or 15 murders more than the corresponding period last year when 97 murders were recorded.
The JFC figures show the St. James Police Division recorded 21 cases compared to 18 last year.
The JFC is also reporting a decrease in the number of shooting incidents, with 71 cases reported over the period under review, compared with 85 for the same period last year.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that a section of Savannah-la-Mar, Westmoreland, had been declared a zone of special operations (ZOSO).
He said ZOSO is a specifically designed intervention which is more graphically limited and focused on community building.
Holness said while the zone of special operations is a tool to fight crime, “it is not an immediate response tool.”
Jamaica recorded 1,463 murders last year.
Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago also started a bloody year with 55 murders recorded in January — an increase of 100 percent compared to the same period last year.
The Trinidad and Tobago Government has allocated TT$20 million to host a scaled down version of the “Greatest Show on Earth” this year dubbed a “Taste of Carnival 2022” festivities.
In a statement last week, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts said that support for “A Taste of Carnival” has been approved by Cabinet.
There was no Carnival last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Carnival Commission (NCC) Chairman, Winston “Gypsy” Peters revealed the introduction of a pod system to allow patrons to enjoy live shows at the Queen’s Park Savannah while maintaining public health rules of gatherings of no more than 10 people.
The pods, which resememble a mini boxing ring, will come in two sizes — one for six patrons and less and another for no more than 10 people.
There will be 200 of the modified “pods” made of wooden flooring with metal pipes in a semi-circular fashion.
The NCC chairman said the idea of the pod was not unique to Trinidad and Tobago but was a template being used globally.
Peter’s said the Carnival season will kick off with the opening of Calypso tents on Feb. 11.
Events will be held at three venues across the country — Queen’s Park Savannah, Queen’s Hall in Port of Spain and at the Naparima Bow in San Fernando.
The official calendar of events include calypso tents, a national ex-tempo competition, a national pan event, Calypso Fiesta, Senior King and Queens, Kaisorama, Dimanche Gras, and a brass concert
There would be no J’Ouvert and street parade of bands on Carnival Monday 28 and Tuesday March 1.
Peter’s said all persons taking part in “A Taste of Carnival” have to be fully vaccinated and must meet the requirements of the safe zones.
— Compiled by Azad Ali