Caribbean RoundUp

Mia Amor Mottley.
Mia Amor Mottley, prime minister, minister for National Security and the Civil Service addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York, on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.
John Angelillo /Pool Photo via Associated Press/File
Prime Minister of  Antigua and Barbuda and chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), Gaston Browne, is confident small island states being negatively affected by climate change will soon receive funding from those who are major emitters.
Brown expressed optimism to the Guardian Media in an interview at the COP27 conference currently taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Last week, Browne enjoyed a major victory as nations at the United Nations Conference agreed to put loss and damage funding on its agenda for this year’s event.
He said “it  wasn’t before stressful preliminary talks, which would ultimately see the opening preliminary session delayed for hours, with negotiators unable to agree on whether to put it on the agenda, which developed countries have long kept on the back burner but it was a major win for small island and developing states at the start of this summit.
Browne has now set his sight on furthering the agenda through he is wary it may not happen at COP 27.
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley  last week announced a new initiative involving the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa to develop pharmaceutical products for global health.
“Today is a truly historical moment as with a great sense of urgency and understanding, South-South C-operation rose to the fore to address matter of global public health,” Mottley said.
According to a statement issued in Sharm el-Sheikh, along with Guyana President Dr. Irfaan Ali and President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame met on the sidelines met on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) to discuss the furthering of pharmaceutical equity for global public health with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen,  and Director General of  the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom  Ghebreyesus.
“The key recommendations emanating from the meeting is an inter-governmental  South-South cooperation initiative aiming at the development and manufacturing of 60 percent of all essential contemporary pharmaceutical for the populations of Latin America, the Caribbean and  Africa within their respective continents by 2040” according to the statement.
The statement said that the leaders of the countries and organizations which have launched this initiative have emphasized that all interested countries in the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa  region are invited to join.
The Guyana government has granted approval for the auctioning of 14 oil blocks offshore Guyana, Vice-president Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo announced last week.
The  auction was initially for  the end of September, however, the vice president noted that the extensive preparatory work had to be completed.
Government hired IHS Market as the lead consultant for this process.
The Minister of Natural Natural Resources will issue a new date for the auctioning in due course and Jagdeo has assured that prospective bidders will be provided with the terms of  auction “long before” it is formally launched.
He explained that the government had decided to auction 14 blocks ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 square kilometers each, with the majority measuring closer to 2,000 square kilometers.
Eleven of these blocks are in the shallow area, while the other three will be in the deep sea area.
The Grenada government has recently appointed businesswoman Ronalanda McQueen as chairman of a 12-member Commission on Cannabis Legislation and Regulation, whose task includes holding broad-based consultation and engaging in public awareness on policy decision to legalize cannabis within a legal and regulatory framework.
During the opening of the new Parliament following the June 23 general election, Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade said the Dickson Mitchell government would invest in the emerging sector of the cannabis industry.
“Cannabis will be legalized and a legal and regulatory framework for its production and sale will be created to commence and guide the development of the industry.
“The focus will be on the medical and industrial uses of the plant to create employment and generate foreign exchange,” she said.
It said the commission is mandated to hold broad-based consultations and engage in public awareness on the policy decision to legalize cannabis.
The commission, whose members have background  ranging from law to medicine, religion to medicine, will also provide recommendations on the institutional structure for the implementation of the provisions of the legislation to legalize cannabis within a legal and regulatory framework, in  keeping with the policy decision of the government.
The European Union has pledged €1million  to help Haiti to fight the cholera epidemic n the impoverished Caribbean island.
The funds were mobilized by the  civil protection and by the humanitarian aid  operation department of the EU support action that will be implemented by the Pan American Health Organization ((PAHO)
The emergency response will benefit approximately 48,000 people by facilitating  access to timely and adequate life-saving treatment and protecting vulnerable  people from cholera infection.
With this this emergency funding from the European Union, PAHO will purchase essential inputs to improve treatment delivery and cholera detection capabilities such as rapid tests, reagents, collection of samples and collection of diagnosis.
A Jamaican national has been arrested in connection with has been described as the biggest cocaine bust in Nigeria’s history.
Media reports in the African country named 42-year-old Kevin Smith, from Kingston, as among four people held in  connection with seizure.
The other three individuals are from Nigeria and are said  to be members of the drug cartel.
The authorities said the cocaine was found in 10 traveling bags and 13 drums, and according to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), which is Nigeria’s Anti-Narcotic Department, the US $278 million drug bust took place at a large warehouse in an estate in Ikordu area of Lagos NDELA spokesperson Femi Babfermi said agents found about 1.8 tons of the illicit drugs and the Jamaican warehouse manager was arrested in an intelligence-led operation across several locations that lasted two days in Lagos.
— Compiled by Azad Ali