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CARICOM cannot rely solely on funding, says Barbados minister
Published on January 23, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

mcclean_picewell.jpg
Barbados Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Maxine McClean (R), greeting High Commissioner of The Bahamas, Picewell Forbes. (Photo: A. Miller/BGIS)

By Shamkoe Pilé

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) -- The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) cannot afford to solely rely on funding if the regional institution is expected to grow.

Furthermore, Barbados Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean said that CARICOM needs to continue to identify what is feasible and what it can commit to given the circumstances of individual member states.

Speaking to High Commissioner of The Bahamas, Picewell Forbes, during a recent courtesy call, McClean pointed out that population support was also an important factor for growth.

"The new secretary general, Irwin LaRocque, is committed to engaging the people of CARICOM and one of the methods is to reach out through traditional and non-traditional media," she explained.

On the issue of funding, the high commissioner suggested that consideration could be given to umbrella aid.

"Negotiating as a region would be fine in different situations but you have to determine how aid is distributed," he noted.

In the area of tourism, the Bahamian envoy said his country was progressing with the construction of the largest luxury resort in the region - a multi-billion dollar project on Cable Beach in Nassau, which is expected to be completed in 2014.

Matters of alternative energy, legislation and casino gambling were also discussed.

The Bahamas joined CARICOM in 1983.
 
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Comments:

Ian Francis, Toronto,Ontario:

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) -- The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) cannot afford to solely rely on funding if the regional institution is expected to grow

RESPONSE:
Each time this lady opens her mouth. she embarasses the DLP of Dipper and Camie. What does she mean by stating that the CARICOM Secretariat cannot afford to solely rely on funding if the regional institution is expected to grow?

My understanding is that the Secretariat's survival is dependent upon funding from diverse sources. Is she suggesting that the member states are not in a position to solely fund the Secretariat so they have no other alternative but to knock doors. The Senator needs to CLARIFY THIS COMMENT..

Furthermore, Barbados Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean said that CARICOM needs to continue to identify what is feasible and what it can commit to given the circumstances of individual member states.

RESPONSE:
This is the most ridiculous and silly comment, I have ever heard from a Barbados politician. What is she smoking or inhaling? LOL

Speaking to High Commissioner of The Bahamas, Picewell Forbes, during a recent courtesy call, McClean pointed out that population support was also an important factor for growth.

RESPONSE:
It is well known globally that population is a very important factor for growth and national development.

"The new secretary general, Irwin LaRocque, is committed to engaging the people of CARICOM and one of the methods is to reach out through traditional and non-traditional media," she explained.

RESPONSE:
Madam Minister, you should have remained mute. If CARICOM is truly engaged with the region's population, then there must be an effective communication mechanism vehicle in place which will no doubt include the print, electronic and other aspects of social media.

What do you mean by traditional and non-traditional media. Please enlighten me.

On the issue of funding, the high commissioner suggested that consideration could be given to umbrella aid

RESPONSE:
Mr High Commissioner. After reading these dumb comments, there was no other alternative but to shake my head. What is Umbrella Aid? I was not aware that such a terminology existed. I thought that the terminologies were multilateral ,bilateral and institutional aid..

"Negotiating as a region would be fine in different situations but you have to determine how aid is distributed," he noted.

RESPONSE:

This is an extremely dumb comment. The Multilateral Aid received by the Secretariat is destined for the implementation of special initiatives, hiring of high priced bogus consultants and friends and meeting administrative cost to SURVIVE.

BILATERAL aid is given to individual regional governments to conduct national projects. After completion of the projects, the recipient government must report to the donor on what was achieved.

I however concur that CARICOM SECRETARIAT must find a mechanism where many of its multilateral funded project activities can de decentralized in member states rather than hoarding everything in Georgetown or giving everything to the MDCS. A practical example is the CSME.

In the area of tourism, the Bahamian envoy said his country was progressing with the construction of the largest luxury resort in the region - a multi-billion dollar project on Cable Beach in Nassau, which is expected to be completed in 2014.

RESPONSE:
Good luck. How will it benefit other member states?

Matters of alternative energy, legislation and casino gambling were also discussed

RESPONSE:
This has been on the discussion agenda for the last ten years.

The Bahamas joined CARICOM in 1983
RESPONSE:

Good. However, your government need to tell other regional colleagues, why you abstained from the recent PLO vote at the UN? Why did Bahamas participated in the Free Syria meeting in Morocco? Where does the Bahamas stand on SYRIA?

Andrew Allen:

The Bahamas requires and recieves no aid from anyone. Why we continue to mix ourselves up with these pathetic begging organisations like Caricom is known only to our leaders.

Ian Francis, Toronto,Ontario:

Check your information as you have erred. Bahamas receives bilateral and multilateral aid from several sources. Both the United States contribute aid to Bahamas. Check your information as you are incorrect

Andrew Allen:

Firstly, I think you will find that some of what you are termming "aid" is unsolicited and only received as a courtesy, so as not to insult the donor. I can mention examples like the US' donations of craft and equipment to our Defence Force.

But a more typical example is the recent Chinese gift of a sports statium. The irony of the whole affair was that, whereas the stadium costs $38m, our government then used taxpayers' money to the tune of over $50m to upgrade and landscape the surrounding area.

So of course our governments are diplomatic enough not to return gifts. But it clearly has no interest in soliciting them, nor does the population have any interest in having aid given on their behalf. It is simply tiny (within the context of the Bahamian economy) gestures that are not refused.

But my point is that MOST of the reason it is even offered is because of our association with regional groups that present to the world the idea that we are all poor needy little islanders and victims of history.

The culture of aid dependency is totally alien to the Bahamas, so we should remove ourselves from associations that retain the culture.

I wonder what proportion of the Bahamas' GDP is comprised of the laughable 'aid' you mention. But even more importantly, I wonder how many Bahamians are even aware or give a hoot, as it clearly does not affect our lives.

Andrew Allen:

The Bahamas was "graduated" from most multilateral aid on concessionary terms several decades ago, as Barbados has recently been so graduated.

Andrew Allen:

I have just checked my facts, as you recommend, and found as follows:-

1) The Bahamas does not feature in USAID's list of recipient countries.
2) I refer you to the OECD website's list of recipient countries. You will note there is no reference to the Bahamas.

Where do you get your information on aid reciepts by the Bahamas?

Ian Francis, Toronto,Ontario:
U.S. Assistance to The Bahamas

U.S. foreign assistance to The Bahamas supports the key goals of bolstering law enforcement and counternarcotics efforts, including demand reduction, strengthening the criminal justice system, and improving interdiction capabilities. Regional security programs complement bilateral aid, providing further assistance for law enforcement, citizen safety, and rule-of-law programs. Additional support provided through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funds programs in HIV prevention and awareness and stigma mitigation.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The Bahamian economy is driven by tourism and financial services. Most of the U.S.-affiliated businesses operating in The Bahamas are associated with tourism and banking. Historically, a majority of the 4-5 million tourists visiting The Bahamas each year have been from the United States. The Bahamas imports nearly all its food and manufactured goods from the United States, although it is beginning to diversify its supply chain to include Asian and Latin American suppliers. U.S. goods and services tend to be favored by Bahamians due to cultural similarities and exposure to U.S. advertising. Due to its dependence on U.S. tourism and trade, the Bahamian economy is affected by U.S. economic performance. The Bahamas is a beneficiary of the U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Customs and Border Protection maintains "preclearance" facilities at the airports in Nassau and Freeport. Travelers to the U.S., including business people and tourists, are interviewed and inspected before departure, allowing faster connection times in the U.S.

Ian Francis, Toronto,Ontario:

http://justf.org/Country?country=Bahamas


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