CARICOM Secretariat, Guyana - May 2, 2012 - Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque continued his busy round of meetings in Washington DC, USA on Wednesday holding discussions with the World Bank, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the Organisation of American States (OAS).
The Secretary-General and Mr Hasan Tulay World Bank Vice President Latin America and the Caribbean Region discussed the state of the regional economies and possible areas of assistance from the World Bank to the Community. There was acknowledgement that the Caribbean was a special subset of countries that were not amenable to the standard packages available from the International Financial Institutions (IFIs).
They agreed on the need to prioritise actions in order to ensure effective delivery of results which would in turn build confidence in the prospects of the Region. Ambassador LaRocque identified the need for World Bank assistance, among other areas, in developing the Information and Communication Technology sector in the Community in building a regional ICT space to allow for more and cheaper broadband access. Such a development, it was agreed, would promote the potential of technology driven enterprises and open opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment.
The Secretary-General used the opportunity of his discussions with Dr Mirta Roses Periago, Director of PAHO to thank her for the organisations role in the establishment of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and its work in Haiti with respect to the cholera epidemic in particular.
The Director expressed cautious optimism in the battle against the epidemic and noted that the rates of infection had been substantially reduced. She said PAHO was committed to CARPHA and was convinced it was the right move for the Region as public health was one of the keys to development.
Discussions with Mr Jose Miguel Insulza, Secretary-General of the OAS centred around the recent Sixth Summit of the Americas, election observation in CARICOM Member States, Haiti, Security in the Region, the reform process in CARICOM and efforts to boost trade capacity in the Region. The OAS Secretary-General expressed his organisation’s willingness to work with the Community’s Security institutions as regional partners in the fight against transnational crime and the traffic in illegal drugs. Both Secretaries-General looked forward to the early establishment of a cabinet in Haiti to allow for the reconstruction efforts to pick up pace.