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CARICOM, UNDP Officials engage on 2024 Programme of Work

CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana – Friday, 8 March 2024:  Officials from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) met from 4-6 March at the Community’s Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana, to finalise a joint action plan for their cooperation.

The officials fleshed out a 2024 Action Plan to operationalise the CARICOM-UNDP Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which articulates their intention to work toward the development of Small Island Development States (SIDS) of the Caribbean.  

Signed in September 2022, the MOU, underscores cooperation on governance; climate and disaster resilience, sustainable energy, and natural resource management; citizen safety and security; economic development including the Blue Economy; innovation and digital inclusion of youth; financing for development, and institutional strengthening.  
Meeting discussions were led by CARICOM Deputy Secretary-General, Dr. Armstrong Alexis, and the UNDP’s Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (RBLA), Ms. Linda Maguire. 

Dr. Armstrong expressed the Secretariat’s appreciation of UNDP’s cooperation with CARICOM on three priorities – renewable energy, sustainable development, and citizen security. He called for a “concrete understanding” of actions which the organisations will pursue in those areas, at the end of the three-day engagement. Endorsing this approach, Ms. Maguire said, “The two organisations are powerful on their own, but it makes sense to do more together.”

Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Integration, Innovation and Development, Mr. Joseph Cox; Assistant Secretary-General for Human and Social Development, Ms Alison Drayton; and Assistant Secretary-General for Foreign and Community Relations, Ms. Elizabeth Solomon also participated in the discussions. 

They highlighted CARICOM’s interest in an AI regulatory framework to protect the creative industries, to deal with ethical issues, upskilling and reskilling of the workforce, and public education. The officials also drew attention to the need to update the CARICOM Energy Policy given the new and emerging oil producers in the Community and updating the Electric Vehicles Strategy to ensure adequate safeguard and regulations in respect of external policies such as Europe’s new emission standards. 

A study on the reduction of prolonged pre-trial detention was another intervention put forward for the CARICOM-UNDP 2024 Action Plan. 

Country Programme Specialist within the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mr. Richard Kelly, and UNDP’s Resident Representative in Guyana and Suriname, Mr. Gerardo Noto, joined Ms. Maguire for the discussions on the first day.  

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