Feb 25, 2017 Last Updated 5:15 PM, Feb 17, 2017

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat is ensuring that Member States are equipped to safeguard the health and safety of consumers.

With the support of the European Union’s 10th European Development Fund, its latest initiative is a Risk Assessment and Product Safety Training Workshop which opens Wednesday at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Jamaica. The 3-day workshop is hosted in collaboration with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Organization of American States (OAS) Consumer Safety and Health Network (CSHN). Approximately 30 participants from CARICOM Member States are expected to attend the training exercise. The opening ceremony will be attended by government officials and representatives of relevant agencies.

The workshop aims to strengthen the risk assessment and product safety capacity of the CARREX National Contact Points (NCPs) and Standards officers who will be operating the CARREX. CARREX is the CARICOM Rapid Alert System for the Exchange of Information on Dangerous (non-food) Consumer Goods. It will allow Member States to alert each other regarding unsafe items in the marketplace. The training exercise seeks to enhance the NCPs’ knowledge of risk assessment and product safety so that they can better detect and assess potentially unsafe items on the market. This should facilitate the effective and efficient use of the CARREX at both the national and regional level. Topics that will be covered include risk analysis, consumer behaviour, market surveillance among others. There will also be a presentation on the CARREX and its operation. Resource persons are drawn from the United States CPSC, OAS and the CARICOM Secretariat.

In January, the Secretariat provided technical assistance and training to the Consumer Protection Commission of the Bahamas. Approximately 20 participants from the Commission, the Bureau of Standards and other relevant agencies received training on the model Consumer Protection Bill, best practices regarding complaints handling and consumer education. The CARREX was also presented and participants had the opportunity to have their questions about the system addressed.

 

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Secondary school teachers in Guyana are set to be more knowledgeable about the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). This is due to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat’s hosting of a two-day CSME training workshop from Tuesday, January 17  at the Church View International Hotel in Berbice. Approximately thirty (30) teachers will be attending the workshop which is funded under the European Union’s 10th European Development Fund CSME and Economic Integration Programme. The official opening ceremony on Tuesday morning will be addressed by Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Neville Totaram and Senior Education Officer, Ms Carol Benn.

The workshop’s objective is to train teachers of first to third form students in how to stimulate interest in and encourage identification of career and skills development based on an understanding of the opportunities offered by the CSME. Education consultant, Dr. Heather Johnson, has been contracted by the Secretariat to develop and conduct the training session. Coming out of this activity and based on participant feedback, a training module will be finalized and it is anticipated that this will be a tool for teachers in CARICOM Member States. A similar workshop was held successfully in Saint Lucia in December 2016 with approximately twenty-five (25) secondary school teachers. It is hoped that this intervention will equip the next generation of CARICOM citizens to view the CSME as their preferred choice for employment and entrepreneurial activity.

This training workshop is part of a wider public education programme on the CSME as the Secretariat promotes the benefits of a single market and economy among member states. Other activities undertaken under the 10th EDF include a series of private sector and rural community workshops, travel facilitation public sensitization sessions and tertiary student CSME field missions across participating member states. 

 

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Secondary school teachers from a cross-section of schools in Saint Lucia are poised to be better equipped and knowledgeable about the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). This is as a result of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat’s hosting of a two-day CSME training workshop from Tuesday, December 6 at the Auberge Seraphine. Approximately thirty (30) teachers will be attending the workshop which is funded under the European Union’s 10th European Development Fund CSME and Economic Integration Programme. The official opening ceremony on Tuesday morning will be addressed by the Permanent Secretaries in both the Ministry of Commerce and Education and other officials from the CARICOM Secretariat and the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).

The workshop’s objective is to train teachers of first to third form students in how to stimulate interest in and encourage identification of career and skills development based on an understanding of the opportunities offered by the CSME. Education consultant, Dr. Heather Johnson, has been contracted by the Secretariat to develop and conduct the training session. Coming out of this activity and based on participant feedback, a training module will be finalized for use by teachers in CARICOM Member States. A similar workshop will be held in Guyana early next year with another thirty (30) secondary school teachers. It is hoped that this intervention will equip the next generation of CARICOM nationals to see the CSME as their first option for employment and entrepreneurial activity.

This training exercise is part of a wider public education programme on the CSME as the Secretariat promotes the benefits of a single market and economy among member states. Other activities undertaken include a series of private sector and rural community workshops, travel facilitation public sensitization sessions and tertiary student CSME field missions across participating member states.

Jamaica’s rural agricultural producers will soon be more equipped to benefit from the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). This is due to a one-day CSME sensitization workshop to be convened by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat this Wednesday, November 30. Approximately 40 participants from agricultural bodies and related public sector entities will converge at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville, Manchester for the event. The activity is facilitated under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and Economic Integration Programme (EIP). This represents a valuable opportunity for rural producers to gain information about the CSME and learn about its significant advantages for their sector.

Presentations will be delivered by resource persons from the CARICOM Secretariat and will include topics such as the current status of the CSME and facilitating agricultural trade and investment in the CSME. There will also be a presentation on the status of Jamaica’s implementation of the CSME and particularly as it relates to agriculture. The presentations will be followed by dialogue sessions in which participants can share their experiences and clarify issues surrounding the CSME. At the end of the workshop, participants should have a better appreciation of the benefits of the CSME for farmers and agricultural producers generally. This workshop marks the culmination of a series of CSME-sensitization sessions for the private sector and rural communities in 6 member states including Barbados, Belize, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname.

Jamaica will also benefit from an additional CSME sensitization activity when the Secretariat hosts a public awareness session on the facilitation of travel on Thursday, December 1 at Merl Grove High School. Participants will be informed about their rights and responsibilities as CARICOM nationals travelling within the CSME for work, leisure or business.

 

Download Press Release here:  PR1732016 CSME Sensitization for Jamaicas Rural Community

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat presses ahead with its public education drive to ensure that vital sectors know about the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and its significant benefits. On Wednesday, November 23, a one-day CSME sensitization workshop will be hosted in San Ignacio, Belize. Approximately 40 participants from private sector entities and rural organizations will convene at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel to share information and experiences regarding the CSME. The workshop is facilitated under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and Economic Integration Programme (EIP).

Resource persons from the CARICOM Secretariat will present on topics such as the current status of the CSME; the CSME as a platform for private sector growth and development; and facilitating agricultural trade and investment in the CSME. Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade will also deliver a presentation on the CSME at the national level. The presentations will be followed by dialogue sessions in which participants can share their experiences and clarify issues surrounding the CSME. The Secretariat anticipates that at the end of the workshop, participants should have a better understanding of the benefits being a part of the CSME and how their respective sectors can take full advantage of it.

The final workshop in this series takes place in Jamaica on November 30th in the rural parish of Manchester. Previously, the Secretariat has hosted similar private sector and rural communities CSME workshops in Barbados, Guyana, St. Vincent and Grenadines and Suriname. This series is part of a wider public education programme aimed at explaining the CSME and its advantages to CARICOM nationals. 

Statisticians from across the region will soon be better equipped to measure and monitor effectively the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). This is due to a training exercise to be hosted in Barbados by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat.

The two-day CSME Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Framework Training Workshop starts on Monday, November 7th at the Accra Beach Hotel. This initiative is being facilitated under the 10th European Development Fund CSME and Economic Integration Programme.

Participants will be representatives from national and regional statistics offices who would be required to compile data on compliance with and implementation of the CSME regimes. The aim of the training is to create a self-sustaining mechanism by improving the capacity of these statisticians to use a standardized monitoring, evaluation and reporting (MER) framework.

Some of the topics that will be covered include MER systems and official statistics; MER framework and its structure; compliance indicators of the MER and the use of information and dissemination. Coming out of this training, it is anticipated that CSME-participating member states will have a strengthened capacity to assess and monitor the level of CSME implementation nationally. This should assist the proper functioning of the single market and economy since gaps can then be identified more quickly and appropriate steps taken to address these.

This workshop is being carried out as part of the capacity-building deliverable of the Consultancy for the Development of a Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Framework of the CSME.

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