Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 23rd 2013 Contents Apple sales associate Mila Thomas adjusts a
display of phones during the opening day of
sales of the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5C in
Richmond, Virginia, Friday. AP PHOTO
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, September 23, 2013
IPHONE 5C TAKES OFF
CARICOM SECRETARIAT---The recently com-
pleted 11th European Development Fund (EDF)
Programming Seminar, held in Georgetown,
Guyana, was an engagement that the
Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and
Pacific States (Cariforum) considered to be
of critical importance to development in the
Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-
General of the Caribbean Community (Caricom
and Cariforum and regional authorising officer
(RAO), expressed this view at the opening cer-
emony of the 11th EDF Programming Seminar,
which was held from 19-20 September.
The centrepiece of the forum was discussion
on future development co-operation under
the 11th EDF, which will run from 2014-2020,
for the Caribbean region. Particular attention
was paid to national and regional priorities for
the use of funds under the National and
Regional Indicative Programmes, respectively.
Under the 11th EDF, Carifrorum has called
attention to people-centered development
Headlining the programming seminar s
opening were Donald Ramotar, President of
Guyana; Oliver Joseph, Minister of Economic
Development, Planning and Trade and Coop-
eratives, Grenada and the chairman of the Car-
iforum Council of Ministers; Ambassador
LaRocque; and Andris Piebalgs, the European
Union (EU) Commissioner for Development.
In attendance from the Cariforum side were
regional policy-makers, national authorising
officers (NAOs), senior officials from states
and regional institutions, and representatives
from non-state actors. The EU side was headed
by Commissioner Piebalgs, and included offi-
cials from the European Commission Devel-
opment and Cooperation---EuropeAid and
European External Action Service (EEAS).
References to the strong historic, economic
and cultural ties between Europe and the
Caribbean permeated remarks delivered by the
speakers, as did references to political, trade
and development relations.
"The EU has made a big contribution to
development in this part of world," President
Ramotar said as he underscored the importance
the Caribbean attached to its relationship with
LaRocque noted that while the relationship
between the two regions was evolving, "it nev-
ertheless is underpinned by certain constants
such as a commitment to global peace, democ-
racy, the rule of law and respect for human
He characterised the attendance of Com-
missioner Piebalgs at the seminar as a reflection
of the importance the EU attaches to its rela-
tions with Cariforum.
Joseph noted that 11th EDF programming
was unfolding under very different circum-
stances from those of negotiations on the 10th
EDF. He called attention to the global economic
downturn, and added that the Caribbean was
deeply appreciative of the EU s continued sup-
port of the region, at a time when some of its
member states were themselves experiencing
fiscal, financial and economic challenges.
This point was reaffirmed by LaRocque,
who said that the EU s maintenance of support
during this time of hardship as "clear evidence
of the strength and durability of our relation-
However, LaRocque voiced Cariform s con-
cern regarding elements of the new EU external
aid policies. He referred specifically to the twin
principles of differentiation and graduation
from access to grant resources.
Piebalgs said of the process of negotiations
on the 11th EDF, "it is technical, but also polit-
ical." He added, in reference to the strategic
dialogue that is unfolding on the choice of pri-
ority sectors for cooperation, "there has to be
a meeting of minds."
Over a two-day period, Piebalgs heldbilateral
meetings with national authorizing officers
(NAOs) from respective Cariforum states. The
Commissioner met separately with LaRocque
and his team.
The EU is the largest provider of grant
resources to Cariforum, via national indicative
programmes and through regional indicative
programmes. LaRocque said the resources pro-
vided through these two mechanisms as well
as those disbursed through Intra-ACP Pro-
grammes, Joint ACP/EU Institutions and Budg-
etary Resources of the Commission of the EU,
"have been significant and have contributed
immensely to national and regional develop-
ment in Cariforum."
Cariforum and EU review
Curacao plans for
space travel in 2014
Commercial space travel could come to Curacao
as early as 2014.
Curacao Airport Holding managing director Maurice
Adriaens announced the projected launch date for
the ambitious project, during his presentation at the
Caribbean ICT Roadshow, which took place at the
Curacao World Trade Centre from September 9-10.
The island of Curacao is tipped to host SXC s
second launchpad, the first being located in an Air
and Space Port in the Mojave desert, United States.
Spaceflight participants will be launched from the
Curacao spaceport into suborbital space above the
surface of the Earth and then safely looped back to
Earth, according to an online promotional video on
the Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) official Web
Addressing a multi-stakeholder audience on the
second day of the Roadshow, Adriaens presentation
highlighted the downstream economic benefits that
would flow from the development of an indigenous
commercial human spaceflight industry. The prospect
of transitioning the island s economy from traditional
tourism to space tourism generated great interest in
the room and amongst the foreigners represented at
the regional gathering.
"It s a good dream, isn t it?" he asked. "So...who
wants to be a Curanaut?"
Adriaens was among a number of local and inter-
national presenters from a range of backgrounds
demonstrated the potential of ICT to impact e-health,
e-learning, e-commerce, cyber security, telecom-
munication, and youth. The spaceflight presentation
was part of the CTU s emphasis on technological
innovation as an engine for Caribbean development.
Organised by the Caribbean Telecommunications
Union (CTU), the Caribbean ICT Roadshow is now
into its third year, having visited 17 countries across
the region. According to CTU secretary general
Bernadette Lewis, the programme is "designed to
foster a spirit of innovation in the adoption of ICT-
based practical solutions to development challenges".
Caricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocque.
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