GUYANA – SG urges Lithuania to advocate for CARICOM

Caribbean News Service:  

 Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ambassador Irwin LaRocque urged Lithuania to advocate on behalf of CARICOM in fora where the Region had no voice.


The Secretary-General on Wednesday accepted the credentials of Lithuania’s new representative to CARICOM Ambassador Audra Plepytė, at the Secretariat’s Georgetown Headquarters.


In noting the country’s accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and its membership in the European Union, Ambassador LaRocque said the country’s influence was “needed to advise the members of the organisations in which you have a voice to act urgently to resolve” the challenges posed by blacklisting and graduation of Member States from access to concessional development financing.


Ambassador LaRocque said that given the magnitude of the task of rebuilding following the devastating hurricanes of 2017, “substantial concessional development financing, including grants, is essential.” He urged support for the concept of vulnerability as a major criterion in determining access to such funding.


He also pointed out that the blacklisting of some Member States as non-co-operative tax jurisdictions was hurting those economies. This, he said, was despite the fact that the countries in question were not so designated by the relevant regulatory authorities, such as the Financial Action Task Force and the OECD Global Forum.


The Secretary-General said Member States had sought strenuously and successfully to fulfil the requirements imposed by those authorities despite the onerous nature of what was demanded. He cited the reputational damage and restrictions on legitimate financial transactions as well as de-risking by certain international banks as major challenges for the affected states.


Ambassador LaRocque noted that the resulting “withdrawal of crucial correspondent banking relationships has had a devastating impact on investment flows, on trade, and on the financial operations of our economies, not to mention impeding access to millions of dollars in remittances received from Caribbean nationals living abroad.”

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