Caribbean Briefs October 13, 2009

MANDATE EXTENDED

New York, USA: The United Nations Security Council has voted to extend the mandate of its peacekeeping mission in Haiti for another year.

In a vote held on Tuesday, the Council agreed to keep the mission’s strength at current levels.

The 15-member council unanimously adopted Resolution 1892, which extends the mandate of the force, known as MINUSTAH, until October 15, 2010.

It also endorsed UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s recommendation “to maintain the current mission overall force levels until the planned substantial increase of the Haitian National Police capacity allows for a reassessment of the situation”.

ELECTION RECOMMENDATION

London, England: Amid criticism over the takeover of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) by the British government, Chris Bryant, Deputy Leader of the British House of Commons, said elections in the TCI should be held by July 2011, if not sooner.

Bryant said the August 14 suspension of ministerial government and the House of Assembly in the TCI was “taken to restore the principles of good governance and sound financial management” in the British Overseas Territory.

Bryant said a full review of the TCI’s government’s finances has been undertaken and measures have been put in place to limit public expenditure, increase revenue and reduce debt.

The British takeover has been called a return to colonialization of the islands by critics. It came following a commission set up to investigate financial impropriety by former Chief Minister, Michael Misick.

AGREEMENT DEFENDED

Roseau, Dominica: Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has defended an agreement he signed with the French government to lift visa restrictions on Dominican nationals travelling to the neighbouring French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Skerrit said glitches in the process did not mean that the agreement was not working.

“We believe that by and large it has been working,” Skerrit said.

France imposed visas on Dominicans travelling to its territory in the 1970s in an effort to control the migration of thousands of Dominicans to the French overseas departments in the region.

TAKEOVER

Bridgetown, Barbados: Barbados Public Workers’ Co-operative Credit Union Limited (BPWCCUL), one of the nation’s largest credit unions, has beat out two other companies to take over one of the subsidiaries of the Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO).

The credit union will be the new owner of CLICO Mortgage and Finance Corporation (CMFC).

“We are very happy, and I know that the 135,000 credit union members in Barbados are happy for us,” said BPWCCUL president Anthony Griffin, who did not disclose details of the purchase.

The Barbados National Bank and Consolidated Finance had also tried to take over CMFC.

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