Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said that reparative justice is inevitable for countries that suffered the horrendous consequences of the trans-Atlantic slave trade to develop economically, addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Friday. (PassBlue)
“Reparative justice is a solemn obligation which we must confront,” Mottley said. “[Reparative justice] is a conversation whose time has come. It can’t be a slow conversation taken up when people feel like it. It has to be a conversation in which equal partners discuss, it cannot be an act of charity of those who feel their conscience must be cleansed.”
She also argued that world powers need to treat the climate crisis with the same urgency as the conflict in Ukraine. She called on rich countries and companies to establish a “loss and damage” fund to help vulnerable countries like hers, which have been forced to turn to high-interest loans to help rebuild after extreme weather disasters exacerbated by warming. “It is unconscionable and it is almost a crime of humanity” she said. (New York Times)
Describing the Sustainable Development Goals as “the promise of development and the conferral of dignity on our people,” Mottley questioned whether the world’s actions since the adoption eight years ago of the 2030 Agenda will be sufficient to attain the 17 targets on poverty, gender equality, the environment, and more.
“Will we be too late to save as many as we can from the climate crisis; too late for us to save as many as we can from the ravages of war; too late to provide the food that so many need?”, she asked. (United Nations)
- Guyana’s Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, has issued a warning to schools regarding the discriminatory practice of sending students home due to their hairstyle. She emphasized that children should not be sent home for any breach or perceived breach of a school’s hairstyle rule, and anyone doing so will face disciplinary proceedings. (Loop)
- Implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent, a new UN Report focuses on reparatory justice for people of African descent and urges States to show strong leadership and political will in tackling the lasting consequences of enslavement, the trade in enslaved Africans and colonialism.
- Recent events in Jamaica, including the shooting of Ryan Evans, the director of corruption prevention at the parliamentary Integrity Commission, and the resignation of the Speaker of the House, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert, following allegations of fraud and failure to declare assets, have raised concerns about governance and anti-corruption efforts in the country. (Global Voices)
- Osazé Moraldo-Bowen & Rahym Ron Augustin- Joseph emphasize the importance of empowering the next generation, particularly young people in the Caribbean, in the context of democracy.
Climate and Environmental Justice
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines has endorsed the Bridgetown Initiative, a proposal put forward by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley. The Bridgetown Initiative aims to reform the way wealthy countries provide financing to poorer countries in the context of addressing climate change. (NBC SVG)
- The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea concluded a historic, two-week hearing, the first climate change case before an international tribunal — COSIS. (See Sept. 13’s JCU.)
- According to a local advocacy group calculations, less than 1% of Jamaicans coastlines is accessible to the public. “Jamaicans have nowhere. We live between waters and we cannot access the beaches”, says Norris Arscott to AJ+, a jamaican fisherman who has no access to the beach where he fished all his life because a company bought the land. (See April 12’s Just Caribbean Updates)
- Jamaica, known as “the land of wood and water”, is suffering from water scarcity exacerbated by climate change-related events like droughts. This affects various vulnerable groups, including the elderly, Indigenous people, children, individuals with diverse abilities and menstruators. (Global Voices)
- Coral Cove Group Grenada has been collaborating with the L’Anse aux Epines Association to create a Local Development Plan for the L’Anse aux Epines area. The purpose is to establish controls on the use and form of all development in the area, including specifying allowable uses (residential, commercial, etc.) and constraints on building form (height, plot coverage, etc.).
- The governments of Antigua and Barbuda and Timor-Leste have joined a growing bloc of governments advocating for the negotiation of a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to combat climate change, reports Fossil Fuel Treaty.
- “Climate change events and period poverty are not mutually exclusive; one contributes to the extent to which the other happens, which, left unchecked, can lead to a number of other negative repercussions”, explains Candice Stewart, a Jamaican writer in an article for Global Voices
- There is a high impact of climate change on rural areas in south Trinidad, particularly in terms of increased flooding and landslides. “Trinidad and Tobago is already experiencing the advertised impacts of climate changes, such as the sea level rise, the increased ambient temperature and extreme weather systems”, expresses the first biennial report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
- A new episode from The Latin News Podcast Will Guyana’s game-changing oil wealth be used wisely? featuring Anand Persaud, the Editor in Chief of the Starbroek News in Georgetown, is now available. Follow the link to watch the full episode.
- Carla Gullotta, the executive director of Stand Up For Jamaica (SUFJ), called for authorities to track and release mentally ill inmates from prisons. The call follows the recent case of a mentally challenged inmate who died by suspected suicide in a Jamaican correctional facility. (The Gleaner)
- A new academic paper Investigating deaths in prision: a guide to human rights-based approach was published by Penal Reform International in collaboration with Prision Death and University of Nottingham.
- Sispro Inc, a newly formed Guyanese company with an all-female Board of Executive Directors, has participated in the historic oil blocks’ auction in Guyana. This participation is significant because it represents a pioneering move in the male-dominated oil and gas industry in Guyana. (Guyana Times)
- The government of Grenada is taking steps to end gender-based wage disparity in the country. Starting from January 1, it will implement a compensation system aimed at eliminating salary differences based on gender in both the public and private sectors. Additionally, the government plans to enforce a minimum livable wage. (Loop)
- The 12th episode of Participatory Action Reaserch – Feminist Trailblazers & Good Troublemakers featuring Global South Caribbean Feminists Peggy Antrobus, Norma Shorey and Chris Ashton is now available in Spotify.
- The IGDS-RCO through the Spotlight project engaged with over 100 community activists representing PWD, rural women, LGBTQI persons and men and boys to unpack deep seated issues around VAWG and family violence and discuss strategies to advocate for legislative reforms. (IGDS-RCO via Linkedin)
Caribbean and The World
- Douglas Guilfoyle argues for a legal statecraft “analytical frame over ‘lawfare’ or ‘strategic litigation’ as those terms cannot draw any clear lines as to where ordinary international lawyering ends and supposedly exceptional practices begin.” But can it work?”, states Douglas Guilfoyle in an opinion article for EJIL Talk!
- Maya Kirti Nanan from Trinidad and Tobago has been awarded the title of Commonwealth Young Person of the Year for 2023. She received this prestigious award at the Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work held at St James’s Palace in London. (The Commonwealth)
Finance and Economics
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is imposing loan conditions that risk undermining people’s economic, social, and cultural rights, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. The report examines loans approved by the IMF to 38 countries from March 2020 to March 2023, finding that most of these loans come with austerity policies that reduce government spending or increase regressive taxes, which can harm people’s rights. (Human Rights Watch)
- 27 Sept. Environmental Rights Defenders and Sacrifice Zones in the Caribbean — Freedom Imaginaries. Register.
- 21 Oct. The University of Guyana in collaboration with UGF Inc is organizing the Gala and Fundraiser event in celebration of their 60th anniversary.
- The Acts of Repair: LossAndDamage program is an online artistic research residency, a series of public events, and a set of commissioned texts, aimed at facilitating a transdisciplinary exchange around the issue of LossAndDamage caused by the ClimateCrisis. Apply to the online artistic research residency.
Just Caribbean Updates