Port of spain

Trinidad and Tobago : History

The country comprises two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and several smaller islands. It lies close to South America, with Venezuela to the south-west and Guyana to the south-east. Trinidad has three mountain ranges, high waterfalls and sandy beaches. Tobago has a mountain range, beaches and coral reefs.  

Key facts

  • Region: Caribbean and Americas 
  • Population: 1.4 million (2018) 
  • Area: Trinidad, 4,800 square kilometres, Tobago, 300 square kilometres 
  • Capital: Port of Spain 
  • Joined Commonwealth: 1962, following independence from Britain 
  • Commonwealth Youth Index: 21 out of 49 countries 

Secretariat support for Trinidad and Tobago 

Elections 

Trinidad and Tobago received Commonwealth Election Professionals (CEP) Initiative training in May 2018. Its election officials improved their knowledge of international standards to conduct free, fair and trusted elections. 

Countering violent extremism 

The Secretariat advised Trinidad and Tobago on setting up a national plan to counter violent extremism. 

Since 2017, the Secretariat has helped Trinidad and Tobago deliver a Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) workshop for imams. It also delivered a CVE roadshow aimed at young people. 

In January 2019, the Secretariat helped Trinidad and Tobago’s prison service to improve programmes.

Human rights 

In June 2019, the Secretariat gave Trinidad and Tobago guidance on reporting to treaty bodies, including United Nations organisations. 

Youth 

Trinidad and Tobago implemented a Secretariat programme to improve respect for diversity and religious tolerance among young people. The country committed to deliver a toolkit in global citizenship by December 2018. 

Debt management 

The Secretariat helped the Trinidad and Tobago government switch to Meridian, the new version of the Commonwealth’s debt management system.  

Blue Charter

Trinidad and Tobago is a member of the following Action Groups: Coral Reef Protection and Restoration, Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance, Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods, Ocean and Climate Change, Ocean Observation, Sustainable Aquaculture, and Sustainable Blue Economy.

Connectivity Agenda

Trinidad and Tobago is a member of the Physical, Digital and Regulatory Connectivity clusters of the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda. The Connectivity Agenda is a platform for countries to exchange best practices and experiences to trade and investment and undertake domestic reform.

Trinidad and Tobago in the Commonwealth 

Trinidadian Earl Lovelace won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1997. Also born in Trinidad, Sharon Millar won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2013. 

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2009 was held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. 

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