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Member States and Associate Members

The CARICOM Environment Policy has been formulated with the awareness that unsustainable use of resources could undermine regional sustainable development options within the context of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. It therefore proposes a structure for environmental and natural resources management in CARICOM, balancing the need to exploit the land, air, water and oceans for economic development while maintaining healthy environments in the Community. 

About the Commission

The Regional Commission on Marijuana was established by  the decision of the Twenty-fifth Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government , in March 2014  in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Heads “mandated  the establishment of a Regional Commission to address the issues identified and any other deemed relevant in order to provide clear guidance to the Conference with regard to decisions to be taken.

The Commission, headed by Prof. Rose-Marie-Bell Antoine, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, is composed of practitioners with expert knowledge in a variety of disciplines including medicine and allied health, health research, law enforcement, ethics, education, anthropology/sociology/ culture.


OUR MANDATE

Objectives of the Commission


(a)    To conduct a rigorous enquiry into the social, economic, health and legal issues surrounding marijuana use in the Caribbean and to determine whether there should be a change in the current drug classification of marijuana thereby making the drug more accessible for all types of usage (religious, recreational, medical and research);

(b)    To recommend, if there is to be a re-classification, the legal and administrative conditions that shall apply;

(c)    The Regional Commission comprising expertise from relevant professions and Institutions will be coordinated by the CCS in conjunction with CARPHA.  It will collate the findings and prepare a final report to be submitted to Heads.


Scope of Work

To achieve these objectives, the Commission should undertake the following scope of work:

1.    Conduct a thorough review of documentation and findings from previous regional and international Marijuana Commissions to outline the benefits and adverse effects of marijuana use, including but not limited to the reports from the following –

(a)    United States Institute of Medicine (IOM) enquiry conducted at the request of the White House, Office of National completed in 1999;

(b)    National Commission on Ganja, appointed by the Hon. P.J. Patterson, Prime Minister of Jamaica, 7 August 2001; Recreational marijuana users;

(c)    United Kingdom Home Affairs Select Committee Report of 2012.

2.    Examine the Dangerous Drug Acts in all Caribbean territories and identify the current state of legislation as it pertains to possession and distribution of marijuana and outline the legal status of marijuana use across CARICOM both de jure and de facto.

3.    Review available data on marijuana use in the Caribbean by type - recreational, socio-cultural, and medicinal.

4.    Examine global trends in relation to changes in accessibility and availability of marijuana.  In particular the legal and administrative systems that have been developed to accommodate:

(a)    possession of small, specified quantities of the drug for personal use;
(b)    medical marijuana programs.

5.    Engage in an extensive consultation process with members of the community and other key stakeholders at the national level to elicit the population’s view about current usage and re-classification.  This consultation process should use surveys, structured and semi-structured interviews, focus groups, village meetings and other methodologies and should embrace a broad cross section of interest groups in society including but not limited to:

(a)    Researchers;
(b)    Medical and herbal practitioners;
(c)    Drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation service providers;
(d)    Faith based and Non-governmental organizations;
(e)    Medical marijuana users;
(f)    Recreational marijuana users;
(g)    Representatives from the legal and judicial system;
(h)    Psychiatrists/mental health practitioners;
(i)    Educators;
(j)    Law enforcement and custodial services;
(k)    Youth Groups.

6.    Examine incarceration patterns in the Caribbean as a result of Marijuana use.

7.    Examine mental health disorders in the Caribbean as a result of Marijuana use.

8.    Review the state of research of Medical products from marijuana and define the state of use of approved medicines derived from marijuana.

9.    Examine possible economic benefits which might accrue from more liberal marijuana policies in the Caribbean.

10.    Examine possible economic benefits against real cost associated with the treatment and management of marijuana addiction/use.

11.    Based on the balance of evidence collected and assessed and in the interest of society at large, make recommendations for maintenance of the state of classification of marijuana or for its re-classification and the specific legal and administrative changes that would be required.

The year 2005 was declared by the United Nations as International Year of Sport and Physical Education. To commerate this year, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat initiated the  CARICOM  10K Meet.

This Meet brought together professional an amateur athletes in  the region in one  single space to give voice to the positive influence of sport and physical education on the quality of life and in the promotion of peace and cooperation; its overall intention to promote a culture of healthy lifestyle.

The meet is part of the pre-event of the annual Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government and is held in the host Member State.


The Conference of Heads of Government, also known as the Conference, consists of the Heads of Government of CARICOM Member States. It is the supreme Organ of the Caribbean Community and determines and provides its policy direction. In addition to this function, it is the final authority for the conclusion of Treaties on behalf of the Community and for entering into relationships between the Community and International Organisations and States. The Conference is also responsible for making the financial arrangements to meet the expenses of the Community, but has delegated this function to the Community Council. Decisions of the Conference are generally taken unanimously.

The Chairmanship of the Conference is determined by a six-monthly Rotation Schedule – 1 January-30 June and 1 July-31 December – approved by that Principal Organ. The decision to establish a Rotation Schedule was taken by the Conference at a Special Meeting (October 1992, Trinidad and Tobago).

See Rotation Schedule

The Conference meets at least twice per year – in the first quarter for its Inter-Sessional meetings and, as far as possible, from 4 July for its Regular meetings. Special meetings are held as may be proposed/necessary. The Inter-Sessional and Regular meetings of the Conference are customarily hosted by the Head of Government who holds the Chairmanship of the Conference at that time.

The Heads of Government of the five Associate Members also participate in the Conference as Observers.

MEAs Mainstreaming

In collaboration with the UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Caribbean Environment Programme and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the CARICOM Secretariat has produced a training module on Achieving National and Sectoral Development Priorities: the use of integrated environmental assessment tools for improved MEA implementation. This module provides guidance on how to integrate MEAs objectives into national development planning. National and regional workshops using the module have been held in Belize, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Belize.

Awareness Raising for Customs Officers

The CARICOM Secretariat has produced and distributed a Guide to Multilateral Environmental Agreements for customs officers.  A regional training workshop for customs officers was held in the Dominican Republic in 2012, and the Secretariat is now focusing on delivering country-level training in co-operation with national Customs administrations.

 

International Environmental Negotiations Training

There have been two successful regional negotiations skills workshops, one in 2010 and one in 2012.  Over 40 environmental professionals from 17 Caribbean countries have benefited from training in the negotiation of multilateral environmental agreements. Participants have indicated that the training has increased their ability to represent and advocate for national and regional interests in international environmental negotiations.  A third regional training workshop is scheduled to take place in 2015.

Regional Negotiations Preparations

Through the ACP-MEAs programme the CARICOM Secretariat has been able to bring countries of the region together to consult and prepare for major meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Access and Benefit Sharing

The CARICOM Secretariat has been collaborating with the Access and Benefit Sharing Capacity Development Initiative and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity to encourage countries to ratify the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing, and to facilitate the development and implementation of effective nation measures for access to genetic resources and the fair sharing of benefits arising from utilization of those resources.

 

Other activities carried out by the Caribbean Hub have included training in project design and management, national consultations on environmental statistics and data management, development of proposals for harmonizing and streamlining MEAs reporting, internships for young environmental professionals, and general awareness-raising.

 Completed Phase II Activities (March 2014 – April 2016)

 

Sub-Regional Capacity-Building Workshop on the Nagoya Protocol for the Caribbean, Georgetown, Guyana, 19 – 22 May 2014

Caribbean Regional Preparatory Workshop for the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, 17 – 19 September 2014

 

National Workshop for Customs Officers on the Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, St. George’s, Grenada, 11 – 13 November 2014

 

National Workshop for Customs Officers on the Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, Georgetown, Guyana, 24 – 26 March 2015

 

Sub-Regional Capacity Building Workshop on Sustainable Finance and Resource Mobilization for Biodiversity for CARICOM Member States, St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda, 18 – 21 May 2015

 

Regional Workshop on the Negotiation of Mutually Agreed Terms for Access to Genetic Resources to Support Effective Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing in Caribbean ACP Countries,  30 November – 4 December, 2015

Upcoming Activities (June – December 2016)

Training-of-Trainers Workshop on MEAs Mainstreaming, Georgetown, Guyana, 21 – 23 June 2016

Capacity-building Workshop for CMS Non-Parties in the Caribbean Region, Bridgetown, Barbados, date to be confirmed

National Workshop on the Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements for Customs and Border Control Personnel, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, date to be confirmed

Caribbean Regional Preparatory Workshop for the 13th Meeting of the Conference


 
MEA Grenada Meeting

 

 

 

National Workshop for Customs and Border Control Officers on Multilateral Environmental Agreements and their Enforcement

National Workshop for Customs and Border Control Officers on Multilateral Environmental Agreements and their Enforcement

A view of the audience and head table during the opening ceremony for a National Customs Workshop on Multilateral Environmental Agreements being hosted in Guyana by the CARICOM Secretariat March 24-26, 2015.


 
CARICOM Secretariat workshop on biodiversity

CARICOM Secretariat workshop on biodiversity

Seated from left are Dr. Therese Yarde, Project Coordinator from the Sustainable Development Unit at the CARICOM Secretariat, Mr. Troy Torrington, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Guyana to the UN, Ms. Hildred Simpson, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Environment in Antigua and Barbuda, Mr. Markus Lehman of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity and Mr. Mark Griffith from UNEP/ROLAC, and participants pose for a photograpgh at the end of the opening ceremony of a workshop on the sustainable financing for biodiversity in Antigua and Barbuda being held by the CARICOM Secretariat

The Heads of Government will have a packed agenda for business sessions, on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 July 2016.  Some of the major highlights include:

 

Regional Security -This is a priority matter for all Member States. Heads will discuss measures to  increase and improve upon the collaboration among our Member States in the critical area. They will examine how current mechanisms are working and how they can be improved; and the legal instruments required to facilitate the desired collaboration.

 

CARICOM Single Market and Economy:  Heads of Government will discuss matters related to the operation of the CSME, including Travel Facilitation (Movement of People)

 

Border Issues:  Heads will consider the border issues between Guyana and Venezuela, and Belize and Guatemala. The Community has consistently expressed it full commitment to the preservation of the territorial integrity of all Member States.

 

Correspondent Banking (De-risking): The Meeting will seek to advance the search for solutions to this matter which continues to plague the region; is a threat to our domestic banking and, as a result, our commerce, including transfer of resources. Heads had mandated a certain course of action at their last Meeting in Belize. They will take stock of what has taken place and what more is left to be done.

 

CARICOM-Cuba Relations - The Community is in the process of finalizing an expanded trade agreement with Cuba. The Meeting will seek to advance the process. 

 

Exchange of Views with President of Chile: The Heads of Government will discuss cooperation on matters of mutual interest with the President of Chile Ms. Michelle Bachelet.

 

Plight of Persons of Haitian Descent rendered Stateless in DR: Heads will revisit this long standing, unresolved matter

 

Rules of Procedure for Heads of Government:  The Community has been looking at the decision making process as part of the overall reform process.  Heads will examine the progress to date.

coming soon

 

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The main issue underpinning marijuana liberalization surrounds its classification as a drug.  The United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances—to which many, if not all Caribbean countries are Party and model their local Dangerous Drugs legislation—contains four Schedules of controlled substances, ranging from most restrictive (Schedule I) to the least restrictive (Schedule IV).  Marijuana is currently placed in Schedule II.  This means that it is classified as a dangerous drug for which possession of any quantity becomes an offence.  It is as a result of this classification that the other issues that fuel the currently marijuana debate stem.  The main being the burden on the legal and judicial systems, arising from possession of small quantities of marijuana and the lack of its availability and accessibility for medical, recreational and research purposes. 

While there is scientific evidence that supports the medical benefits of cannabinoids (the chemical compounds derived from marijuana), there is also evidence that confirms the adverse effects of tetra hydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychotropic or mind-altering constituent found in the plant.  In considering re-classification, the salient issue to be determined is therefore whether the benefits to be derived from removal of current restrictions will outweigh possible harms of increased use.

Objective of the Commission 

To conduct a rigorous enquiry into the social, economic, health and legal issues surrounding marijuana use in the Caribbean and to determine whether there should be a change in the current drug classification of marijuana thereby making the drug more accessible for all types of usage (religious, recreational, medical and research)
To recommend, if there is to be a re-classification, the legal and administrative conditions that shall apply

Scope of Work

To achieve these objectives, the Commission should undertake the following scope of work:

  1. The CARICOM Secretariat will coordinate a “Regional Commission of Regional expertise” to collate a report with recommendations to be submitted to Heads.
  2. A Researcher will do all the preliminary research indicated below including support consultations in the Member States.
  3. Conduct a thorough review of documentation and findings from previous regional and international Marijuana Commissions to outline the benefits and adverse effects of marijuana use , including but not limited to the reports from the following -
    1. United States Institute of Medicine (IOM) enquiry conducted at the request of the White House, Office of National completed in 1999
    2. National Commission on Ganja, appointed by the Hon. P.J. Patterson, Prime Minister of Jamaica, 7August 2001
    3. United Kingdom Home Affairs Select Committee Report  of 2012
  4. Examine the Dangerous Drug Acts in all Caribbean territories and identify the current state of legislation as it pertains to possession and distribution of marijuana and outline the legal status of marijuana use across CARICOM both  de jure and de facto
  5. Review available data on marijuana use in the Caribbean by type—recreational, socio-cultural, and medicinal
  6. Examine global trends in relation to changes in accessibility and availability of marijuana.  In particular the legal and administrative systems that have been developed to accommodate:
    1. possession of small, specified quantities of the drug for personal use
    2. medical marijuana programs
  7. Engage in an extensive consultation process with members of the community and other key stakeholders at the national level to elicit the population’s view about current usage and re-classification.  This consultation process should use surveys, structured and semi-structured interviews, focus groups, village meetings and other methodologies and should embrace a broad cross section of interest groups in society including but not limited to:
    1. Researchers
    2. Medical and herbal practitioners
    3. Drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation service providers
    4. Faith based and Non-governmental organizations
    5. Medical marijuana users
    6. Recreational marijuana users
    7. Representatives from the legal and judicial system
    8. Psychiatrists/mental health practitioners
    9. Educators
    10. Law enforcement and custodial services
    11. Youth Groups
  8. Examine incarceration patterns in the Caribbean as a result of Marijuana use
  9. Examine mental health disorders in the Caribbean as a result of Marijuana use
  10. Review the state of research of Medical products from marijuana and define the state of use of approved medicines derived from marijuana;
  11. Examine possible economic benefits to accrue from more liberal marijuana policies in the Caribbean
  12. Examine possible economic benefits against real cost associated with the treatment and management of marijuana addiction/use.
  13. Based on the balance of evidence collected and assessed and in the interest of society at large, make recommendations for maintenance of the state of classification or for re-classification and the specific legal and administrative changes that would be required

Proposed Commissioners

{marijuana-commissioners}

Several Community programmes and projects  are   implemented through technical cooperation with third countries and multilateral agencies (collectively referred to as international development partners - IDPs). The support from the IDP is through the provision of human and/or financial resources.

 

The Community has technical cooperation relations with both long-standing traditional IDPs as well as newly emerging ones.  There is also a range of multilateral organisations with which the Community has technical cooperation relations.

 

The Community also benefits from South-south cooperation - an increasing trend among developing countries to establish cooperation mechanisms to assist each other. Countries in the forefront of this recent thrust include those in Central and South American, Cuba and India.

 

The table below lists the countries and multilateral agencies with which the Community, through the. CARICOM  Secretariat, has cooperation relations.

 

 

Traditional Country Donors

Emerging Country Donors

Multi-lateral Agencies

Canada

South Korea

IDB

United Kingdom

India

CDB

USA

Singapore

World Bank

Spain

Mexico 

Commonwealth Secretariat

Italy

Brazil

UNDP

Germany

Chile

United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)

Japan

Argentina

Global Environment Fund (GEF)

Australia

Cuba

United Nations Development Fund for Women UNIFEM)

European Union

Turkey

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Austria

Russia

The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC)

 

Kazakhstan

United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)

 

 

Center for Disease Control (CDC)


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For many regional economies Tourism is a major economic driver and has become the most important productive sector in terms of contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and foreign exchange earnings. In a region where high levels of unemployment continue to be a major concern, it provides significant employment opportunities; its linkages adding value in other economic sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and handicraft.  This sector has served as a catalyst for development in several other areas of the economy, including ancillary services and infrastructure - especially air and seaports and roads. It has also facilitated the conservation and preservation of local heritage and culture and improvement of product and service standards, especially in the food services industry.


The Tourism Sector has been identified as one of the key economic growth drivers in the CARICOM’s Strategic Plan for 2015 to 2019.  In this context, CARICOM Heads of Government approved the recommendation of  the Commission on the Economy that this sector be  considered  an early growth driver which could provide significant spin-off linkages with others sectors, namely:

construction (via expanding the accommodation and entertainment facilities and related infrastructure);
agriculture and agro-processing (to support increased demand for food and other products for the tourism industry); and
energy particularly through a targeted renewable energy programme (aimed at reducing dependence on imported fuel and promoting a new industry activity.

Transportation services are of critical importance, particularly for the effective functioning of the Single Market and Economy.  Transportation has been  identified  in the Community Strategic Plan 2015-2019  as one of the  sectors to build competitiveness and unleash key economic drivers to transition the  regional economy to growth. In CARICOM the sector is divided into two broad areas: Maritime Transport and Air Transport, each with a number of priorities.

 

Priorities for Maritime Transport

The  Priority areas with respect  to the effective delivery of transportation are

  • Development of a Regional Maritime Transport Policy
  • Development of a Regional maritime strategy-freight logistics, maritime transport and trade facilitation
  • Development of a common shipping policy for small  vessel fleet and modernization of fleet
  • Development and implementation of a cohesive regional maritime safety and  security strategy for Regional small vessels
  • Review of regulatory framework of the maritime sector – ratification and implementation of key international maritime instruments
  • Establishment of a Regional regulatory maritime institution similar to that of CASSOS.
  • Human capacity building for the sustainability of the sector
  • Development of programmes to improve maritime transport services  operations – passenger speed boats and yachts, intra-regional ferry service).
  • Port infrastructure development  which includes upgrades to facilitate ferries; cold storage operation; movement of Regional agriculture produce.

 

Priority areas with respect to the cost and sustainability of transportation –

Promote strategic economic initiatives for Regional maritime sector (capitalizing on the benefits to be gained from the expansion of the Panama Canal
Development of energy efficiency programme for sea port and vessel operations
Contribution of maritime transport to environmental sustainability (addressing the cruise liners and yachts
Establishment of fast-ferry services operation as an alternative mode of transportation

 

Priorities for Air Transport

 

The  Priority areas with respect  to the effective delivery of transportation are:

  • Completion of the Community Transportation Policy
  • Review of economic regulation framework of the aviation industry
  • Establishment of a single integrated airspace block in CARICOM.
  • Strengthening Institutional reform and regulatory framework.
  • Ratification and implementation of key international aviation policies and regulations.
  • Establishment of a Regional a regional accident  investigation body.
  • Increased contribution of transport to environmental sustainability
  • Review economic regulation framework of the aviation industry

 

Priority areas with respect to the cost and sustainability of transportation are as follows:

 

  • Harmonisation/improvement of airport efficiency and operations (movement of agriculture goods/transiting of passengers through Regional airports).
  • Human capacity building and institutional strengthening for the sustainability of the sector.
  • Development of energy efficiency programme for airport operations
  • Better coordination and collaboration among Government-owned Regional Airlines
  • Enhancement of the efficiency of physical air transport infrastructure procedures and associate services
  • Development of the Regional third tier aircraft sector and general aviation

The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is an enlarged market which  offers -

  • more and better opportunities to produce and sell goods and services and to attract investment;
  • greater economies of scale;
  • increased competitiveness; full employment and improved standards of living for the people of the Caribbean Community.

The ultimate goal of the  CSME is to provide the foundation for growth and development through the creation of a single economic space for the production of competitive goods and services. The CSME is at the heart of CARICOM’s economic integration; and economic integration is one of four pillars on which CARICOM rests in  pursuit of its objectives.

Already, the CSME  has had an impact on the lives of citizens and business. Several categories of persons seeking employment move freely. This has has been achieved through  -

  • the abolition of the work-permit system;
  • the introduction of the Certificate of CARICOM Skills Qualification;
  • definite entry for six months;
  • indefinite leave to stay in a Member State;
  • and the right to transfer social-security benefits from one CARICOM state to another

 In addition, the creation of the Caribbean Court of Justice to interpret and apply the Treaty that established CARICOM and to settle dispute contributes to  harmonization in the countries that have signed on to the CSME.

 

Like other areas of  work in the CARICOM  integration process, the implementation and operation of the Single Market  and Economy is being undertaken by a number of stakeholders; principal among them are the CARICOM  Secretariat, Members States and Community Institutions. At the CARICOM Secretariat,  the Development and Operation of the CSME Programme seeks to  develop, articulate, implement and harmonise policies and programmes throughout the Community so that people of the Community could enjoy the stated benefits of  the CSME. These include continued work on standardization and harmonization in areas such as -

  •  anti-dumping measures
  • banking and securities;
  • competition policy;
  • consumer protection;
  • customs;
  • intellectual property rights;
  • food and drug regulation and labeling;
  • standards and technical regulations;
  • manufacture and trade in goods regulations;
  • regulatory and institutional and administrative procedures in the Member States to enable efficient intra-regional trade in keeping with established regional trading arrangements, for example protocol on free zones and protocol on free circulation; application for Suspensions of the CET and Derogations from the Rules of Origin

Major activities in 2016

In 2016, emphasis will be placed on - 

  • Development of model laws and regulations to make CSME Member States more compatible with CSM obligations.
  • Technical assistance and training to strengthen capacity and improve capabilities of governmental bodies in Member States to operate the CSME; including: consensus building through regional consultations on Procurement Bill, Regulations and Procurement Standard Operating Procedures (PSOP) and Standard Bidding Documents (SBDs).
  • Provision of an E-Commerce Framework  Policy for the CSME as well as a Draft Policy on Mergers and Acquisitions.
  • Model regulations to supprt Competition Bill.
  • Continuing work to facilitate effective regulatory and institutional and administrative procedures in the Member States to enable efficient intra-regional trade in keeping with established regional trading arrangements.
  • Continuing work to establish an enabling agricultural policy framework to, for example: align agricultural plans to the Community Agricultural Policy, finalizing the Food and Nutrition Policy and Action Plan; finalizing plan for Early Warning System (EWS) for selected Member States to reduce the threats to Food Security; developing the policy framework for Value Chain development of the Cassava, Small Ruminants and the Hot Pepper Industry.
  • Ongoing work to support the work of the Commission on the Economy and to assist the Transport desk and the Macro-Economic Policy Unit to implement tourism related decisions of the two Commissions.
  • Ongoing work to  support the development of  the Regional Strategic Plan for Sporting Services.
  • Ongoing work to advance the work of the Regional Transportation Commission effective delivery of transportation; (ii) Cost effective and sustainable transportation system; and Facilitation of hassle free travel

CARICOM is examining Sports within the broader framework of human resource development and as a vehicle for stimulating  economic development. In this regard, Article 46 of the Revised Treaty provides for the free movement of sportspersons within the Single Market and the right to provide sporting services in any Member State.

Given the dynamics of the CSME, several tracks of work, to be supported by a regional strategic plan, have commenced which should result in a single space for Sportspersons. These include:

 establishment of an oversight body to spearhead the development of the sports and physical education sub-sectors;
 
an inventory of each Member State’s policies, plans and  strategies, which was  undertaken in 2010-2011 and further revised in July 2014;

identification of the major challenges confronting the sector and a roadmap to address challenges such as -

lack of international funding for Caribbean Sportspersons
absence of a regional policy on sports
absence of a regional database especially on facilities and expertise
weak regional cooperation on anti-doping issues
robust mechanism for harnessing sports for uniting and improving the health of the citizens of the Community.

With the overall  objective of maximising  investment, employment, production, consumption and exports of Sporting Services within the CSME,  and other sectors, current initiatives  in this sector are:

 an assessment of the economic contribution of the sporting sector, especially sports tourism to the CSME; and  the development of  a Draft Regional Strategy for Sporting Services.

Increased productivity in  all sectors of the  economy, enabled  by ICT,   is a priority as CARICOM  continues to work to improve the livelihood and well-being of its people.

Important strides have been made  towards  a single ICT space as CARICOM seeks to become an integral  part of 21st century digital economy in the 21st century. These include   the development of regional ICT-related   legislation (to be translated into national laws);  and a regional digital development strategy.  There are also various regional strategies and policies   including  –

  • a regional e‑government strategy
  •  a trade-in-services action plan
  •  small business development plans
  •  a youth development plan
  •  a cultural industries work plan

These  strategies and plans are based  on national development strategies in all CARICOM countries. They have strong ICT components, which target social and economic development by supporting people to lead more productive lives.

An ICT plan

The Community ICT Plan of Action identifies as priorities:

  • Access, connectivity and internet governance
  • Capacity building  and sustainability
  • Business, trade, culture and disaster management
  • Policy formulation and the legal and regulatory framework for implementation
  • ICT4D statistics

 

Despite the progress, relatively little is known about the impact and drivers of service sector productivity and measurement can be difficult. Overseas experience suggests that there is considerable variability in the degree to which countries have benefitted from improved services productivity growth.

The CARICOM  Secretariat continues to work with Member States and other  regional and international stakeholders and partners to design, implemeng and execute, policies, programmes and projects to accelerate the development of this sector. More specifically in the short term, to strengthen the regional framework for investment, employment, production and exports of ICT services.

Major 2016 activities

  • A  Developing a roadmap for the creation of a single ICT space (as approved in the Strategy) in the CSME;
  • Undertaking an assessment of the economic contribution of the ICT sector to the CSME;
  • Developing a draft Regional Strategy and Implementation Plan for ICT services

Financial services facilitate transactions within and across international borders, channel funds from savings to investment and, in the process, allocate capital between sectors. Financial services, including international services, have become the second largest contributor to gross domestic product (GDP) in the Caribbean Region.

 The global financial and economic crisis which started in 2008 necessitated appropriate reform of the Community’s financial sector policy and regional financial architecture. In this context, CARICOM Heads of Government   at their Thirteenth Regular Meeting at Liliendaal Guyana in 2009, enunciated, in the Liliendaal Declaration on the Financial Sector,  a response to the crisis which focused on such reform. The Liliendaal Declaration provides a new framework for financial regulation and supervision in the Caribbean Community.

 Read the Liliendaal Declaration on the Financial Sector

According to the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, two options  are offered to community nationals to provide professional services in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME):

Non-waged professionals (Articles 32(3)(1)(a),  32(3)(2), 36(4)) and
Waged skilled community nationals (Article 45

The current international classification system of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations Central Product Classification (CPC) Systems, break down Professional Services into the following categories:

Legal Services
Accounting, Auditing  and Bookkeeping Services
Taxation Services
Architectural Services
, Engineering Services
 Integrated Engineering Services
 Urban Planning and Landscape Architectural Services
 Medical and Dental Services
 Veterinary Services
 Services provides by midwives, nurses, physiotherapists and para-medical personnel and other

Waged skilled CSME Community Nationals are free to move permanently to any Member State and have a right to seek employment in that State. There are currently ten approved categories of such persons:

University Graduates, Media Workers
Sportspersons Artistes
Musicians
Non-graduate Teachers
Non-graduate Nurses
Household Domestics with CVQs
Artisans with CVQS
Persons with Associate Degrees or CAPE or “A” levels

Given the dynamics of the CSME, several tracks of work, to be supported by a regional strategic plan, have commenced and  should result in a single space for Professional Services. These include –

An inventory of each Member State’s policies, plans and strategies, undertaken in 2010 and 2011 and  further revised in July 2014;
The Community’s adoption, in May 2013,   of a Regional Policy on the provision of Professional Services in the CSME.
The commencement of work on a companion framework in the form of a Draft Professionals Bill.

CARICOM States have realized significant achievements in the area of Health and Wellness Services, especially within the context of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals – Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme poverty and hunger; Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality; Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health; and Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases.

Of significance is the Caribbean being the first region in the world to eliminate polio and measles through an expanded programme of immunization.

In 2001, the Heads of Government of the Community articulated the view that the health of the nationals of the Community was important for the creation of the region’s wealth and placed focused attention on health as a critical input to the human capital formation. A Regional Health Framework was pursued through the Caribbean Cooperation in Health (CCH). This framework is in its third phase (CCH 111) under the theme “Investing in Health for Sustainable Development”. It is predicated on the premise that a healthy population is an essential prerequisite for economic growth and sustainability of the Caribbean. All CARICOM Governments now pursue policies that emphasise water, sanitation, nutrition and the essentials of primary health care.

Nevertheless, several challenges still persist which, in the view of leading experts in Health, directly and indirectly impact on the health and well-being of the citizens of the region. These include:

 untimely acts of nature which reverse the health gains in very short time periods;
 the relatively high prevalence rate of people living with HIV especially among young productive males and young women; and
 the absence of a coordinated regional resource mobilization framework

With a view to developing and implementing a regional strategic and action plan for Health and Wellness Services in CARICOM, CARICOM  is undertaking an initiative to -

to identify the scope and modalities for CCH4
make recommendations on an implementation framework.

Cultural and creative industries are among the most dynamic sectors in world trade and in the most advanced countries, cultural and creative industries are emerging as a strategic choice for reinvigorating economic growth, employment and social cohesion.

In CARICOM work is being accelerated on cultural  and creative industries, given their ability to create jobs and wealth and to positively engage young people of the Community. Developments in this sector sector include

A Regional Task Force on Culture Industries in CARICOM established in 2008 with the core mandate of  making proposals to provide relief from tariffs and other duties and charges on products that are inputs to the cultural industries.

 

A  Draft Regional Development Strategy and Action Plan completed by the Regional Task Force in December 2011. The strategy, sets out among its objectives, growing the creative economy  by building  more globally competitive cultural industries as the foundation for increased employment  in the sector. It  advocates for better management of the sector to relocate more of the value chain back to the Region.

 

Strategies prepared by the Task Force for the sub-sectors in which the Region has demonstrated comparative advantage, namely music, audio-visuals, visual art, publishing, festivals, fashion, performing arts and craft.

 

Crosscutting developmental issues  such as: policy, legislation and institutional frameworks; investment and financing; innovation; intellectual property management; marketing and business support services; human resource development; research and data collection; inter-sectoral linkages and the establishment of cultural districts, addressed by the Strategy.

 

In February 2012, the Draft Regional Development Strategy  with ten priority actions  was reviewed and approved in principle by the Twenty-Second Meeting of Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD). The Council also endorsed the proposal to introduce a Regional Exemptions Regime for the culture sector and to explore various mechanisms to establish a public/private sector fund for the cultural industries, among other initiatives.

Cultural and creative industries are among the most dynamic sectors in world trade and in the most advanced countries, cultural and creative industries are emerging as a strategic choice for reinvigorating economic growth, employment and social cohesion.

In CARICOM work is being accelerated on cultural  and creative industries, given their ability to create jobs and wealth and to positively engage young people of the Community. Developments in this sector sector include

A Regional Task Force on Culture Industries in CARICOM established in 2008 with the core mandate of  making proposals to provide relief from tariffs and other duties and charges on products that are inputs to the cultural industries.

 

A  Draft Regional Development Strategy and Action Plan completed by the Regional Task Force in December 2011. The strategy, sets out among its objectives, growing the creative economy  by building  more globally competitive cultural industries as the foundation for increased employment  in the sector. It  advocates for better management of the sector to relocate more of the value chain back to the Region.

 

Strategies prepared by the Task Force for the sub-sectors in which the Region has demonstrated comparative advantage, namely music, audio-visuals, visual art, publishing, festivals, fashion, performing arts and craft.

 

Crosscutting developmental issues  such as: policy, legislation and institutional frameworks; investment and financing; innovation; intellectual property management; marketing and business support services; human resource development; research and data collection; inter-sectoral linkages and the establishment of cultural districts, addressed by the Strategy.

 

In February 2012, the Draft Regional Development Strategy  with ten priority actions  was reviewed and approved in principle by the Twenty-Second Meeting of Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD). The Council also endorsed the proposal to introduce a Regional Exemptions Regime for the culture sector and to explore various mechanisms to establish a public/private sector fund for the cultural industries, among other initiatives.

Agriculture is a major economic sector in the Caribbean.  In CARICOM, it continues to generate significant income; facilitate food supply and food and nutrition control; contribute to developing infrastructure; and reduce poverty and hunger.  It provides significant employment opportunities, in a region where high levels of unemployment continue to be a major concern.

Emerging issues in this sector include:

Protected Agriculture
Herbals
Organic Agriculture and  Agro-energy
 

Organic Agriculture and Agro-energy  seek to generate and confirm technologies that facilitate the development of sustainable and competitive industries. Research and development interventions are mainly focused on Undercover/Protected agriculture, Organic agriculture and Herbals at this time.

The Community Strategic Plan for 2015 to 2019 identifies Agriculture (Food and Nutrition Security and Export Development)  as a key economic growth driver in building CARICOM’s economic resilience. In this context,  the Plan seeks to reposition the regional agricultural and fisheries sector as one economic space for growth and export development. It seeks also to enable food and nutrition security, taking in account existing strategies to remove key binding constraints and to deliver on the Common Agriculture Policy[1], the Regional Food and Nutrition Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy:

 

Ongoing Regional Initiatives

 

Agri-business Strategy: Forging beneficial linkages with other sectors such as tourism continues to be an objective for the sector. The Agri-business Strategy recognises a non-traditional approach to the sector’s development, which reaches beyond the confines of the farm and into the factories, restaurants and hotels. One where the consumer is given a menu of choices that are appropriate to the lifestyles of busy, urban residents who cannot be expected to spend the time on food preparation that their grandparents did. In this vein, CARICOM Ministers endorsed a Plan of Action for Strengthening Regional Agriculture-tourism linkages.

 

Modern agricultural and information system. This   system, in the process of being established, is intended to link all  stakeholders and to enable information sharing, and will build on the work already done at the national level in some Member States.  Its  special emphasis  will be on

 

Market Information Systems (Database, Production, Statistics,)
Capacity building (research and development, technology transfer and extension, human resource development, farmer absorptive capacity, regional clearing house for information, information, communication technology (ICT),
Advocacy and public awareness/information)

 

Eliminating  trade barriers: This project is aimed at eliminating the remaining barriers to trade in agricultural products. It focuses on identifying measures such as non-conforming “sanitary and phytosanitary” regulations and import licensing controls, while instituting programmes for their removal. Such process  will ensure, for example, that a food processor in any Member State will be better able to access inputs from any other Member State without hindrance; and, as a result, be able to forge stronger on-going linkages with primary producers in the rest of CARICOM.

 

Regional value chains:  Renewed focus is being  placed on  strengthening regional value chains built on specific priority products. Currently, regional programmes are being implemented for root and tuber crops (especially cassava and sweet potatoes), herbs and spices (in particular hot peppers) and small ruminants (sheep and goats). These projects recognize the need to integrate production, processing, marketing, and other down-stream activities into commercially viable and sustainable arrangements within which information (e.g. quantities and grades required) is effectively transmitted to the various points of the networks, resulting in more predictable outcomes.

A fully functioning  CSME requires  an environment that  is competitive and one which encourages investment.  In this context,   a number of  economic, fiscal and monetary measures is required to support the CSME, given its ultimate goal as “the basis for growth and development through the creation of a single economic space for production of competitive goods and services”. These  measures are all supported by the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

The  macro economic policy cooperation and coordination on  the monetary front focuses on establishing the regional architecture for financial stability and coordinating exchange rate and interest rate policies. It includes, for example:

 

  • measures to allow the  movement of capital for investment purposes across the Community and the access to capital at the national level by intra-regional investors on the same basis as domestic investors;

 

  • arrangements to enable  individuals to have access to their bank accounts throughout the Community through the appropriate ATM infrastructure, with a view to currency convertibility;

 

On the economic front, steps are being taken to coordinate macro-economic policies and performance; harmonise foreign investment policies and adopt measures to acquire, develop and transfer technology.

 

 On the fiscal front,  the focus is on policy coordination and harmonization to create a level tax playing-field to facilitate the movement of goods and factors of production by eliminating or  minimizing the likelihood of tax arbitraging of transactions, as well as to provide complementary measures to support regional monetary policy cooperation. Fiscal policy measures include coordinating indirect taxes and national budget deficits.

On the monetary front, the focus is on coordinating exchange rate and interest rate policies, as well as establishing the regional architecture for financial stability.

Transport Policy

For the Single Market to operate effectively there must be safe, adequate and affordable transportation for goods and people. The Transport Policy seeks to put in place the necessary requirements to achieve an efficient  transportation system on land, in the air and by sea, in an environmentally sound manner and with particular regard to the Caribbean Sea. Included among these are: promoting cooperation in providing transport services; developing and expanding air and maritime transport capabilities; and implementing standards for safe road, riverine, sea and air transport.

Allied with this Policy is the Multilateral Agreement Concerning the Operation of Air Services within the Caribbean Community, commonly called the CARICOM Multilateral Air Services Agreement (MASA). The principal means of transport without within our Community, particularly for persons, is by air and there are several airlines operating inside our Region and between our Community and outside countries. These airlines, such as Caribbean Airlines, Air Jamaica, and LIAT are also national airlines for some Member States. It is therefore important that there are common rules by which they operate.

 

MASA provides a more liberal environment for the air carriers of participating states to operate air services in the Region. The Agreement addresses issues such as licensing requirements, insurance, traffic and transit rights, market access, cabotage and safety and security concerns. MASA has been signed  by all member starts except The Bahamas, Jamaica and Montserrat. The agreement took effect in November 1998 following its ratification by eight member states. This agreement is an important step towards the establishment of a single Market for air transport services as it provides the formal framework for air sercices among our member states.

 

Industrial Policy

 

Within the Single Market and Economy, it is important to use all our natural resources efficiently and on an environmentally sustainable basis, as well as to avoid duplication in the production of goods as much as possible. The Industrial Policy  encourages entrepreneurship and industrial development; support the establishment of viable small businesses as well as micro-businesses;  promotes stable industrial relations and balanced social and economic development. Some of the provisions of the Policy modify elements of the CARICOM Industrial Programming Scheme [1]and of the scheme to provide fiscal incentives to industry.

 

 

Trade Policy

To secure the anticipated trade benefits to be derived from the Single Market and Economy and sustain the expected growth in regional and international trade, Member States have agreed to an overall trade policy. This policy seeks to

  • fully integrate the national markets of all Members States into a single unified and open market area;
  • widen the market area of the Community;
  • promote the export of internationally competititve goods produced in the Community; and
  • secure favourable terms of trade, that is the most advantageous access to markets and best prices for Community exports.

The Policy strengthens the rights and obligations of Member States established under the Common Market Annex to the original Treaty of Chaguaramas,  including the establishment  and operation of a Common External Tariff (CET).

Other provisions of the Policy include, rules of origin, free movement of goods, cooperation in customs administration and safeguard provisions. The last, in times of emergency, provide for temporary exemptions from Treaty obligations and authorize action against unfair trade practices such as dumping and subsidization and coordination of External Trade Policy, including joint negotiation of external trade agreements.

 

 

CIMSUPRO - CARICOM Interactive Marketplace & Suspension Procedure

To encourage trade between CARICOM Member States it was decided that manufacturers within the CSME should first seek and purchase within the CSME. The Suspension Mechanism was set in place to administratively handle this procedure and grant suspension to acquire from outside the CSME if the product is not available within the CSME. This procedure has shown to be cumbersome, time consuming and sensitive to time constraints.

The CARICOM Interactive Marketplace and Suspension Procedure  creates a managed market place for CARICOM companies to post (not only) their raw materials and packaging, but also their finished products to the CSME purchasers initially, and to the rest of the world within 1 year of launch.

This system does require the discipline of the seller to maintain their “portfolio” online. The seller is responsible for up to date information of their products. A purchaser can be matched immediately with a supplier and in the CSME case, bypassing the suspension procedure. If this match was not made or the product does not meet the ‘technical’ requirements, the suspension procedure will still be put into effect because the system has already created a trail of the transaction, thus making filing another request not necessary. This method should relieve the Secretariat of the time consuming task of matching purchasers and suppliers while keeping an audit trail of the procedure.

 

CARREX

The CARREX is a regional warning system which facilitates the rapid exchange of information on dangerous, non-food consumer goods in the market of Member States of the Community that pose a serious health and safety risk to consumers through Alerts and Notifications.

for more information click here

 

CIPS - CARICOM Industrial Programming Scheme

The CARICOM Industrial Programming Scheme (CIPS) was approved by Heads of Government in 1985. The main objectives of the scheme were to allocate and promote the establishment of industries in various members of the Common Market and to encourage the greater use of raw materials produced within the Common Market. It was envisaged that the CIPS would encourage and promote joint production and linkages among Member States. Under the Scheme, industries were to be identified and allocated to various Member States. The industries so allocated were to benefit from a range of incentives including fiscal incentives; access to loans, foreign exchange and permits where required; and protection from competing production from outside the Common Market as well as from producers in countries within the Common Market to which the particular activity was not allocated. Several industries were considered under the Scheme to be established as major regional industries. These included a regional foundry industry (utilising the capacities of the foundries in Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago), a regional ceramics industry (with production taking place in Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago) and a regional cement industry (with main production centres in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago).

There was also an effort to develop woodworking as a vertically integrated industry (one producing from basic lumber to highly finished furniture). In this case, the bulk of the lumber was to have been supplied by Belize and Guyana with finishing taking place in Jamaica, which had a highly developed furniture sub-sector. In addition to these integrated industries, various countries were allocated specific industrial activities. The Standing Committee of Ministers of Industry was the policy-making body for the Scheme and had the authority to allocate industries to member states as well as to determine which ones qualified to receive benefits. To qualify as a beneficiary under the CIPS, an industry, among other things, had to be owned and controlled by citizens of the Common Market and had to bring together the resources of two or more member states in its production. One of the major difficulties confronting the ministers was the need to ensure that, in the effort to develop industries in the Common Market, a fair share of industrial activity took place in the LDCs. The LDCs were therefore given special concessions in respect of the ownership requirement. For the first three years, they were allowed to have industries that were owned and controlled from outside the Common Market, if the resources to establish these industries could not be raised from within.

The Agricultural sector in CARICOM is framed by the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. This Treaty provides for the Community Agriculture Policy (Articles 56 and 57), Marketing of Agriculture Products (Article 59), Fisheries Management and Development (Article 60) and Forest Management and Development (Article 61). The Policy was adopted by the Thirty-Eighth Special Meeting of the COTED Agriculture (October 2011, Dominica), which mandated the development of an Action Plan for its implementation.

 

The Agricultural   Policy lays the basis for transforming   the agricultural sector to play a meaningful   role in the Single Market  and Economy  and to contribute   to  improving   food and nutrition   security in the Region. It seeks to   increase  agricultural   exports;  satisfy domestic   demand for food; establish links with other sectors, particularly   tourism;  increase employment;   and  reduce  poverty.  In this context, the Policy promotes:

  • the use of science, technology  and research in agricultural  development;
  •  human resource development;
  •  efficient cultivation of traditional and non-traditional products;
  •  increased production and greater diversification of processed agricultural products; reform of land use and tenure; fisheries management and development.

 

Food and Nutrition Security - to address production and stability related gaps in the Regional Food and Nutrition Security Policy (RFNSP) was adopted by COTED in 2010. It establishes that Food Security as existing when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

 

Production-Trade/Value Chains – to emphasise increased production and trade by cross border investments, public/private sector partnerships, Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) regime and standards, intra-regional trade, clusters and investment, agro-processing and sectoral linkages;

 

Sustainable development of natural resources  - to ensure the efficient use of the Region’s non-renewable natural resources and its proper management in the production system through utilisation of environmentally friendly and  sustainable agricultural practices.  

 

Rural modernization and youth programmes – to give special emphasis to improve the quality of life of rural communities through increased opportunities in agri-business, strengthening institutions supporting agribusiness and community development and building social capital.

 

A modern agricultural knowledge and information system – to promote an agriculture knowledge and information system that links all  stakeholders and provides for sharing of information with special emphasis on Market Information Systems (Database, Production, Statistics,) and capacity building (research and development, technology transfer and extension, human resource development, farmer absorptive capacity, regional clearing house for information, information, communication technology (ICT), Advocacy and public awareness/information).

Our Culture

Our culture - our languages religions, festivals, art forms, values, customs, sports  and other forms of self expression -   is a dynamic one. Shaped by the  historical experience of our people, our faiths and our creativity, it continues to be fashioned by our creative energies and other influences.

 

Our languages  are part of the legacy of the various civilisations from which our ancestors came. For  many member states, the English Language is a major unifying factor. But it is an English that is complemented by French and Spanish, as well as African and Indian expressions. In Dominica and Saint Lucia, English co-exists with a French-based creole/kweyol, while in Haiti a similar creole co-exists with French. Other members such as  Jamaica and Guyana, in addition to standard English, an English-based dialect has evolved.  In the case of Guyana, this dialect (Guyanese creole is  based on geographical location and race and ethnicity. In Suriname, in addition to Dutch, Srna-Tonga, a Dutch-based Creole, is widely spoken. In some communities, in Trinidad for example, Hindi is spoken. Among the descendants of our indigenous peoples their original languages, as well as variations are still spoken. These include Arawak, Wai Wai and Makushi, and in Belize, Garifuna and Mayan languages.

 

Added to this linguistic variety is the distinct flavour of each country's accent and expressions evident when Caribbean nationals meet. The richness and diversity of the use of English in the Caribbean have been captured and catalogued in The Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage by Dr Richard Allsopp. The dictionary, published in 1996, is the first attempt in our Region to compile an inventory of common authentic Caribbean expressions.

 

Our religions  are diverse with practices reflecting our multiple origins. Christianity is the dominant faith in our Community while Hinduism and Islam also have a significant following particularly in Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. In the countries with longer histories of French and Spanish colonialism, Roman Catholicism is the dominant faith, whereas in those countries with a strong British influence, Anglicans and Methodists have been historically predominant. Recently, however, non-traditional Christian groups have increased in significance. African religious traditions continue to find expression through Voodoo, Pocomania and Orisha. The Spiritual Baptists have also wedded African traditions with Christianity. Rastafarianism, which is closely liked to Ethiopian history and developed into an identifiable belief system in Jamaica, has spread throughout the region. There has also been an increasing tendency towards inter-faith observances and activities.

 

Festivals and celebrations give us the opportunity to showcase our creative energies. As in other parts of the world, many of the Region's festivals and celebrations are associated with events of religious significance. Carnival, for example, one of the powerful symbols of our culture, has its origins in Europe and Roman Catholicism and has been heavily influenced by African traditions.

 

Originally a two-day celebration held immediately prior to the Lenten season and most famously in Trinidad and  Tobago, Carnival is now held at different times of the year in different countries throughout our region and beyond. In some places it also takes place over a longer period. Even those member states that do not celebrate a traditional Carnival have festivals that are increasingly influenced by it, for example, Crop Over in Barbados, Junkanoo in The Bahamas, Mashramani in Guyana and Owruyari in Suriname.

 

Through the influence and energies of our diaspora in North America and Europe, the Caribbean carnival has also become a major festival in several metropolitan centres. These include London's Notting Hill Carnival, Toronto's Caribana, New York's Labour Day Carnival, Washington DCs Carnival and the Miami Carnival.

 

Christmas and Easter are Christian commemorations celebrated region-wide, while the Hindu festivals of Diwali and Phagwah and the Muslim observances of Eidul- Fitr and Eid-ul-Azah are prominent in Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Our Community also observes festivals related to harvest, fishing and historical events.

 

Our diversity also comes together richly in the creative arts where the genius of our people is very vividly displayed. CARIFESTA, the Caribbean Festival of the Arts, is a most outstanding demonstration and reflection of this creativity. First held in Guyana in 1972, this festival showcases the full spectrum of Caribbean culture   Our Community has also produced art forms that are unique and artists with superlative talents, many of whom have won international acclaim. This has been especially so in the fields of literature, music, art, and dance.

 

Literature: In the field of literature, our Region has produced a number of truly outstanding writers. Among these are: Jan Carew, Martin Carter, Edwige Danticat, Lorna Goodison, Wilson Harris, C.L.R. James, George Lamming, Edgar Mittleholzer, Vidiadhar Surajprasad (V.S.) Naipaul, who was awarded  the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, Jean Rhys, Samuel Selvon, and Derek Walcott, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. These writers have all used their varied Caribbean experiences as a vehicle to express their creative genius.

 

Historians: Through their chronicles and analyses, historians such as Jacques Adelaide, Roy Augier, Hilary Beckles, Kamau Brathwaithe, Carl Campbell, Lisa Goveia, Douglas Hall, Neville Hall, C.L.R. James, Keith Laurence, Woodville Marshall, Lucille Mathurin-Mair, Mary Noel Menezes, Walter Rodney and Eric Williams have played equally important roles in capturing our varied experiences.

 

Entertainers: Our Region has also given birth to many famous entertainers in the field of music. These include singers such as  the late Arrow (Alphonsus Cassell), Buju Banton, (Mark Anthony Myrie) Harry Belafonte, Beenie Man (Anthony Moses Davis), Calypso Rose (McCartha Lewis), Jimmy Cliff, Eddy Grant, Alison Hinds, the late Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts), Ophelia Marie, the late Robert 'Bob' Marley, Andy Palacio, the late Sundar Popo, David Rudder and the Mighty Sparrow (Slinger Francisco, OCC). They also include musicians such as Sel Duncan, the Merrymen, Byron Lee, Mungal Patasar, Ernie Ranglin, and Arturo Tappin. Outstanding performers of classical music such as Winifred Atwell and Jocelynne Loncke, pianists, as well as Jill Gomez and Willard White, opera singers, also join the stellar personalities in the field of entertainment.

 

Music Calypso and Reggae are the rhythms most identified with our Region, having been born of our varied Caribbean experiences. Reggae music originated in Jamaica while Calypso, the music of Trinidad and Tobago pre-dated Reggae as a musical form. Both Calypso and Reggae are sung and played not only regionally but internationally. Their lyrics are traditionally based on topical concerns and events. Across our Region, there are other indigenous musical forms. These include Spouge from Barbados, Punta from Belize, Zouk from Haiti, Danceball from Jamaica, Fra Fra from Suriname and Chutney from Trinidad and Tobago.

A particularly unique and outstanding creation of our region, is the steel pan, which originated in Trinidad and Tobago. 'Pan', as we call it, is known and played throughout the world. There is now a proliferation of school steelbands and 'pan music' is increasingly an official course in school curricula. In some universities, courses in pan count toward degree programmes and in a few cases, such as Northwestern University School of Music in Illinois, USA, pan

studies is offered as a major in the B.Sc Music degree programme. Liam Teague of Trinidad and Tobago is a leading graduate of pan studies from that School of Music. At our own University of the West Indies and in other research centres in Europe, USA and as far afield as Japan, scientists are involved in research that has contributed greatly to the improvement in the design and tonal quality of the instruments. In addition, a growing number of composers are

producing music especially for the steelband.

 

The performing arts Dancers such as the late Beryl McBurnie, Rex Nettleford, the late Pearl Primus, Clive Thompson, and the late Lavinia Williams (though not born in our Region) have all contributed significantly to the field of dance. Actors such as Heather Headley, Geoffrey Holder, and Sidney Poitier have all made a substantial contribution to the enrichment of their craft. Our folklorists/humourists/raconteurs such as  the late Louise Bennett and Paul Keens-Douglas have helped us to understand and appreciate each other as well as ourselves and have exposed our folk and cultural traditions to the world.

 

Visual Arts The international appreciation for the work of our sculptors and painters, such as Dunstan St Omer, Edna Manley, Albert Huie, Aubrey Williams and Ludovic Booz, as well as our foremost artistic costume designer, Peter Minshall, has also enhanced the reputation of our region as a cauldron of creativity.

 

Pageantry Like our artists, several women of our Region have demonstrated, through pageantry, that the beauty, creativity and intelligence of our people are second to none. Our region has produced six winners in the 51 -year history of the Miss World pageant, namely: Carole Joan Crawford (Jamaica, 1963), Jennifer Hosten (Grenada, 1970), Patsy Yuen (Jamaica, 1973), Gindy Breakspeare (Jamaica,1976) , Giselle Laronde (Trinidad and Tobago, 1986) and Lisa Hanna (Jamaica,1993). In the 50-year history of the Miss Universe pageant, we have also produced winners in the persons of Janelle Commissiong (Trinidad and Tobago,1977) and Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad and Tobago, 1998).

 

Cuisine The diversity of our Caribbean heritage is also reflected in our cuisine.Naturally each country has developed its own special dishes such as: Jerk (chicken and pork) and ackee and saltfish in Jamaica; sea egg in Barbados; peanut rice in Suriname; mountain chicken (frogs legs) in Dominica; callaloo and pelau in Trinidad and Tobago; and metagee and pepperpot in Guyana. Some of these dishes carry different names in different countries and are prepared

differently. Roti and curry is a dish that has its origins in India but is now a Caribbean favourite. In addition, the names of fruits and vegetables may vary from country to country.

 

 

Sports is an important part of our culture and feature of life in our Community. Nowhere is this more evident than in the field of cricket, which has a passionate following in virtually all the English-speaking member states.

 

Cricket: The primary importance of cricket in our Community, stems from its long history of regional involvement. Cricket was the first activity that brought the English-speaking territories together as one functioning unit. The impact of cricket on our everyday lives has been well chronicled by C.L.R. James in his definitive work Beyond A Boundary, which was published in 1963 and which clearly shows the many ways in which this sport has permeated every sector of the English-speaking Caribbean. A ready example of this is the common use of cricketing terms in our everyday language: to 'bowl a googly' is used to mean 'to confuse'; being 'stumped' for an answer, to mean at a 'loss for words'; 'stepping out of your crease' - 'becoming adventurous'; and most importantly, 'that's not cricket', meaning 'that's not the proper way to behave'.

 

Through its most identifiable symbol, the West Indies Team, cricket has always been able to appeal to our highest sense of regionalism over the years. Our team has a history of being one of the most formidable at the international level and remains a highly visible example of the benefits that we can derive from acting together. Our Community has produced the world's greatest all-roundcricketer ever. Sir Garfield Sobers, a recipient of our Community's highest honour — The Order of the Caribbean Community — as well as the world record holders for batting and bowling, Brian Lara and Courtney Walsh respectively.

 

Cricket is not only a man's sport. Women in our Region also play cricket competitively. The West Indies Women's Cricket team, though not as well known or as successful as our men's team, participates in test matches and has taken part in three Women's Cricket World Cup competitions, beginning in 1976 under the captaincy of Louise Brown of Trinidad and Tobago.

Nadine George, a wicket-keeper/batsman, became the first, and to date only, West Indian woman to score a Test century, in Karachi, Pakistan in 2003–04. George is a prominent supporter of sport in the West Indies, and in particular in her native St Lucia, and in 2005 was made an MBE by HRH The Prince of Wales for services to sport.

 

Athletics  - track and field have brought great pride to our Region and our athletes have maintained a high standard of excellence at the international level including the Olympic games. Indeed at the I960 Olympiad in Rome, the Caribbean was represented for the first and only time by a West Indies track and field team at that major international event. Before then and after, the region continues its tradition of producing world and Olympic champions in this sport. These include: the  first Jamaican Olympic gold medallist,Arthur S. Wint, for the 400 metre; George Rhoden, 400 metre winner, 1952; the 100 metre spint champion Hasely Crawford  from Trinidad and Tobago and the 200 metre winner, Don Quarrie from Jamaica, both of 1976; ;  Deon Hemmings , the 400 metre hurdler and the first Jamaican woman to win gold, 1976; Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica  for the 200 metre, in 2004 and 2008; Shelly Ann Fraser, 100 metre  and the first Jamaican woman to win Olympic gold in the 100 metre, 2008; Tonique Williams-Darling of The Bahamas for the 400 metre, 2004; Pauline Davis-Thompson of the Bahamas for the 200 metre, 2000;  sprint queen, Merlene Ottey of Jamaica Ato Boldon of Trinidad and Tobago; sprinter Obadele Thompson of Barbados; and the Bahamian 4x100 women's sprint relay quartet, winners in 2000 and Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis, winner of the men's 100 metre final at the World Championships in Athletics held in France in August 2003.

Melanie Walker of Jamaica for the 400 metre hurdles, 2008; Usain Bolt of Jamaica for the 100 and 200 metres, 2008; Grenada’s Kirani James won Grenada’s first gold medal in Olympic history in the 400-metre final, 2012 ; Grenada’s Kirani James won Grenada’s first gold medal in Olympic history in the 400-metre final, 2012; Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Frazier Price also achieved some personal goals and won gold in the 100-metre finals and Silver in the 200-metre finals, the fastest woman alive

 

Grenada’s Kirani James won Grenada’s first gold medal in Olympic history in the 400-metre final, 2012 Bolt and Blake took Gold and Silver in the 100-metre finals, the fastest men on the planet. Bolt was the first man to repeat a back- to back win in these two events in two different Olympic games, and has earned the status of legend 2012; Bahamas’ Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller celebrate after winning the men’s 4x400m relay final at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic games.

 

The relays have also been rewarding and include the Jamaica quartet who won the quarter-mile relay in 1952; the Bahamian 4 x 100 relay quartet, the Golden girls, who won gold in 2000; the Jamaica male sprinters who powered to victory in the 4 x 100 relay in 2008; the Jamaica female sprinters, who won gold in the 4 x 100 relay in 2004 Bahamas men 4×4 relay team has won a gold medal in these events. Jamaican team of Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Sherone Simpson, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart ran a national record 41.41, 2012

 

Paralympics

 

As a side column The Jamaicans began participating much earlier, in 1968, and have taken part in all but one Games since then (in 1976, they supported a boycott of the Toronto Games on account of South Africa’s participation). In ten Paralympic outings, Jamaica has earned 20 gold medals, 16 silver and 18 bronze.

Suzanne Harris-Henry, the general secretary of the Jamaica Paralympic Association, is confident that Jamaica will add to its total of 54 medals this year. “Probably four medals in London,” she thinks, “possibly Javon Campbell, Shane Hudson, Alphanso Cunningham and Tanto Campbell.”

Tanto Campbell was Jamaica’s only medallist at the last Games in Beijing: he earned bronze in the men’s discus F55-56 event, to add to the discus F56 bronze which he won in Athens in 2004.

Campbell was born with congenital deformities of his arms and legs: both legs were amputated. Harris-Henry, who will travel to London as manager of the Jamaica Paralympic team, explains that though Campbell has “lobster-claw” hands, he has “enough fingers to grasp the discus”.

 

Many of these athletes began their competitive careers in our Junior CARIFTA Games. Darrel Brown of Trinidad and Tobago holds the junior (under 20) and youth (under 18) world records for 100 metres. Darrel continued his winning tradition in 2003, gaining the silver medal at the men's 100 metre final at the World Championships in athletics held in France.

 

In addition, in the 1964 Olympics, Bahamians Cecil Cooke and Durward Knowles won gold medals in Star Class yachting (sailing).

 

Jamaica pioneered Caribbean participation in the Winter Olympics through their Bob Sled Team which participated in the 1988 Games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

Beginning in 1953, a Commonwealth Caribbean lawn tennis team participated in the Davis Cup competition, the official world team championship in this sport. In 1987 however, a ruling by the sport's governing body, the International Tennis Federation, that the Caribbean was not a country, brought our participation as a region to an end. Through Mark Knowles of The Bahamas, our nationals continue to participate successfully at the highest level in this sport. Knowles ranked number one in the world in doubles play and has won a grand slam title, the Australian Open with Canadian Daniel Nestor, with whom he has also been a finalist in all the grand slam tournaments since 1995.

 

Football, a sport which is widely played in our Community, also evokes great passion. An official West Indies football team toured England in 1959. Jamaica became the first Caribbean Community country to qualify for the finals of the World Cup when the Reggae Boyz played in the 1998 finals in France. Haiti, however, played in the 1974 finals in Germany when not yet a member of our Community. A significant number of footballers from the Caribbean Community play with distinction at the highest levels of club football throughout the world.

 

Despite our successes in these fields, our Community has not yet come together to form a Caribbean Community  football team or track and field team and most of the other sporting  disciplines have also not yet emulated the cricketers. Rifle shooting is a notable exception, with a regional team regularly participating in international championships. As with tennis, the rules of some sporting competitions do not allow us to participate as a region.

 

Netball is a very popular sport among the women in our Community. It is one of the biggest women's sporting events and many of our member states have been represented at the World Championships, including Trinidad and Tobago which won the championships jointly with New Zealand and Australia in 1979 in Port of Spain. The 11 th World Netball championships were held in Kingston in May/June 2003. On that occasion, Jamaica provided our Community's best showing having placed third. In July 2003, Molly Rhone of Jamaica was elected president of the International Netbail Federation (IFNA) for a minimum two-year term. The IFNA is the governing body for netbail throughout the world.

 

Boxing Our Community has also produced world champions in the sport of boxing. These include Jamaica's Mike McCallum, Trinidad and Tobago's Claude Noel and Leslie Stewart and Guyana's Andrew 'Six Head' Lewis, Wayne 'Big Truck' Braithwaite and Vivian Harris. Other world champions such as Randy Turpin and Lennox Lewis were born in Guyana and Jamaica respectively, although representing other countries at the time of their victories.

 

In swimming, Caribbean personalities have been emerging on the international scene and the greatest evidence of this has been the Olympic Gold medal success of Suriname's Anthony Nesty at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA.

Caribbean cyclists also have gained international prominence through the outstanding performances of Roger Gibbon and Gene Samuel of Trinidad and Tobago and David Weller of Jamaica.

 

All these diverse strains of sports, language, religion, music, ethnic background and cuisine blend together to create a unique culture and help to fashion us as a distinct and identifiable people of the world. Considering the small size of our Region's population, the magnitude of our contribution in these areas is truly phenomenal. Even as the world moves toward what can be called a global culture which forces us to look beyond our Community to face challenges and seek opportunities, we can as a people go forward secure in our Caribbean identity, only if we invest the resources necessary for its preservation and strengthening.

 

 

Cricket lovely cricket

 

Cricket came to the West Indies as early as the first decade of the nineteenth century with the first known advertised game appearing in the Barbados press in May 1806 under the auspices of the St Ann's Garrison Cricket Club. The game was popular among the planters and the soldiers and by the1830s, clubs started to emerge not only in Barbados but also in Jamaica, Demerara (Guyana) and

Trinidad. It was not until 1865, however, that the first inter-colonial matches were played with the first being between Barbados and British Guiana at the Garrison Savannah, Bridgetown, Barbados on February 15-16. Barbados won that game by 138 runs.

 

• The first overseas tour by West Indian players was to Canada and the United States in 1884. The first triangular tournament took place between British Guiana, Barbados and Trinidad in 1891 while the first cricket touring team to the West Indies came from America in 1888.

 

• The first English team to visit the West Indies came in 1896 and played in Jamaica, Barbados, British Guiana and Trinidad. During the second English visit, in 1897, an All-West Indies team played against the visitors in Trinidad from February 15-17. The All-West Indies team won by three wickets. The first

West Indies team went to England in 1900 under the captaincy of R.S.A. Warner. During 1910-1911 the MCC, the official name of touring England cricket teams, made its first official tour to the West Indies.

 

• The West Indies played their first test match in 1928 at Lords, the headquarters of cricket, on June 23, 25 and 26. The West Indies captain was the Jamaican R.K. Nunes. England won by an innings and 58 runs. England 401; West Indies 177 and 166. J.A. 8mall of Trinidad, scored the first test half-century (52) for the West Indies in the second innings of the match. In the third test match, at the Oval, London, H.C. Griffith of Barbados became the first West Indian to take five or more wickets in a test match innings (6 for 103). England, however, won the series 3-0.

 

In 1930, the first test match in the West Indies was played at Kensington Oval, Barbados on January 11, 13, 14, 15, 16. The West Indies Captain was E.E.G. Hoad of Barbados. The match

was drawn. In that match, G.A. Roach of Trinidad became the first West Indian to score a test century (122). ,

 

The West Indies first test match win was at Bourda, Georgetown, British Guiana in February 1930 against England. The West Indies X won by 289 runs. In that game Roach scored the first double century

(209) by a West Indian in test cricket. The series was drawn ^ The West Indies won their first test series in 1935 when they beat England 2-1 in the West Indies. The captain was G.G. Grant of Trinidad.

 

The Steel Pan

The steel pan is a musical instrument that is indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago. It is the only new acoustic instrument to have been invented in the twentieth century.

 

During the 1940s, there was a surge in the development of the instrument which /^\ then typically carried 15 notes. By the end of the 1940s, the oil drum had replaced the biscuit tin as the raw material for making pans and, by 1951, a pan ensemble. Pan Trinidad, performed in England. The instruments, ranging from tenor through cello to bass, now carry the full 64 note musical range of the piano.

In the early 1960s, Winifred Arwell, a famous pianist from Trinidad and Tobago, played Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto in B Flat along with a steel orchestra (steelband) instead of the more traditional symphony

orchestra. This served to heighten awareness of the versatility of the pan, which until then, was not widely regarded as being suited to classical music. Since that time, leading pan arrangers and composers such as the late Superintendent Anthony Prospect, Clive Bradley, Pelham Goddard, Jit Samaroo and Een Boogsie Sharpe, have pushed the frontiers of steelband music and elevated their performances to that of genuine orchestras.

A typical steelband now ranges between 30 to 100 performers on 40 to 120 instruments. The types of pan include the tenor, double tenor, double second, triple guitar, cello and bass pans.

Much research has resulted in refined musical techniques due to improvements and use of more up-to date technology in tuning. Among the pioneers of pan development are: Bertie Marshall, famed for

introducing the amplified pan; Ellie Mannette who received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the West Indies; and the late Winston Spree Simon, immortalized in calypso by the late Lord Kitchener.

In Trinidad and Tobago, in addition to the annual Panorama competition which is a key part of the Carnival celebrations, there are also other popular steelband festivals such as Pan Jazz, Classical Pan, and a

biennial World Pan festival that attracts steel orchestras from all over the Caribbean, England, Scandinavia,the USA and as far away as Japan. The steel pan is now considered a regional instrument so much so thatit was chosen as the giftfrom our Community to the United Nations to celebrate that organisation's Fiftieth Anniversary in 1995. The Pan is now on display at the UN Headquarters in New York as a symbol of its importance to the world.

Human Resource

Our people (Linked to our people),  are our greatest resource. Descendants of many peoples, ethnicities, faiths, cultures, they continue to  shape  the identity of the  Caribbean Community and contribute to   its social and economic development. . In this regard the regions greatest assets

 

Natural Resources

The Caribbean Community, the world’s largest group of small states,  are  richly endowed with natural resources.  They range from excellent beaches and much sunshine suitable for tourism particularly in Barbados, Jamaica and the Windward and Leeward Islands; bauxite in  Jamaica and Guyana; asphalt, oil and natural gas  in Trinidad and Tobago  abundant supplies of fish and shrimp off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago and  Guyana; forestry and potential for forest-based industries  in Belize, Dominica and Guyana; earth and sands for building materials such as cement in Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago; clays  in Guyana; and iron ore and other yet not fully ascertained mineral resources and deposits of oil,  in Guyana. When consideration is taken of its strategic  geographic location  the prospects for attracting foreign direct investments and international  trade are enormous.

 

At the core of our regional development effort is developing and using our resources - both human and natural - effectively and sustainably. Of these, there can be no doubt that our human resources are more critical in determining the success of our attempts to build a better life in our Region.

 

Education is critical to the development efforts to create a better life for the people of the Region. This was recognized by CARICOM Heads of Government  at their Montego Bay Conference, Jamaica in 1997  when they approved a  Human Resource Development Strategy. Modernising and restructuring the traditional education system,  in collaboration with  private sector, labour and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to equip our people with the tools to spearhead and shape the development of our Community, is at the heart of the strategy. It is also intended to enhance human resource capacity to more effectively  exploit our Community’s  many natural resource,s some of which are fragile or non-renewable. This is echoed  in the Regions Climate Change policy[e1]  that[e2]  advocates for protecting our environmental assets and ensuring management of forests and coral reefs  in a sustainable manner so as to allow present and future generations to obtain maximum benefits from them.

 

 

Summary Our Major Regional Resources

Resources

Economic – Benefits

Environmental Issues

 

Human

 

 

Labour – Skilled and Unskilled

 

Diseases
Pollution (air,noise, land and sea)

 

Atlantic Ocean
Rivers
Caribbean Sea

 

 

 

Food – fisheries
Energy – petroleum
Gas , geothermal and ocean        
thermal; hydroelectricity
Tourism/Recreation
Fresh water
Potable water through   
Desalination
Assimilation of waste
Transportation
Irrigation

 

Solid and liquid waste
Disposal of sewage and other
Solid and industrial waste
Flooding
Beach and coastal erosion
Reef degradation
Industrial and pesticide
Pollution
Oil pollution
Over-fishing and destruction of
Fish-breeding grounds
Destruction of riverbeds
Shipment of hazardous 
substances

 

Land

 

 

 

Food – agriculture
Human settlements
Tourism/Recreation
Mines and quarries (gold,
Diamonds, bauxite,
Petroleum, gas)
Sources of potable water
Geothermal energy  

 

Chemical and pesticide
Pollution
Over-cropping and overgrazing
Soil erosion
Flooding
Unregulated and mining and
quarrying activities
Poor land use
Inadequate waste disposal
Poor land use
Inadequate waste disposal
Damage to the water table 

 

Forests

 

 

Food
Tourism and recreation
Timber (Furniture, construction)
Herbs and genetic materials
Craft
Soil cover
Watershed

 

Slash and burn agriculture
Unregulated human settlement
Deforestation
Loss of biodiversity
Unregulated logging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regional Development prospects

When consideration is taken of its strategic  geographic location  the prospects for attracting foreign direct investments and international  trade are enormous.  The core of our regional development effort is harnessing both human and natural resource capabilities, paying particular attention to  training, skills enhancement and management competencies; drawing on  international communication technologies;  and placing emphasis on research and development. Education is critical to the development efforts to create a better life for the people of the Region. . This was recognized by rCARICOM Heads of Government  at their Montego Bay Conference , Jamaica .1997  when they approved a  Human Resource Development Strategy It urged the modernization and restructuring of the traditional education system  in collaboration with  private sector, labour and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) The approach, aimed at equipping our people with the tools to spearhead and shape the development of our Community. It was also intended  to respond and adapt to the changes taking place in the world around us. More specifically it was a clarion call to molding human resource capacity ,to more effectively  exploit  the many natural resources :water, land, forests and minerals) with which our Community has been blessed. This was fully endorsed by the Caribbean Commission’s Time for Action (year) and subsequent Caribbean Development Strategy 2009[e1]   They all recognize the necessity  to plan the use of and to manage and protect these natural  resources, some of which are fragile or non-renewable. This is echoed also in the Regions Climate Change policy[e2]  that[e3]  advocates for protecting our environmental assets and snure management of forests and coral reefs  in a sustainable manner so as to allow present and future generations to obtain maximum benefits from them.

These efforts require dedicated regional resources combined with global solidarity  

The Caribbean Community , the world’s largest group of small states,  are  richly endowed with natural resources,  such as excellent beaches and much sunshine suitable for tourism (particularly in Barbados, Jamaica and the Windward and Leeward Islands);bauxite in some larger states such as Jamaica and Guyana,; asphalt, oil and natural gas  in Trinidad and Tobago  (and more recently Guyana with respect to oil where significant deposits have been discovered); abundant supplies of fish and shrimp off the coast of Trinidad and to an even greater extent, Guyana; forestry and potential for forest-based industries  in Belize, Dominica and Guyana; earth and sands for building materials such as cement in Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago; clays  in Guyana; iron ore and other yet not fully ascertained mineral resources, particularly in Guyana; and good geographical location in terms of Hemispheric and world trade and tourism.

 

At the core of our regional development effort is the need to develop and use our resources - both human and natural - effectively and sustainably. Of these, there can be no doubt that our human resources are more critical in determining the success of our attempts to build a better life in our Region. Education is critical to such development and it is for this reason that our Heads of Government have acted upon their conviction that our people are our greatest resource and have and in 1997 at Montego Bay, Jamaica, approved a Human Resource Development Strategy which, with the collaboration of our private sector, labour and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), seeks to modernize and restructure the traditional approach to education. The approach, aimed at equipping our people with the tools to spearhead and shape the development of our Community as well as to respond and adapt to the changes taking place in the world around us, is also intended to help us exploit more effectively the many natural resources (water, land, forests and minerals) with which our Community has been blessed. It is necessary to plan the use of and to manage and protect these natural resources, some of which are fragile or non-renewable, in a sustainable manner so as to allow present and future generations to obtain maximum benefits from them.

 [e1]This is the Committee Chaired by Girvan

 [e2]

 [e3]This was developed by the joint COHSOD CPTED 2010

 

References:

This was developed by the joint COHSOD CPTED 2010

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was  established  in 1973 on three  main pillars: economic integration; functional cooperation and foreign policy coordination. A fourth pillar, “security”, was added in 2005 in response to the growing threat to citizen security and other regional assets and institutions. These pillars form the base of a number of diverse activities including:

Free movement of goods and services by removing  trade barriers and promoting reliable and sustainable energy;
Providing universal primary education and standardized certificate assessments;
Preventing and controlling non- communicable diseases;
Increasing access to HIV and AIDS treatment; promoting environmental health,  food and nutrition, health systems strengthening, early childhood development, child rights and protection, life skills-based health, family-life education;
Preventing youth on youth violence;
Promoting and defending the interest of CARICOM. See Achievements and milestones Link).

The above, among others, are captured in a range of services or regional goods such as: regional policy development and management; community governance; project/programme planning and management; research and technical advice public education and information; advocacy; coordination and harmonization; resource mobilization and capacity development.

Given the changing environment, CARICOM, now in its fifth decade, has refocused its approach to improving the standard of life for its peoples and has developed a strategic plan,  underpinned by a resiliency model, to guide the Community’s work over the following five years, 2015-2019.

The Caribbean Strategic Plan 2015-2019

What it is

The Community Strategic Plan  (2015-2019) is a five-year plan to  guide the work of the Member States, Associate States and Community Institutions and Bodies  that make up the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). It  identifies the issues  to be addressed, given current  Community problems such as high debt, low growth, high costs, less than optimal intra-regional trade, unemployment and persistent poverty in many Member States, vulnerability of  some countries to environmental shocks,  severity of natural disasters, crime and security, among others. It  maps the strategies and interventions which must be taken to rebuild the resiliency of the Community,  to realise its vision  of – 

“ a Community that is  integrated, inclusive and resilient, driven by knowledge, excellence, innovation and productivity; a Community where every citizen is secure and has the opportunity to realise his or her potential with guaranteed human rights (link to documents of international conventions that the Caribbean has signed unto) and social justice, and contributes to, and shares in, the economic, social and cultural prosperity; a Community which is a unified and competitive force in the global arena”.

The focus of the Plan is to –:

Build the economic, social, environmental and technological resilience of Member States;
Imbue in the people of the Community a greater  sense of regional identity and a spirit of Community;
Strengthen Governance arrangements for greater efficiency and effectiveness of CARICOM
Support the repositioning of the Community through greater foreign policy coordination. (Highlights to be linked to write up) .(The toggle (?) must show the full priority “Economic resilience”

Due to the limitation of resources, eleven specific actions or areas will be given priority over the period -

Accelerate implementation and use of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (Put toggle for all,  write up to come. SpecicallyHere, elaborate
Introduce Measures for Macro-economic Stabilisation. Here
Build Competitiveness and Unleash key economic drivers to transition to growth and to generate employment. Here
Develop Human Capital
Advance Health and Wellness
Enhance Citizen Security and Justice
Advance Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
 Advance Disaster Mitigation and Management
Develop the Single ICT Space
Deepen Foreign Policy Coordination (to support the strategic repositioning of  CARICOM and desired outcomes)
Undertake Public Education, Public Information and Advocacy
Reform the CARICOM Secretariat, the Organs, Bodies, Institutions and……?
 

What does  this plan expect to accomplish?

Specific benefits for the Community are at the heart of the plan including-:

A range of services and products that positively impact the lives of the Community’s peoples;
Full benefits of the Single Market and Economy, including an  expanded production base, resulting in global competitiveness, increased employment opportunities, growth of new businesses (small, medium and large), improved access to technology, quality health  and other services.
Improved efficiencies resulting from increased levels of coordination and collaboration among Member states, the Community’s organs, bodies , institutions and the Secretariat .

Its ultimate outcomes are: (i) strong economic growth and reduction in poverty and unemployment (ii) improved quality of life; (iii) reduced environmental vulnerability; and (iv) an integrated Community with equity for all.

Who are the major stakeholders?

The major stakeholders are:

Peoples of the Community – Men, Women, Youth, the Elderly, the Differently-abled,
Members of Parliament
The Private Sector
Civil Society Organisations , for example, Professional Associations  and Bodies; Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs); Community Based Organisations (CBOs); Faith Based Organisations; and the Mass Media
Labour representatives
Regional Universities/Tertiary Institutions
International Development Partners

 

The range of stakeholders comprises a critical group of key actors which entities, through their work,directly contribute to integrating the countries of CARICOM and the CARICOM agenda. These are:

Regional Governments (Member States and Associate Members)
Government ministries and public agencies in Member States
CARICOM Organs and Bodies
CARICOM Institutions and Association Institutions

The CARREX is a regional warning system which facilitates the rapid exchange of information on dangerous, non-food consumer goods in the market of Member States of the Community that pose a serious health and safety risk to consumers through Alerts and Notifications.

To encourage trade between CARICOM member states it was decided that manufacturers within the CSME should first seek and purchase within the CSME.

The Suspension Mechanism was set in place to administratively handle this procedure and grant suspension to acquire from outside the CSME if the product is not available within the CSME. This procedure has shown to be cumbersome, time consuming and sensitive to time constraints.

The CARICOM INTERACTIVE MARKETPLACE & SUSPENSION PROCEDURE will create a managed market place for CARICOM companies to post (not only) their raw materials and packaging but also their finished products to the CSME purchasers initially and to the rest of the world within 1 year of launch.

This system does require some discipline of the seller to maintain their “portfolio” online. The seller is responsible for up to date information of their products.

A purchaser can be matched immediately with a supplier and in the CSME case, bypassing the suspension procedure. If this match was not made or the product does not meet the ‘technical’ requirements the suspension procedure will still be put into effect because the system has already created a

trail of the transaction thus making filing another request not necessary. This method should relief the Secretariat of the time consuming task of matching purchasers and suppliers while keeping an audit trail of the procedure.

To secure the anticipated trade benefits to b e derived from the Single Market and Economy and sustain the expected growth in regional and international trade, member states have agreed to an overall trade policy. This policy seeks to fully integrate the national markets of all members states into a single unified and open market area; widen the market area of the Community; promote the export of internationally competititve goods produced in the Community; and secure favourable terms of trade, that is the most advantageous access to markets and best prices for Community exports.

The Policy strengthens the rights and obligations of member states established under the Common market Annex to the original Treaty of Chaguaramas,  including the establishment  and operation of a Common External Tariff (CET).

Other provisions of Policy include, rules of origin, free movement of goods, cooperation in customs administration and safeguard provisions which, in times of emergency, provide for temporary exemptions from Treaty obligations and authorize action against unfair trade practices such as dumping and subsidization and coordination of External Trade Policy, including joint negotiation of external trade agreements.

Within the Single Market and Economy, it is important to use all our natural resources efficiently and on an environmentally sustainable basis, as well as to avoid duplication in the production of goods as much as possible. The Industrial Policy  encourages entrepreneurship and industrial development; support the establishment of viable small businesses as well as cicor-businesses;  promotes stable industrial relations and balanced social and economic development. Some of the provisions of the Policy modify elements of the CARICOM Industrial Programming Scheme [1]and of the scheme to provide fiscal incentives to industry.


CARICOM Industrial Programming Scheme (CIPS)

The CARICOM Industrial Programming Scheme (CIPS) was approved by Heads of Government in 1985. The main objectives of the scheme were to allocate and promote the establishment of industries in various members of the Common Market and to encourage the greater use of raw materials produced within the Common Market. It was envisaged that the crps would encourage and promote joint production and linkages among member states.
Under the Scheme, industries were to be identified and allocated to various member states. The industries so allocated were to benefit from a range of incentives including fiscal incentives; access to klans, foreign exchange and permits where required; and protection from competing production from
ourside the Common Market as well as from producers in countries within the Common Market to which the particular activity was not allocated.

 

Several industries were considered under the scheme to be established as major regional industries. These included a regional foundry industry (utilizinging the capacities of the foundries in Guyana, lm1aica and Trinidad and Tobago), a regional ceramics industry (with production taking place in
:illyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago) and a regional cement industry (with main production entres in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago). There was also an effort to develop Iwooddworkingas a vertically integrated industry (one producing from basic lumber to highly finished
trnirure}. In this case, the bulk of the lumber was to have been supplied by Belize and Guyana with cishing taking place in Jamaica, which had a highly developed furniture sub-sector. In addition toese integrated industries, various countries were allocated specific industrial activities.


The Standing Committee of Ministers of Industry was the policy-making body  for the Scheme and had the authority to allocate industries to member states as well as determine which ones qualified to receive benefits. To qualify as a beneficiary under the CIPS, an industry, among other things, had to be owned and  controlled by citizens of the Common Marker and had to bring together resources of two or more member states in its production.


One of the major difficulties confroming the ministers was the need to ensure that, in the effort to develop inductries in the Common Market, a fair share of industrial activity took -place in the LDGs. The LDGs were therefore given special concesions in respect of the ownership requirement. For the fits three years they were allowed to have industries that were owned nd controlled from outside the Common Market, if the resources to establish these industries could not be raised from within.

For the Single Market to operate effectively there must be safe, adequate and affordable transportation for goods and people. The Transport Policy seeks to put in place the necessary requirements to achieve an efficient  transportation system on land, in the air and by sea, in an environmentally sound manner and with particular regard to the Caribbean Sea. Included among these are: promoting cooperation in providing transport services; developing and expanding air and maritime transport capabilities; and implementing standards for safe road, riverine, sea and air transport.

Allied with this Policy is the Multilateral Agreement Concerning the Operation of Air Services within the Caribbean Community, commonly called the CARICOM Multilateral Air Services Agreement (MASA). The principal means of transport without within our Community, particularly for persons, is by air and there are several airlines operating inside our Region and between our Community and outside countries. These airlines, such as Caribbean Airlines, Air Jamaica, and LIAT are also national airlines for some Member States. It is therefore important that there are common rules by which they operate.

MASA provides a more liberal environment for the air carriers of participating states to operate air services in the Region. The Agreement addresses issues such as licensing requirements, insurance, traffic and transit rights, market access, cabotage and safety and security concerns. MASA has been signed  by all member starts except The Bahamas, Jamaica and Montserrat. The agreement took effect in November 1998 following its ratification by eight member states. This agreement is an important step towards the establishment of a single Market for air transport services as it provides the formal framework for air sercices among our member states.

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is an essential part of the effort to deepen and strengthen the Caribbean Community through a single market and a single economy; which the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas provides for. The CCJ is the final authority on disputes concerning the interpretation and application of the Revised Treaty, through the exercise of its original jurisdiction and, in this context, a critical component in the way the Single Market functions.

 The CCJ, also meant to be the highest Appeal Court in CARICOM, considers and determines appeals in both civil and criminal matters from courts within the jurisdictions of Member States of the Community and which are parties to the Agreement establishing the CCJ. In the discharge of its appellate jurisdiction, the CCJ is the highest municipal court in the Region. However, some Member States are still to implement the Agreement establishing the CCJ as the final court of appeal.

Though headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago, in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, it is an iterant court, sitting in any of the Member States, as required.

In the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, Article V (1) of the Agreement establishing the CCJ, provides for the establishment of a Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission which  has the responsibility for the appointment of the judges. This Commission comprises nine members, many of whom are selected by institutions of civil society, and independent of governments. The judges are not only drawn from the Caribbean Region. They are appointed by the Commission and can only be dismissed on the recommendation of the Commission acting on the advice of a tribunal established for the purpose. This approach for the selection and removal of the Judges was conceived in order to safeguard the political independence of the Court. CARICOM is probably the only integration movement where judges are not appointed by the political directorate to interpret and apply the instrument establishing the movement.

Reference CARICOM Handbook

A fully functioning  CSME requires  an environment that  is competitive and encourages investment.  In this context,   economic, fiscal and monetary measures are required to support the CSME, given its ultimate goal as “the basis for growth and development through the creation of a single economic space for the  production of competitive goods and services”. These  measures are all supported by the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

On the monetary front,, the focus is on coordinating exchange rates and interest rate policies, as well as establishing the regional architecture for financial stability. It includes, for example:

  • measures to allow the  movement of capital for investment purposes across the Community and access to capital at the national level by intra-regional investors, on the same basis as domestic investors;
  • arrangements to enable  individuals to have access to their bank accounts across the Community through the appropriate ATM infrastructure, with a view to currency convertibility.

On the economic front, steps are being taken to coordinate macro-economic policies and performance; harmonise foreign investment policies and adopt measures to acquire, develop and transfer technology.

 On the fiscal front,  the focus is on policy coordination and harmonization to create a level tax playing-field to facilitate the movement of goods and factors of production by eliminating or  minimizing the likelihood of tax arbitraging of transactions, as well as to provide complementary measures to support regional monetary policy cooperation. Fiscal policy measures include coordinating indirect taxes and national budget deficits.

According to the Treaty of Chaguaramas of the Caribbean Community, membership of the Caribbean Community shall be open to any other State or Territory of the Caribbean Region that is, in the opinion of The Conference, able and willing to exercise the rights and assume the obligations of membership.

Obligations:

Member States of the Caribbean Community

  • are allowed to attend, participate and vote in all Meetings of the Organs and Institutions of the Caribbean Community;
  •  have the right of participation in the deliberations of all bodies in order to promote its interests in all programmes and measures, including the right to propose programmes and measures, or the modification of programmes and measures, as well as to share in the benefits of all relevant CARICOM regional programmes and measures, whether proposed by the country or not;
  • accept the Caribbean Community travel document;
  • pay an appropriate contribution to the budget of the CARICOM Secretariat.

 

Associate Members of the Caribbean Community   

  • attend as Observers, Meetings of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community;
  • are members of all Institutions except Council of Foreign and Community Relations;
  • have the right of participation in the deliberations of those bodies in which it has membership in order to promote its interests in specific programmes and measures, including the right to propose programmes and measures or the modification of programmes and measures, as well as to share in the benefits of all relevant CARICOM regional programmes and measures, whether proposed by the country or not;
  • accept the Caribbean Community travel document;
  • pay an appropriate contribution to the budget of the CARICOM Secretariat.

The ministerial body with principal responsibility for the development and trading arrangements within the Single Market and Economy is the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED).

COTED

 COTED brings together ministers responsible for several areas such as agriculture, industry, tourism, trade and transportation.  COTED  also works closely with the Legal Affairs Committee to harmonise national laws for the operation of the Single Market and Economy.

Learn more about COTED

 

 COHSOD

 The Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) is also deeply involved in the establishment of the CSME. The COHSOD focuses on issues such as the implementation of support measures to facilitate the free movement of persons, in particular the establishment of national and regional accreditation arrangements; the implementation of the agreement on the transfer of social security benefits; coordination of the development and implementation of a human resource development strategy; and the harmonisation of labour laws. In this latter area, the COHSOD works closely with the Legal Affairs Committee.
The Council for finance and Planning (COEAP), which  plays a central role in coordinating key economic arrangements within the Single Market and Economy. These include the movement of capital and the provision of financial services, such as banking and insurance and promoting the convergence of economic policies and performance. In other words, setting and achieving similar economic goals through, for example, the coordination of foreign exchange and interest rate policies and the harmonisation of fiscal policies.

Learn more about COHSOD

 

In a true sense, the Single Market cannot be separated from the Single Economy as activities in both areas are tightly interwoven. Consequently, all three councils must coordinate their work as policy decisions taken by one Council can and will, in many cases, affect activity throughout our Community and thus have an impact on the areas of competence of the other councils. This is true not only at the regional level across Councils but also at the level of Member States, where policy decisions taken by one member state can also affect activity elsewhere in our Community.

 

The Conference has assigned responsibility for promoting and coordinating the development and implementation of the CSME, to a Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee which is chaired by the Prime Minister of Barbados, lead Head of Government with responsibility for this area of the Community's development. The Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy was established in 2001 to give impetus to the establishment and operation of the CSME. The sub-committee is assisted by an Advisory Council comprising representatives of regional institutions and civil society, the private sector and labour organisations.

Heads of Government established the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors (CCA) as a Body of the Community. The CCA is headed by a Chair who  is also the  Chair of the Community Council of Ministers, one of two principal organs of the Community.The Secretary-General or his representative is an ex-officio member of the Committee. 

  The  role of the CCA  is to facilitate the implementation of the Community Strategic Plan.  Specifically,  the Comittee, among other functions -

  • provides strategic advice, recommendations and support to the Community Council of Ministers in the discharge of its functions as per Article 13 of the Revised Treaty, towards the advancement of the integration process; 
  • provides strategic advice, recommendations and support to the Community Council of Ministers in advancing the Implementation Plan of the Community Strategic Plan;
  • serves as the nexus between national/Member State needs and the regional agenda and, in so doing, work closely with the Organs and Bodies of the Community, the CARICOM Secretariat and the Community Institutions and Associate Institutions to establish and maintain an efficient system of consultations at the national and regional levels;

he CARICOM Secretariat formed the Regional ICT Steering Committee in January 2005.  This Committee was constituted as one mechanism for dealing with regional Information Society and ICT issues.  The Committee is funded under the 9th EDF project.

The Regional ICT Steering Committee serves as a “think-tank” for the CARICOM Secretariat. It is viewed as a mechanism to manage and coordinate the advancement of ICT and the Information Society in the Region.

The Functions of the Regional ICT Steering Committee include:

  1. Identifying issues relevant to the broad range of information society stakeholders.
  2. Overseeing, reviewing, commenting on, and providing expertise during the preparation of draft policy documents, based on the issues previously identified;
  3. Identifying sources of, and facilitating access to, information and expertise relevant to the regional development process;
  4. Acting as ICT stakeholder representatives to analyse issues, generate options and make recommendations as appropriate;
  5. Providing feedback and information to stakeholder groups as appropriate.
  6. Identifying areas of priority to the Region and suggested strategies to deal with these priority areas;
  7. Providing a coordinating role in respect of the approach to donors and the Private Sector for funding;
  8. Providing a coordinating role with respect to the implementation of ICT programmes and projects and the use of products resulting from ICT programmes and projects.
  9. Advising on global best practices.
  10. Reporting on the work of the Committee to the CARICOM/CARIFORUM Secretary-General.

 

The Regional ICT Steering Committee comprises of representatives from the CARICOM Member States and Associate Members, and selected regional organisations. The Member States are Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.  The Associate  Member States are Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos.

The Regional Organisations which are members of the Steering Committee are listed below:

Others:

  • Dominican Republic
  • French OCTs

The Regional ICT Steering Committee is comprised of five (5) Sub-Committees. They are Access, Connectivity and Internet Governance; Capacity Building; Business, Trade, Culture and Disaster Management; Legal and Regulatory Framework; and Statistics.

The Context

CARIFORUM refers to the Body comprising Caribbean ACP States which are signatories of the Georgetown Agreement. This Agreement was signed in 1975, and it created the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). The grouping is composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states.

All Participating States in CARIFORUM, with the exception of Cuba, are signatories to the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement or “Cotonou Agreement” and the EPA, respectively.

The Caribbean Forum of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (CARIFORUM) or Forum of Caribbean States are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

CARIFORUM was established in the early 1990s, and its functions are to –

(a)        Manage and coordinate policy dialogue between its Participating States and the EU;

(b)        Promote integration and cooperation in the Caribbean;

(c)        Coordinate the allocation of resources and manage the implementation of Regional Indicative Programmes financed by the EDF and regional programmes financed by Member States of the EU and any other source as may be approved by the Council of Ministers from time to time;

(d)        Provide technical guidance and assistance to Participating States in meeting the commitments and securing the benefits provided for in the CARIFORUM-EU EPA; and

(e)        Provide support for the effective participation of CARIFORUM in the Institutions provided for in the CARIFORUM-EU EPA.

 

Policy-making and Operations

The Council of Ministers of CARIFORUM is the decision-making body of the grouping. It provides policy guidance and mandates.

Furthermore, CARIFORUM has a rotating chairmanship, in the alphabetical order of the names of the Participating States and is held for a period of twelve (12) calendar months commencing, with effect, from 1 July.

The Secretary-General of CARIFORUM is assisted by the Director-General, who also serves as CARIFORUM Regional Coordinator in order to facilitate communication with the EU to ensure the effective implementation of the EPA. Of note, the Director-General, inter alia, coordinates and supervises the technical operation of the CARIFORUM Directorate, a technical and administrative body. Based in the CARICOM Secretariat, the Directorate comprises the Development Cooperation Unit and EPA Implementation Unit, respectively.

The programme goal of the Development Cooperation Unit is fivefold: (i) to implement the CARIFORUM Regional Development Strategy (RIDS) and EPA through sound development programmes financed by the European Development Fund (EDF) and/or resources in pursuance of the CARIFORUM mandate; (ii) to support the Joint Caribbean-EU Partnership Strategy; (iii) to support the achievement of the development objectives of CARIFORUM through planning and implementation of the EDF, EPA and other financed and supported activities; (iv) fostering political dialogue between CARIFORUM and the EU; and (v) deepening intra-CARIFORUM cooperation and widened Caribbean cooperation.

Key results set out are:

•  Approved 11th EDF Regional Indicative Programme 2014/2020;
•  10th EDF resources of regional indicative programmes programmed/disbursed;
•  Other resources programmed and disbursed;
•  Monitoring;
•  Strengthened CARIFORUM-EU Relations; and
•  Deepened Intra-CARIFORUM Cooperation and widened Caribbean cooperation.

The programme goal of the EPA Implementation Unit is twofold: (i) to build the capacity of CARIFORUM States to implement commitments made under the EPA through sound technical assistance and support; and (ii) to assist CARIFORUM States to comply with commitments in respect of EPA provisions and to be on-track to benefit from the provisions of the EPA.

Key results set out are:

•  Trade in Goods provisions implemented; 
•  Trade in Services and Investment provisions implemented; 
•  Trade Related Matters in the EPA addressed;
•  Institutions and other provisions of the EPA established and functioning;
• Other direct technical assistance to CARIFORUM States to facilitate EPA implementation provided; 
•  Information and public education programming implemented; and
•  Monitoring of the EPA.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, the current chair of CARICOM, along with other Caribbean leaders who are continuing to cultivate and place a high discount rate on the lives of their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens, is helping to mortgage the region's future with atrophy, by retarding the growth of their nations in exchange for power by majority rule. Social inclusion, equality and open diversity foster environments where everyone can bring their best to the table and feel valued without incurring the costs associated with repression. In 2014, 12 of the 15 CARICOM member states still criminalize homosexuality. Suriname is one of the remaining member states that has legalized homosexuality since 1869. Social economics has many costs and the archaic philosophy of legalized oppression is counterproductive to investing in a nation's greatest asset; it's people. In February, referring to the costs of homophobia, President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim stated, “Institutionalized discrimination is bad for people and societies. Widespread discrimination is also bad for economies. There is clear evidence that when societies enact laws that prevent productive people from fully participating in the workforce, economies suffer.

It is long overdue that CARICOM's legal system guarantees equality before the law and a bill of rights that includes protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Curiously, CARICOM's current agenda is seeking reparations for slavery while its own anti-gay laws undermine the legitimacy of this endeavour. Reparation and subjugation are a conundrum when human rights are being currently denied, while seeking amends for past human rights violations. Attempting to emancipate and ameliorate while citizens are being actively disenfranchised is spurious. It would not be ethical or moral for those countries who have long since decriminalized homosexuality to contribute money and resources to CARICOM nations that currently demean and devalue their LGBT citizens. This should be a factor and a caveat in considering reparations as it is antithetical to the philosophy of promoting equality consciousness. It is unfortunate that these discriminatory laws in CARICOM states exemplify a lack of maturity and responsible leadership.

CARICOM neglects to understand that human rights, which includes sexual orientation/expression, are to be protected, not levied with punishments which results in moral, personal and economic losses for the region. It is questionable if CARICOM is ready for the equitable distribution of reparations or aid. Instead of speaking out against homophobia there are some state leaders in the region who use homophobia for their own political gain.

The World Bank, United States, United Kingdom and the European Union are already considering homophobia in deciding how they provide and dispense aid. Regrettably, CARICOM is still operating under the paradigm that the world is flat with its refusal to reverse its human rights abuses on their LGBT citizens. We are all mutually dependent and homophobia attenuates economies with the immeasurable cost of the devaluation of purposeful relationships that we should be nurturing with each other to increase our Gross National Happiness.

Sean Macleish
Director
Caribbean Alliance for Equality

 

originally published I-Witness News 

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News or CARICOM. Opinion pieces can be submitted to communication@caricom.org

The EPA establishes a number of Joint CARIFORUM-EU Institutions that are charged with overseeing, reviewing and supporting the implementation of the Agreement. The main Joint Institutions established by the EPA have been operationalized and have contributed to the implementation of the Agreement. These Joint Institutions are as follows:

- The Joint CARIFORUM-EU Council 
- The CARIFORUM-EU Trade and Development Committee 
- The CARIFORUM-EU Parliamentary Committee 
- The CARIFORUM-EU Consultative Committee

 

The Joint Council and the Trade and Development Committee are to be assisted in the performance of their duties by the Special Committee on Customs Cooperation and Trade Facilitation and by other Special Committees, which may be established. Rules of Procedure are in place for the Joint Institutions. 

The CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) asserts that European Governments

  • ·         Were owners and traders of enslaved Africans.
  • ·          Instructed genocidal actions upon indigenous communities.
  • ·         Created the legal, financial and fiscal policies necessary for the enslavement of Africans.

Defined and enforced African enslavement and native genocide as in their ‘national interests’.
Refused compensation to the enslaved with the ending of their enslavement.
Compensated slave owners at emancipation for the loss of legal property rights in enslaved Africans.
Imposed a further one hundred years of racial apartheid upon the emancipated.
Imposed for another one hundred years policies designed to perpetuate suffering upon the emancipated and survivors of genocide.
And have refused to acknowledge such crimes or to compensate victims and their descendants.

 

Context

The CRC is committed to the process of national international reconciliation. Victims and their descendants have a duty to call for reparatory justice.

Their call for justice is the basis of the closure they seek to the terrible tragedies that engulfed humanity during modernity. The CRC comes into being some two generations after the national independence process, and finds European colonial rule as a persistent part of Caribbean life.

The CRC operates within the context of persistent objection from European governments to its mandate.

The CRC, nonetheless, is optimistic that the CARICOM Reparatory Justice Programme (CRJP) will gain acceptance as a necessary path to progress.

The CRC sees the persistent racial victimization of the descendants of slavery and genocide as the root cause of their suffering today.

The CRC recognizes that the persistent harm and suffering experienced today by these victims as the primary cause of development failure in the Caribbean.

It calls upon European governments to participate in the CRJP with a view to prepare these victims and sufferers for full admission with dignity into the citizenry of the global community. The CRC here outlines the path to reconciliation, truth, and justice for VICTIMS AND THEIR DESCENDANTS.

 
1. FULL FORMAL APOLOGY

The healing process for victims and the descendants of the enslaved and enslavers requires as a precondition the offer of a sincere formal apology by the governments of Europe. Some governments in refusing to offer an apology have issued in place Statements of Regrets.

Such statements do not acknowledge that crimes have been committed and represent a refusal to take responsibility for such crimes. Statements of regrets represent, furthermore, a reprehensible response to the call for apology in that they suggest that victims and their descendants are not worthy of an apology. Only an explicit formal apology will suffice within the context of the CRJP.
 

2. REPATRIATION

Over 10 million Africans were stolen from their homes and forcefully transported to the Caribbean as the enslaved chattel and property of Europeans. The transatlantic slave trade is the largest forced migration in human history and has no parallel in terms of man’s inhumanity to man.

This trade in enchained bodies was a highly successful commercial business for the nations of Europe. The lives of millions of men, women and children were destroyed in search of profit. The descendants of these stolen people have a legal right to return to their homeland.

A Repatriation program must be established and all available channels of international law and diplomacy used to resettle those persons who wish to return. A resettlement program should address such matters as citizenship and deploy available best practices in respect of community re-integration.
 

3. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

The governments of Europe committed genocide upon the native Caribbean population. Military commanders were given official instructions by their governments to eliminate these communities and to remove those who survive pogroms from the region.

Genocide and land appropriation went hand in hand. A community of over 3,000,000 in 1700 has been reduced to less than 30,000 in 2000. Survivors remain traumatized, landless, and are the most marginalized social group within the region.

The University of the West Indies offers an Indigenous Peoples Scholarship in a desperate effort at rehabilitation. It is woefully insufficient. A Development Plan is required to rehabilitate this community.
 

4. CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS

European nations have invested in the development of community institutions such as museums and research centres in order to prepare their citizens for an understanding of these CAH.

These facilities serve to reinforce within the consciousness of their citizens an understanding of their role in history as rulers and change agents.

There are no such institutions in the Caribbean where the CAH were committed. Caribbean schoolteachers and researchers do not have the same opportunity.

Descendants of these CAH continue to suffer the disdain of having no relevant institutional systems through which their experience can be scientifically told. This crisis must be remedies within the CRJP.
 

5. PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS

The African descended population in the Caribbean has the highest incidence in the world of chronic diseases in the forms of hypertension and type two diabetes.

This pandemic is the direct result of the nutritional experience, physical and emotional brutality, and overall stress profiles associated with slavery, genocide, and apartheid. Over 10 million Africans were imported into the Caribbean during the 400 years of slavery.

At the end of slavery in the late 19th century less than 2 million remained. The chronic health condition of Caribbean blacks now constitutes the greatest financial risk to sustainability in the region. Arresting this pandemic requires the injection of science, technology, and capital beyond the capacity of the region.

Europe has a responsibility to participate in the alleviation of this heath disaster. The CRJP addresses this issue and calls upon the governments of Europe to take responsibility for this tragic human legacy of slavery and colonisation.
 

6. ILLITERACY ERADICATION

At the end of the European colonial period in most parts of the Caribbean, the British in particular left the black and indigenous communities in a general state of illiteracy. Some 70 percent of blacks in British colonies were functionally illiterate in the 1960s when nation states began to appear.

Jamaica, the largest such community, was home to the largest number of such citizens. Widespread illiteracy has subverted the development efforts of these nation states and represents a drag upon social and economic advancement.

Caribbean governments allocate more than 70 percent of public expenditure to health and education in an effort to uproot the legacies of slavery and colonization. European governments have a responsibility to participate in this effort within the context of the CRJP.
 

7. AFRICAN KNOWLEDGE PROGRAM

The forced separation of Africans from their homeland has resulted in cultural and social alienation from identity and existential belonging. Denied the right in law to life, and divorced by space from the source of historic self, Africans have craved the right to return and knowledge of the route to roots.

A program of action is required to build ‘bridges of belonging’. Such projects as school exchanges and culture tours, community artistic and performance programs, entrepreneurial and religious engagements, as well as political interaction, are required in order to neutralize the void created by slave voyages.

Such actions will serve to build knowledge networks that are necessary for community rehabilitation.
 

8. PSYCHOLOGICAL REHABILITATION

For over 400 years Africans and their descendants were classified in law as non-human, chattel, property, and real estate. They were denied recognition as members of the human family by laws derived from the parliaments and palaces of Europe.

This history has inflicted massive psychological trauma upon African descendant populations. This much is evident daily in the Caribbean.

Only a reparatory justice approach to truth and educational exposure can begin the process of healing and repair. Such an engagement will call into being, for example, the need for greater Caribbean integration designed to enable the coming together of the fragmented community.
 

9. TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

For 400 years the trade and production policies of Europe could be summed up in the British slogan: “not a nail is to be made in the colonies”.

The Caribbean was denied participation in Europe’s industrialization process, and was confined to the role of producer and exporter of raw materials. This system was designed to extract maximum value from the region and to enable maximum wealth accumulation in Europe.

The effectiveness of this policy meant that the Caribbean entered its nation building phase as a technologically and scientifically ill-equipped- backward space within the postmodern world economy.

Generations of Caribbean youth, as a consequence, have been denied membership and access to the science and technology culture that is the world’s youth patrimony. Technology transfer and science sharing for development must be a part of the CRJP.
 

10. DEBT CANCELLATION

Caribbean governments that emerged from slavery and colonialism have inherited the massive crisis of community poverty and institutional unpreparedness for development. These governments still daily engage in the business of cleaning up the colonial mess in order to prepare for development.

The pressure of development has driven governments to carry the burden of public employment and social policies designed to confront colonial legacies. This process has resulted in states accumulating unsustainable levels of public debt that now constitute their fiscal entrapment.

This debt cycle properly belongs to the imperial governments who have made no sustained attempt to deal with debilitating colonial legacies. Support for the payment of domestic debt and cancellation of international debt are necessary reparatory actions. 
 

Source: http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/CARICOM-nations-unanimously-approve-10-point-plan


CHAPTER 1
MEETINGS
Rule 1
Ordinary Meetings
 
The Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) will structure its work within a two-year cycle during which four (4) Ordinary Meetings of the COHSOD will be convened.
Rule 2
Special Meetings
 
Meetings of the COHSOD held in tandem with international meetings shall be termed Special Meetings.
Rule 3
Extraordinary Meetings
 
At the request of a Member State of the Caribbean Community or where the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (hereinafter referred to as the Secretary-General) considers it necessary or expedient to do so, and with the concurrence of two-thirds of the Member States, the Secretary-General shall convene a Meeting of the COHSOD. Any meeting thus convened shall be designated an Extraordinary Meeting.
Rule 4
Notification of Meeting
 
1. The Secretary-General shall notify Member States of the Caribbean Community (hereinafter referred to as Member States) of the date and place of each Meeting of the COHSOD at least forty-five days before an Ordinary or Special Meeting, and normally, within ten days prior to an Extraordinary Meeting.
2. Notice of meetings shall be given in writing, indicating also the purpose for which the meeting is convened.
Rule 5
Meetings of Inter-Sessional Committee
 
1.  An Inter-Sessional Committee comprising the current, outgoing and incoming Chairman shall -

(a) monitor the implementation of decisions and recommendations of the Council or any committee of the Council, and to report thereon to the Council;
(b) as it considers fit, to perform a good office function between meetings of the Council;
(c) undertake such other functions as may be assigned to it by the Council, subject to such general or special directions as may be given to it by the Council.

2.  The Secretariat shall on a half-yearly basis provide the members of the Inter-Sessional Committee with a matrix indicating the status of implementation of the various decisions of the COHSOD and relevant decisions of other Community Organs and Bodies.
3.  The Secretary-General shall convene a meeting of the Inter-Sessional Committee at the request of the Chairman of the Committee.
4. The Secretary-General shall give at least seven days' notice in writing of a meeting of the Committee specifying the place, date and time of the meeting and the provisional agenda of the meeting.
Rule 6
Quorum
 
Two-thirds of the Member States shall constitute a quorum of the COHSOD.
CHAPTER II
AGENDA
Rule 7
Provisional Agenda
 
1. There shall be a Provisional Agenda for every meeting which may include -
  (a) items which have been approved by a majority of the COHSOD membership at a previous meeting;
  (b) items requested by any member of the COHSOD;
  (c) ither items which the Secretary-General considers fit to include.
2. Items proposed under paragraph 1 shall accord with Article 8c(3) of Protocol I and shall be accompanied by an explanatory memorandum and, where appropriate, by basic documents, for circulation to Member States together with the Provisional Agenda.
Rule 8
Notification of Items for Inclusion in the Provisional Agenda
 
Items for inclusion on the Provisional Agenda shall normally be submitted to the Secretary-General by Member States at least thirty days before the opening of the meeting and the representatives of Member States shall receive from the Secretary-General, the Provisional Agenda at least twenty-one days before the opening of the meeting.
Rule 9
Inclusion of Additional Agenda Items
 
Notwithstanding Rule 7, any Member State may propose an item for inclusion in the Draft Agenda at any meeting of the COHSOD which shall be incorporated into the Agenda, provided that the proposal for inclusion of the item is approved by a simple majority of the members of the COHSOD.
Rule 10
Adoption of Agenda
 
The Agenda of any Meeting of the COHSOD shall be adopted by a simple majority vote.
CHAPTER III 
MEETINGS PREPARATORY TO ORDINARY MEETINGS OF THE COHSOD
Rule 11
National COHSOD
 
In accordance with Article 16 of Protocol I, each Member State shall establish a mechanism (National COHSOD) for inter-sectoral collaboration and consultation on a regular basis and in particular prior to meetings of the COHSOD and Community Council of Ministers. This mechanism should include the Minister responsible for CARICOM Affairs.
Rule 12
Meetings of Chief Technical Officers
 
1. In accordance with Article 16 of Protocol I, COHSOD shall be assisted by Regional Meetings of Chief Technical Officers of each social sector as specified in Article 8 (c) of Protocol I. These meetings shall be held on an annual basis and at least thirty days prior to Ordinary Meetings of the COHSOD.
2. Regional and international agencies as well as Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) shall be invited to participate in the meetings of Chief Technical Officers.
3. The Summary of Conclusions of the Meetings of Chief Technical Officers shall be circulated within two weeks of the meetings.
CHAPTER IV 
REPRESENTATION AT MEETINGS OF COHSOD
Rule 13
Meetings of the COHSOD
 
1. Each Member State shall be represented at meetings of the COHSOD by Ministers duly designated by that State save that where a Member State provides the Chairman or acting Chairman of the meeting, that Member State may nominate another member of the delegation to act as the designated representative.
2. A representative may be accompanied to Meetings of the COHSOD by such other alternate representatives as may be required.
3. The Member States may appoint such advisers as they consider fit for the purpose of attending meetings of the Council. There shall be no restrictions imposed upon the number of such advisers save that the authority to act as an adviser in relation to any Member State or Member States shall, as far as practicable, be communicated to the Secretary-General in advance of any meetings of the Council. Advisers may participate in the proceedings of the meetings but may not vote on any issue before the Council unless nominated to act as the representative.
4. The Council may invite any individual or any representative of an organisation or a non-Member State to attend meetings of the Council as an observer. Any observer may be permitted to participate in the proceedings but shall not have the right to vote on any issue before the Council.
5. The Chairman may act on behalf of the COHSOD in inviting any individual or any representative of an organisation or a non-Member State as an Observer as provided in paragraph 4 of this Rule.
Rule 14
Committee of Officials
 
The COHSOD may be assisted by a Committee of Officials representative of Member States competent to participate in the deliberations of the COHSOD. The Committee of Officials shall act as a Preparatory Committee for Ordinary Meetings of the COHSOD. The Meeting of the COHSOD shall follow the Meeting of Officials with normally one week-day or week-end separating the two Meetings.
CHAPTER V 
SECRETARIAT
Rule 15
Function of the Secretariat
 
1. The Secretary-General shall act in that capacity at all meetings of the COHSOD. He may authorise a member of his staff to act in his place at meetings of the COHSOD.
2. The Secretary-General or the member of staff acting on his behalf may make oral or written statements on any question under consideration by the COHSOD at any meeting.
3. The Secretary-General shall provide the administrative and clerical services necessary for the conduct of meetings of the COHSOD.
4. The Caribbean Community Secretariat shall be recognised as the Secretariat of the COHSOD, its committees and other bodies.
5. The Secretariat shall provide each Member State at the end of the COHSOD Meeting with a summary of the main conclusions adopted by that Organ.
6. To facilitate action on recommendations at the national level, the Secretariat shall after each meeting of the COHSOD, supply each Member State with the relevant information on action to be taken to implement the decisions of the meeting and such other general assistance within its competence.
CHAPTER VI 
PROCEEDINGS OF MEETINGS
Rule 16
Chairman and Vice-Chairman
 
1. The chairmanship of the COHSOD shall be rotated on an annual basis in alphabetical order.
2. The Chairman of the COHSOD shall be a Minister with responsibility for any of the social sectors listed in Article 8(c) of Protocol I unless the COHSOD decides otherwise by majority vote.
3. The Chairman shall have the right to vote on behalf of the Member State he represents, unless an alternate representative has been appointed to represent the Member State. In such a case the alternate representative shall exercise the right to vote.
4. The Chairman shall declare the opening and closing of each meeting of the COHSOD, direct the discussion, ensure the observance of these rules, put questions to the vote where appropriate and announce decisions. The Chairman may also call a speaker to order if the speaker's remarks are not relevant or inappropriate to the subject under discussion.
5. During the discussion of any matter, a representative may raise a point of order. In this case the Chairman shall immediately rule on the point of order. If it is challenged, the Chairman shall forthwith submit the ruling to the COHSOD for decision, and it shall stand unless over-ruled by a simple majority of representatives.
6. The Chairman of the COHSOD may with the permission of all Member States issue statements on behalf of that Organ of the Community.
Rule 17
Absence of Chairman
 
If at the commencement of any meeting, the Chairman is not represented or if during the course of a meeting it is necessary for the Chairman to be absent, the outgoing Chairman shall act as Chairman.
Rule 18
Absence of Chairman and Vice-Chairman
 
If both the Chairman and the outgoing Chairman are absent, then the meeting shall elect a Chairman for that meeting from among the representatives of Member States.
Rule 19
Chairmanship of Special Meeting
 
Unless the COHSOD decided otherwise by majority vote, the Chairman of a Special or Extraordinary Meeting shall be the current Chairman of the COHSOD.
CHAPTER VII 
DECISION-MAKING
Rule 20
Decision-Making
 
1. As a general rule, decision-making in the COHSOD shall, where possible, be by consensus. However, when a member specifically requests and the Chairman decides that the matter be put to a vote, the relevant provisions of the Treaty and these Rules shall apply.
2. The COHSOD may defer the taking of a decision in order to facilitate further negotiations wherever it appears that all efforts at achieving consensus have not been exhausted.
3. Recommendations shall be made by a two-thirds majority vote of all members of the COHSOD and shall not be legally binding. Member States omitting to comply with recommendations shall inform the Secretariat in writing within six months stating the reasons for their non-compliance.
4. Decisions on procedural matters shall be reached by simple majority.
5. Subject to paragraphs 4, 6 and 7 decisions of the COHSOD on substantive issues shall be reached by qualified majority vote. For the purpose of this paragraph, a qualified majority vote means an affirmative vote of Member States comprising no less than three-quarters of the membership of the Community.
6. Decision that an issue is of critical importance to the national well-being of a Member State shall be reached by a two-thirds majority of all Member States.
7. Where decisions have been determined to be of critical importance to the national well-being of a Member State in accordance with paragraph 6, such decisions shall be reached by an affirmative vote of all Member States.
8. If a vote is equally divided, the proposal shall be regarded as rejected.
9. "Majority vote" in these Rules means a simple majority vote.
Rule 21
Decision-Making Outside of Meeting of the COHSOD
 
1. The COHSOD may, outside its ordinary, extraordinary or special meetings, take a decision by round-robin or make a recommendation on any matter referred to it by the Secretary-General in his discretion or at the request of a Member State.
2. In any such case, each Member State shall as soon as possible, notify the Secretary-General of its decision or recommendations on the matter.
3. On receipt of responses from all Member States, the Secretary-General shall notify Member States of the status of the decision or recommendation.
4. Notwithstanding paragraphs 2 and 3, if any Member State so requests, the matter to be decided shall be referred for consideration by the COHSOD at its next meeting.
Rule 22
Voting
 
1. Each member of the COHSOD shall have one vote.
A Member State whose contributions to the regular budget of the Community are in arrears for more than two full years shall not have the right to vote but may otherwise participate in the deliberations of the COHSOD. The COHSOD may, nevertheless, permit such a Member State to vote if it is satisfied that the failure to contribute is due to conditions beyond the control of the Member in accordance with Article 17 of Protocol I.
CHAPTER VIII 
FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS
Rule 23
1. Each Member State shall pay the expenses of its delegation to meetings of the COHSOD and the Secretariat shall pay the expenses of its staff.
2. The Member State in which a meeting is to be held shall be responsible for local expenses involved in holding the meeting in respect of administrative and transport services.
CHAPTER IX 
SUBSIDIARY COMMITTEES AND OTHER BODIES
Rule 24
 
1. The COHSOD may establish sub-committees, working groups and/or other subsidiary bodies as it considers necessary from time to time and refer to them any subjects within the terms of reference of the COHSOD for study and report. The COHSOD may authorise such sub-committees, working groups or other subsidiary bodies to meet as often as may be necessary and they shall be responsible to the COHSOD.
2. These Rules of Procedure shall, as far as practicable, apply to the proceedings of the sub-committees, working parties or other subsidiary bodies, unless members of the COHSOD decide otherwise.
CHAPTER X 
RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER ORGANS, BODIES AND INSTITUTIONS OF THE COMMUNITY
Rule 25
 
Where the COHSOD proposes to develop a proposal which is likely to have an important impact on activities within the sphere of competence of another Community organ, body or institution, the COHSOD shall transmit such proposal to the other interested Community organs, bodies and institutions for their consideration and reaction before reaching a final decision on the proposal.
 
CHAPTER XI
AMENDMENTS AND SUSPENSIONS
Rule 26
 
1. Subject to the relevant provisions of the Treaty, these Rules may be amended by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all members of the COHSOD.
2. These Rules or any of them may be suspended for such periods as the COHSOD may determine by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of its members present and voting.

Adopted at the Second Meeting of the Community Council of Ministers, Guyana, 15-16 May 1998 

CHAPTER 1
MEETING
RULE 1
1. The Community Council of Ministers (hereinafter called "the Community Council") shall convene an ordinary meeting in January and May each year unless the Community Council otherwise determines.
2. A majority of Member States of the Community Council shall constitute a quorum.
3. The Secretary-General shall notify the Member States at least twenty-one days in advance of the commencement of an ordinary meeting.
4. Ordinary meetings shall be scheduled to convene so as to ensure effective deliberations and decision-making by other organs and bodies prior to such meetings of the Community Council.
RULE 2
1. At the request of a Member State or on the initiative of the Secretary-General, where the considers it necessary or expedient to do so, and with the concurrence of a majority of Member States, the Secretary-General shall convene a meeting of the Community Council within twenty-one days of such concurrence. Any such meeting shall be designated a "special meeting".
2. Special meeting of the Community Council shall ordinarily be convened to consider and determine specific issues.
RULE 3
The Secretary-General shall convent an emergency meeting of the Community Council at the request of a Member State with the concurrence of a majority of the Member States. The meeting shall be convened within ten days of such concurrence.
RULE 4
The Secretary-General shall obtain the consent of a majority of the Member States before convening a meeting at any place other than the Headquarters of the Community.
RULE 5
Notice of meetings shall be given in writing and shall specify the purpose for which the meeting is convened.
RULE 6
1. All meetings of the Community Council shall be conducted in private unless the Community Council decides otherwise.
2. Associate Members of the Caribbean Community may also be invited to meetings of the Community Council.
CHAPTER II
AGENDA
RULE 7
There shall be a Provisional Agenda for every ordinary and special meeting and which shall include:
(a) items approved by the Community Council at a previous meeting;
(b) subject to Rules 8 and 9, items requested by any Member State;
(c) items submitted by Ministerial Councils and Subsidiary Bodies of the Community;
(d) items which the Secretary-General considers fit to include.
RULE 8
Where a Member State requests the inclusion of an item on the Provisional Agenda of an ordinary or special meeting of the Community council, the Member State shall submit an explanatory memorandum on the item to the Secretary-General, in the case of an ordinary meeting, at least fourteen days prior to the meeting and, in the case of a special meeting, at least seven days prior to the meeting.
RULE 9
Notwithstanding Rule 8, any Member State may submit an item, together with an explanatory memorandum on the item, a any meeting of the Community Council, and the Community Council may, by a simple majority vote, approve the inclusion of any such item as part of the Agenda.
RULE 10
The agenda for any meeting of the Community Council shall be adopted by a simple majority vote.
CHAPTER III
REPRESENTATION
RULE 11
1. Each Member State shall be represented at meetings of the Community Council by Ministers duly designated by that State save that where a Member State provides the Chairman or acting Chairman of the meeting, that Member State may nominate another member of the delegation to act as the designated representative.
2. If the Minister designated under paragraph 1 of this Rule is unable to attend a meeting of the Community Council, the Member State or the designated Minister, as the case may be, may nominate another member of the delegation to represent the Minister.
RULE 12
Insofar as is practicable, each Member State shall notify the name of the designated representative to the Secretary-General in advance of all meetings.
RULE 13
The Community Council may invite regional institutions and associate institutions to attend its Meetings in order to participate in the discussion of specific Agenda items.
CHAPTER IV
PROCEEDINGS AT MEETINGS
RULE 14
The Secretary-General shall act in that capacity in all meetings of the Community Council but may authorise a member of his staff to act in his place at meetings of the Community Council.
RULE 15
1. The Chairman of each ordinary meeting shall be selected from among the representatives of the Member States in accordance with the six-month rotation schedule of the Chairmanship of the Conference as approved by Heads of Government.
2. Unless the Community Council otherwise decides, the Chairman of special meetings shall be the Chairman of ordinary meetings.
RULE 16
If, at the commencement of an ordinary meeting of the Chairman is not present, or, during the course of a meeting, it is necessary for the Chairman to be absent, the representatives of the Member States may elect one of their number, being a Minister, to act as Chairman.
RULE 17
The Chairman shall declare the opening and closing of each meeting of the Community Council, direct the discussion, ensure the observance of these rules, put questions to the vote and announce decisions. The Chairman may also call a speaker to order if the speaker's remarks are not relevant to the subject under discussion.
RULE 18
During the discussion of any matter, a representative may raise a point of order. In this case, the Chairman shall immediately rule on the point of order. If it is challenged, the Chairman shall forthwith submit the ruling to the Community Council for decision, and it shall stand unless overruled by a simple majority of representatives.
RULE 19
During the discussion of any matter, a representative may move for the adjournment of the debate. Any such motion shall have priority. In addition to the proposer of the motion, one representative shall be allowed to speak in favour of and one representative against the motion before it is put to the vote.
RULE 20
1. A representative may at any time move for the closure of the debate whether or not any other representative has signified a wish to speak. Two representatives shall be allowed to speak in favour of any two representatives against, before it is put to the vote.
2. If the Community Council is in favour of the closure, the Chairman shall declare the debate closed.
RULE 21
The Community Council may, by a simple majority vote, limit the time allowed to each speaker.
RULE 22
Upon a request by any Member State, any proposal or amendment thereto made by any speaker shall be given to the Chairman in writing and shall be read by him before any further speaker is called upon also immediately before a vote is taken on such proposal or amendment. The Chairman may direct that any proposal or amendment be circulated to the members present before a vote is taken.
RULE 23
Proposals shall be put to the vote in the order of their submission unless the Community Council decides otherwise by a simple majority vote.
RULE 24
1. When an amendment is moved to a proposal, the amendments shall be voted on first. When two or more are moved to a proposal, the Community Council shall first vote on the amendment furthest removed in substance from the original proposal and then on the amendment next furthest removed therefrom, and so on, until all the amendments have been put to the vote. Where, however, the adoption of one amendment necessarily implies the rejection of another amendment, the latter amendment shall not be put to the vote. If one or more amendments are adopted, the amended proposal shall then be voted upon. A motion shall be considered an amendment to a proposal if it adds to, deletes from or revises part of the proposal.
2. If two or more proposals relate to the same question, the Community Council shall, unless it decides otherwise, vote on the proposals in the order in which they have been submitted. The Community Council may, after each vote on a proposal, decide whether to vote on the next proposal.
RULE 25
Before putting any proposal to the vote, the Chairman shall cause the Secretariat to bring to the attention of the meeting the financial implications of the relevant decision and any other matters which may be relevant.
RULE 26
Where the Community Council proposes to develop a proposal which is likely to have a significant impact on activities within the sphere of competence of another Community Organ, the Community Council shall transmit such proposal to other interested Community Organs for their consideration and reaction before reaching a final decision on the proposal.
CHAPTER V
VOTING
RULE 27
Subject to paragraph (d) of this Rule:
(a) each designated representative nominated under the provisions of Rule 11 shall have one vote;
(b) the Chairman of the meeting of the Community Council shall be entitled to vote on behalf of the State he represents unless another member of his delegation has been so authorised by virtue of the provisions of Rule 11;
(c) the Chairman shall not have a casting vote;
(d) representatives of a Member State whose contributions to the regular budget of the Community are in arrears for more than two years shall not have the right to vote except on matters relating to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, but may otherwise participate in the deliberations of the Community Council. The Conference may, nevertheless, permit such representatives to vote if it is satisfied that the failure to contribute is due to conditions beyond the control of the Member State concerned.
RULE 28
At any meeting of the Community Council, a recommendation, resolution or any other proposal put to the vote shall be decided on a show of hands unless a vote by secret ballot is requested by the designated representative or nominee, as the case may be, of any Member State.
RULE 29
A designated representative of a Member State at any meeting of the Community Council may request a vote by roll-call of the Member States which shall be taken alphabetically. The vote of each Member State shall be inserted in the record.
RULE 30
1. Save as otherwise provided in these Rules, the Community Council shall take decisions by a qualified majority vote.
2. For the purposes of paragraph 1 of this Rule, a qualified majority vote means an affirmative vote of Member States comprising no less than three-quarters of the membership of the Community.
3. A decision that a proposal is of critical importance to the national well-being of a Member State shall be reached by a two-thirds majority of the Member States.
4. Where proposals have been determined to be of critical importance to the national well-being of a Member State, in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Rule, decisions thereon shall be reached by an affirmative vote of all Member States.
5. For the purposes of paragraph 4 of this Rule, abstentions shall not be construed as impairing the validity of decisions required to be reached by unanimity, provided that Member States constituting not less than three-quarters of the membership of the Community vote in favour of such decisions.
6. Recommendations of the Community council shall be made by a two-thirds majority of the Member States and shall not be legally binding. Member States omitting to comply with recommendations shall inform the Secretariat in writing within six months, stating the reasons for their non-compliance.
7. Decisions on procedural issues shall be reached by a simple majority of Member States. Decisions on whether an issue is procedural or substantive shall be reached by two-thirds majority of Member States.
RULE 31
1. The Community Council may, outside its ordinary or special meetings, take a decision or make a recommendation on any urgent matter referred to it by the Secretary-General in his own discretion or at the request of a Member State.
2. In any such case, each Member State shall, as soon as possible, notify the Secretary-General of its decision on the matter.
3. Notwithstanding the above, if any member State so requests, the matter to be decided shall be deferred for consideration by the Community Council at its next meeting.
CHAPTER VI
COMMITTEES OF THE COMMUNITY COUNCIL
RULE 32
1. The Community Council may establish such committees as it considers necessary for the performance of its functions.
2. Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph 1, there is hereby established an Inter-Sessional Committee of the Community Council consisting of the following members:
(a) the Chairman, who shall be the Chairman of the Committee;
(b) the representative of the Member State last holding the office of Chairman;
(c) the representative of the Member State succeeding next to the office of Chairman;
(d) where the members of the Committee pursuant to the foregoing sub-paragraphs are entirely representatives either of the More Developed Countries or of the Less Developed Countries, as the case may be, the representative of the Member State of the other group of Member States which last held the office of Chairman; and
(e) any person co-opted as a member of the Committee pursuant to paragraph 3 of this Rule.
3. The Inter-Sessional Committee may, as it considers necessary, co-opt, as additional members of the Committee, representatives of other Member States.
4. The representative of any other Member State or Associate Member of the Community may attend meetings of the Inter-Sessional Committee and participate in its meetings.
5. It shall be the function of the Inter-Sessional Committee:
(a) to monitor the implementation of decisions and recommendations of the Community Council or of its Committees, and to report thereon to the Community Council;
(b) as it considers fit, to perform a good offices function between meetings of the Community Council;
(c) to undertake such other functions as may be assigned to it by the Community Council,
subject to such general or special directions as may be given to it by the Community Council.
CHAPTER VII
MEETINGS OF THE INTER-SESSIONAL COMMITTEE
RULE 33
1. The Inter-Sessional Committee shall meet between ordinary meetings of the Community Council at such times as may be determined by the Secretary-General after consultation with the Chairman and other members of the Council.
2. The Secretary-General shall convene a meeting of the Inter-Sessional Committee at the request of the Chairman of the Committee.
3. The members of the Committee referred to in paragraph 2(a) to (d) of Rule 32 shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at meetings of the Committee.
4. The Secretary-General shall give at least seven days' notice in writing of a meeting of the Committee specifying the place, date and time of the meeting and the provisional agenda of the meeting which shall include:
(a) items mandated by the Community Council;
(b) items requested by a Member State;
(c) items which the Chairman or the Secretary-General considers fit to include therein.
5. Meetings of the Inter-Sessional Committee shall be conducted in private, unless the Committee decides otherwise.
6. Subject to Rule 36 and this Rule, the Inter-Sessional Committee shall regulate its own proceedings.
CHAPTER VIII
DOCUMENTATION
RULE 34
A draft summary record of the decisions, recommendations and resolutions made by the Community Council at each meeting shall be approved by the Meeting before its closure. The full report of the proceedings of the Community Council, including the approved summary of decisions, recommendations and resolutions, shall be distributed as soon as possible thereafter, but not later than two weeks prior to the next meeting of the Community Council, to each Member State. A copy of the record of the proceedings of every meeting of the Community Council shall be filed in the archives of the Secretariat.
RULE 35
All decisions, recommendations and resolutions made by the Community Council shall be communicated to Member States by the Secretary-General within three weeks after such determinations.
RULE 36
The Secretary-general shall ensure that documents required for a meeting of the Community Council are circulated to Member States at least two weeks prior to a meeting of the Community Council.
CHAPTER IX
TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS
RULE 37
For the purpose of establishing the Inter-Sessional Committee of the Community Council referred to in paragraph 2 of Rule 36, the last Chairman of the Community Council shall be selected in accordance with the Rotation Schedule of the Chairman of the Conference, as approved by Heads of Government.
CHAPTER X
AMENDMENT AND SUSPENSION
RULE 38
1. Subject to these Rules and the relevant provisions of the Treaty, the Community Council may amend these Rules by a two-thirds majority vote of its members present and voting.
2. These Rules, or any of them, may be suspended for such periods as the Community Council may determine by a two-thirds majority vote of its members present and voting.
RULE 39
Subject to these Rules, the Community Council shall regulate its own proceedings.
 

Our culture - our languages religions, festivals, art forms, values, customs, sports  and other forms of self expression -  is a dynamic one. Shaped by the  historical experience of our people, our faiths and our creativity, it continues to be fashioned by our creative energies and other influences

Our languages  are part of the legacy of the various civilisations from which our ancestors came. For  many member states, the English Language is a major unifying factor. But it is an English that is complemented by French and Spanish, as well as African and Indian expressions. In Dominica and Saint Lucia, English co-exists with a French-based creole/kweyol, while in Haiti a similar creole co-exists with French. Other members such as  Jamaica and Guyana, in addition to standard English, an English-based dialect has evolved.  In the case of Guyana, this dialect (Guyanese creole is  based on geographical location and race and ethnicity. In Suriname, in addition to Dutch, Srna-Tonga, a Dutch-based Creole, is widely spoken. In some communities, in Trinidad for example, Hindi is spoken. Among the descendants of our indigenous peoples their original languages, as well as variations are still spoken. These include Arawak, Wai Wai and Makushi, and in Belize, Garifuna and Mayan languages.


 

Our religions

Our religions  are diverse with practices reflecting our multiple origins. Christianity is the dominant faith in our Community while Hinduism and Islam also have a significant following particularly in Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. In the countries with longer histories of French and Spanish colonialism, Roman Catholicism is the dominant faith, whereas in those countries with a strong British influence, Anglicans and Methodists have been historically predominant. Recently, however, non-traditional Christian groups have increased in significance. African religious traditions continue to find expression through Voodoo, Pocomania and Orisha. The Spiritual Baptists have also wedded African traditions with Christianity. Rastafarianism, which is closely liked to Ethiopian history and developed into an identifiable belief system in Jamaica, has spread throughout the region. There has also been an increasing tendency towards inter-faith observances and activities.


 

Festivals and celebrations

Festivals and celebrations give us the opportunity to showcase our creative energies. As in other parts of the world, many of the Region's festivals and celebrations are associated with events of religious significance. Carnival, for example, one of the powerful symbols of our culture, has its origins in Europe and Roman Catholicism and has been heavily influenced by African traditions.

Originally a two-day celebration held immediately prior to the Lenten season and most famously in Trinidad and  Tobago, Carnival is now held at different times of the year in different countries throughout our region and beyond. In some places it also takes place over a longer period. Even those member states that do not celebrate a traditional Carnival have festivals that are increasingly influenced by it, for example, Crop Over in Barbados, Junkanoo in The Bahamas, Mashramani in Guyana and Owruyari in Suriname.

Through the influence and energies of our diaspora in North America and Europe, the Caribbean carnival has also become a major festival in several metropolitan centres. These include London's Notting Hill Carnival, Toronto's Caribana, New York's Labour Day Carnival, Washington DCs Carnival and the Miami Carnival.

Christmas and Easter are Christian commemorations celebrated region-wide, while the Hindu festivals of Diwali and Phagwah and the Muslim observances of Eidul- Fitr and Eid-ul-Azah are prominent in Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Our Community also observes festivals related to harvest, fishing and historical events.

Our diversity also comes together richly in the creative arts where the genius of our people is very vividly displayed. CARIFESTA, the Caribbean Festival of the Arts, is a most outstanding demonstration and reflection of this creativity. First held in Guyana in 1972, this festival showcases the full spectrum of Caribbean culture   Our Community has also produced art forms that are unique and artists with superlative talents, many of whom have won international acclaim. This has been especially so in the fields of literature, music, art, and dance.


 

In the field of literature

In the field of literature, our Region has produced a number of truly outstanding writers. Among these are: Jan Carew, Martin Carter, Edwige Danticat, Lorna Goodison, Wilson Harris, C.L.R. James, George Lamming, Edgar Mittleholzer, Vidiadhar Surajprasad (V.S.) Naipaul, who was awarded  the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, Jean Rhys, Samuel Selvon, and Derek Walcott, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. These writers have all used their varied Caribbean experiences as a vehicle to express their creative genius.


 

Historians

Historians: Through their chronicles and analyses, historians such as Jacques Adelaide, Roy Augier, Hilary Beckles, Kamau Brathwaithe, Carl Campbell, Lisa Goveia, Douglas Hall, Neville Hall, C.L.R. James, Keith Laurence, Woodville Marshall, Lucille Mathurin-Mair, Mary Noel Menezes, Walter Rodney and Eric Williams have played equally important roles in capturing our varied experiences.

Entertainers: Our Region has also given birth to many famous entertainers in the field of music. These include singers such as  the late Arrow (Alphonsus Cassell), Buju Banton, (Mark Anthony Myrie) Harry Belafonte, Beenie Man (Anthony Moses Davis), Calypso Rose (McCartha Lewis), Jimmy Cliff, Eddy Grant, Alison Hinds, the late Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts), Ophelia Marie, the late Robert 'Bob' Marley, Andy Palacio, the late Sundar Popo, David Rudder and the Mighty Sparrow (Slinger Francisco, OCC). They also include musicians such as Sel Duncan, the Merrymen, Byron Lee, Mungal Patasar, Ernie Ranglin, and Arturo Tappin. Outstanding performers of classical music such as Winifred Atwell and Jocelynne Loncke, pianists, as well as Jill Gomez and Willard White, opera singers, also join the stellar personalities in the field of entertainment.


 

Music

Music:  Calypso and Reggae are the rhythms most identified with our Region, having been born of our varied Caribbean experiences. Reggae music originated in Jamaica while Calypso, the music of Trinidad and Tobago pre-dated Reggae as a musical form. Both Calypso and Reggae are sung and played not only regionally but internationally. Their lyrics are traditionally based on topical concerns and events. Across our Region, there are other indigenous musical forms. These include Spouge from Barbados, Punta from Belize, Zouk from Haiti, Danceball from Jamaica, Fra Fra from Suriname and Chutney from Trinidad and Tobago.

The Steel Pan: A particularly unique and outstanding creation of our region, is the steel pan, which originated in Trinidad and Tobago. 'Pan', as we call it, is known and played throughout the world. There is now a proliferation of school steelbands and 'pan music' is increasingly an official course in school curricula. In some universities, courses in pan count toward degree programmes and in a few cases, such as Northwestern University School of Music in Illinois, USA, pan studies is offered as a major in the B.Sc Music degree programme. Liam Teague of Trinidad and Tobago is a leading graduate of pan studies from that School of Music. At our own University of the West Indies and in other research centres in Europe, USA and as far afield as Japan, scientists are involved in research that has contributed greatly to the improvement in the design and tonal quality of the instruments. In addition, a growing number of composers are producing music especially for the steelband.

The steel pan is a musical instrument that is indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago. It is the only new acoustic instrument to have been invented in the twentieth century. During the 1940s, there was a surge in the development of the instrument which then typically carried 15 notes. By the end of the 1940s, the oil drum had replaced the biscuit tin as the raw material for making pans and, by 1951, a pan ensemble. Pan Trinidad, performed in England. The instruments, ranging from tenor through cello to bass, now carry the full 64 note musical range of the piano.

In the early 1960s, Winifred Arwell, a famous pianist from Trinidad and Tobago, played Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto in B Flat along with a steel orchestra (steelband) instead of the more traditional symphony orchestra. This served to heighten awareness of the versatility of the pan, which until then, was not widely regarded as being suited to classical music. Since that time, leading pan arrangers and composers such as the late Superintendent Anthony Prospect, Clive Bradley, Pelham Goddard, Jit Samaroo and Een Boogsie Sharpe, have pushed the frontiers of steelband music and elevated their performances to that of genuine orchestras.

A typical steelband now ranges between 30 to 100 performers on 40 to 120 instruments. The types of pan include the tenor, double tenor, double second, triple guitar, cello and bass pans. Much research has resulted in refined musical techniques due to improvements and use of more up-to date technology in tuning. Among the pioneers of pan development are: Bertie Marshall, famed for introducing the amplified pan; Ellie Mannette who received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the West Indies; and the late Winston Spree Simon, immortalized in calypso by the late Lord Kitchener.

In Trinidad and Tobago, in addition to the annual Panorama competition which is a key part of the Carnival celebrations, there are also other popular steelband festivals such as Pan Jazz, Classical Pan, and a biennial World Pan festival that attracts steel orchestras from all over the Caribbean, England, Scandinavia, the USA and as far away as Japan.

The steel pan is now considered a regional instrument so much so that it was chosen as the gift from our Community to the United Nations to celebrate that organisation's Fiftieth Anniversary in 1995. The Pan is now on display at the UN Headquarters in New York as a symbol of its importance to the world.


 

The Performing Arts

The Performing Arts: Dancers such as the late Beryl McBurnie, Rex Nettleford, the late Pearl Primus, Clive Thompson, and the late Lavinia Williams (though not born in our Region) have all contributed significantly to the field of dance. Actors such as Heather Headley, Geoffrey Holder, and Sidney Poitier have all made a substantial contribution to the enrichment of their craft. Our folklorists/humourists/raconteurs such as  the late Louise Bennett and Paul Keens-Douglas have helped us to understand and appreciate each other as well as ourselves and have exposed our folk and cultural traditions to the world.


 

Visual Arts

Visual Arts: The international appreciation for the work of our sculptors and painters, such as Dunstan St Omer, Edna Manley, Albert Huie, Aubrey Williams and Ludovic Booz, as well as our foremost artistic costume designer, Peter Minshall, has also enhanced the reputation of our region as a cauldron of creativity.

Pageantry: Like our artists, several women of our Region have demonstrated, through pageantry, that the beauty, creativity and intelligence of our people are second to none. Our region has produced six winners in the 51 -year history of the Miss World pageant, namely: Carole Joan Crawford (Jamaica, 1963), Jennifer Hosten (Grenada, 1970), Patsy Yuen (Jamaica, 1973), Gindy Breakspeare (Jamaica,1976) , Giselle Laronde (Trinidad and Tobago, 1986) and Lisa Hanna (Jamaica,1993). In the 50-year history of the Miss Universe pageant, we have also produced winners in the persons of Janelle Commissiong (Trinidad and Tobago,1977) and Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad and Tobago, 1998).


 

Cuisine

Cuisine: The diversity of our Caribbean heritage is also reflected in our cuisine.Naturally each country has developed its own special dishes such as: Jerk (chicken and pork) and ackee and saltfish in Jamaica; sea egg in Barbados; peanut rice in Suriname; mountain chicken (frogs legs) in Dominica; callaloo and pelau in Trinidad and Tobago; and metagee and pepperpot in Guyana. Some of these dishes carry different names in different countries and are prepared differently. Roti and curry is a dish that has its origins in India but is now a Caribbean favourite. In addition, the names of fruits and vegetables may vary from country to country.


 

Sports

Sports is an important part of our culture and feature of life in our Community. Nowhere is this more evident than in the field of cricket, which has a passionate following in virtually all the English-speaking member states.

Cricket: The primary importance of cricket in our Community, stems from its long history of regional involvement. Cricket was the first activity that brought the English-speaking territories together as one functioning unit. The impact of cricket on our everyday lives has been well chronicled by C.L.R. James in his definitive work Beyond A Boundary, which was published in 1963 and which clearly shows the many ways in which this sport has permeated every sector of the English-speaking Caribbean. A ready example of this is the common use of cricketing terms in our everyday language: to 'bowl a googly' is used to mean 'to confuse'; being 'stumped' for an answer, to mean at a 'loss for words'; 'stepping out of your crease' - 'becoming adventurous'; and most importantly, 'that's not cricket', meaning 'that's not the proper way to behave'.

Through its most identifiable symbol, the West Indies Team, cricket has always been able to appeal to our highest sense of regionalism over the years. Our team has a history of being one of the most formidable at the international level and remains a highly visible example of the benefits that we can derive from acting together. Our Community has produced the world's greatest all-roundcricketer ever. Sir Garfield Sobers, a recipient of our Community's highest honour — The Order of the Caribbean Community — as well as the world record holders for batting and bowling, Brian Lara and Courtney Walsh respectively.

Cricket is not only a man's sport. Women in our Region also play cricket competitively. The West Indies Women's Cricket team, though not as well known or as successful as our men's team, participates in test matches and has taken part in three Women's Cricket World Cup competitions, beginning in 1976 under the captaincy of Louise Brown of Trinidad and Tobago.  Nadine George, a wicket-keeper/batsman, became the first, and to date only, West Indian woman to score a Test century, in Karachi, Pakistan in 2003–04. George is a prominent supporter of sport in the West Indies, and in particular in her native St Lucia, and in 2005 was made an MBE by HRH The Prince of Wales for services to sport.

Cricket came to the West Indies as early as the first decade of the nineteenth century with the first known advertised game appearing in the Barbados press in May 1806 under the auspices of the St Ann's Garrison Cricket Club. The game was popular among the planters and the soldiers and by the1830s, clubs started to emerge not only in Barbados but also in Jamaica, Demerara (Guyana) and

Trinidad. It was not until 1865, however, that the first inter-colonial matches were played with the first being between Barbados and British Guiana at the Garrison Savannah, Bridgetown, Barbados on February 15-16. Barbados won that game by 138 runs.

The first overseas tour by West Indian players was to Canada and the United States in 1884. The first triangular tournament took place between British Guiana, Barbados and Trinidad in 1891 while the first cricket touring team to the West Indies came from America in 1888.

 The first English team to visit the West Indies came in 1896 and played in Jamaica, Barbados, British Guiana and Trinidad. During the second English visit, in 1897, an All-West Indies team played against the visitors in Trinidad from February 15-17. The All-West Indies team won by three wickets. The first

West Indies team went to England in 1900 under the captaincy of R.S.A. Warner. During 1910-1911 the MCC, the official name of touring England cricket teams, made its first official tour to the West Indies.

 The West Indies played their first test match in 1928 at Lords, the headquarters of cricket, on June 23, 25 and 26. The West Indies captain was the Jamaican R.K. Nunes. England won by an innings and 58 runs. England 401; West Indies 177 and 166. J.A. 8mall of Trinidad, scored the first test half-century (52) for the West Indies in the second innings of the match. In the third test match, at the Oval, London, H.C. Griffith of Barbados became the first West Indian to take five or more wickets in a test match innings (6 for 103). England, however, won the series 3-0.

In 1930, the first test match in the West Indies was played at Kensington Oval, Barbados on January 11, 13, 14, 15, 16. The West Indies Captain was E.E.G. Hoad of Barbados. The match was drawn. In that match, G.A. Roach of Trinidad became the first West Indian to score a test century (122).

The West Indies first test match win was at Bourda, Georgetown, British Guiana in February 1930 against England. The West Indies won by 289 runs. In that game Roach scored the first double century (209) by a West Indian in test cricket. The series was drawn.

 The West Indies won their first test series in 1935 when they beat England 2-1 in the West Indies. The captain was G.G. Grant of Trinidad. 1-1.


 

Athletics:  Track and field have brought great pride to our Region and our athletes have maintained a high standard of excellence at the international level including the Olympic games. Indeed at the I960 Olympiad in Rome, the Caribbean was represented for the first and only time by a West Indies track and field team at that major international event. Before then and after, the region continues its tradition of producing world and Olympic champions in this sport. These include: the  first Jamaican Olympic gold medallist,Arthur S. Wint, for the 400 metre; George Rhoden, 400 metre winner, 1952; the 100 metre spint champion Hasely Crawford  from Trinidad and Tobago and the 200 metre winner, Don Quarrie from Jamaica, both of 1976; ;  Deon Hemmings , the 400 metre hurdler and the first Jamaican woman to win gold, 1976; Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica  for the 200 metre, in 2004 and 2008; Shelly Ann Fraser, 100 metre  and the first Jamaican woman to win Olympic gold in the 100 metre, 2008; Tonique Williams-Darling of The Bahamas for the 400 metre, 2004; Pauline Davis-Thompson of the Bahamas for the 200 metre, 2000;  sprint queen, Merlene Ottey of Jamaica Ato Boldon of Trinidad and Tobago; sprinter Obadele Thompson of Barbados; and the Bahamian 4x100 women's sprint relay quartet, winners in 2000 and Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis, winner of the men's 100 metre final at the World Championships in Athletics held in France in August 2003.

Melanie Walker of Jamaica for the 400 metre hurdles, 2008; Usain Bolt of Jamaica for the 100 and 200 metres, 2008; Grenada’s Kirani James won Grenada’s first gold medal in Olympic history in the 400-metre final, 2012 ; Grenada’s Kirani James won Grenada’s first gold medal in Olympic history in the 400-metre final, 2012; Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Frazier Price also achieved some personal goals and won gold in the 100-metre finals and Silver in the 200-metre finals, the fastest woman alive

Grenada’s Kirani James won Grenada’s first gold medal in Olympic history in the 400-metre final, 2012 Bolt and Blake took Gold and Silver in the 100-metre finals, the fastest men on the planet. Bolt was the first man to repeat a back- to back win in these two events in two different Olympic games, and has earned the status of legend 2012; Bahamas’ Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller celebrate after winning the men’s 4x400m relay final at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic games.

The relays have also been rewarding and include the Jamaica quartet who won the quarter-mile relay in 1952; the Bahamian 4 x 100 relay quartet, the Golden girls, who won gold in 2000; the Jamaica male sprinters who powered to victory in the 4 x 100 relay in 2008; the Jamaica female sprinters, who won gold in the 4 x 100 relay in 2004 Bahamas men 4×4 relay team has won a gold medal in these events. Jamaican team of Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Sherone Simpson, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart ran a national record 41.41, 2012


 

Paralympics
As a side column The Jamaicans began participating much earlier, in 1968, and have taken part in all but one Games since then (in 1976, they supported a boycott of the Toronto Games on account of South Africa’s participation). In ten Paralympic outings, Jamaica has earned 20 gold medals, 16 silver and 18 bronze.
Suzanne Harris-Henry, the general secretary of the Jamaica Paralympic Association, is confident that Jamaica will add to its total of 54 medals this year. “Probably four medals in London,” she thinks, “possibly Javon Campbell, Shane Hudson, Alphanso Cunningham and Tanto Campbell.” Tanto Campbell was Jamaica’s only medallist at the last Games in Beijing: he earned bronze in the men’s discus F55-56 event, to add to the discus F56 bronze which he won in Athens in 2004. Campbell was born with congenital deformities of his arms and legs: both legs were amputated. Harris-Henry, who will travel to London as manager of the Jamaica Paralympic team, explains that though Campbell has “lobster-claw” hands, he has “enough fingers to grasp the discus”.
Many of these athletes began their competitive careers in our Junior CARIFTA Games. Darrel Brown of Trinidad and Tobago holds the junior (under 20) and youth (under 18) world records for 100 metres. Darrel continued his winning tradition in 2003, gaining the silver medal at the men's 100 metre final at the World Championships in athletics held in France. In addition, in the 1964 Olympics, Bahamians Cecil Cooke and Durward Knowles won gold medals in Star Class yachting (sailing). Jamaica pioneered Caribbean participation in the Winter Olympics through their Bob Sled Team which participated in the 1988 Games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Beginning in 1953, a Commonwealth Caribbean lawn tennis team participated in the Davis Cup competition, the official world team championship in this sport. In 1987 however, a ruling by the sport's governing body, the International Tennis Federation, that the Caribbean was not a country, brought our participation as a region to an end. Through Mark Knowles of The Bahamas, our nationals continue to participate successfully at the highest level in this sport. Knowles ranked number one in the world in doubles play and has won a grand slam title, the Australian Open with Canadian Daniel Nestor, with whom he has also been a finalist in all the grand slam tournaments since 1995.

Football, a sport which is widely played in our Community, also evokes great passion. An official West Indies football team toured England in 1959. Jamaica became the first Caribbean Community country to qualify for the finals of the World Cup when the Reggae Boyz played in the 1998 finals in France. Haiti, however, played in the 1974 finals in Germany when not yet a member of our Community. A significant number of footballers from the Caribbean Community play with distinction at the highest levels of club football throughout the world.
Despite our successes in these fields, our Community has not yet come together to form a Caribbean Community  football team or track and field team and most of the other sporting  disciplines have also not yet emulated the cricketers. Rifle shooting is a notable exception, with a regional team regularly participating in international championships. As with tennis, the rules of some sporting competitions do not allow us to participate as a region.


 


Netball

Netball is a very popular sport among the women in our Community. It is one of the biggest women's sporting events and many of our member states have been represented at the World Championships, including Trinidad and Tobago which won the championships jointly with New Zealand and Australia in 1979 in Port of Spain. The 11 th World Netball championships were held in Kingston in May/June 2003. On that occasion, Jamaica provided our Community's best showing having placed third. In July 2003, Molly Rhone of Jamaica was elected president of the International Netbail Federation (IFNA) for a minimum two-year term. The IFNA is the governing body for netball throughout the world.


 


Boxing:

Our Community has also produced world champions in the sport of boxing. These include Jamaica's Mike McCallum, Trinidad and Tobago's Claude Noel and Leslie Stewart and Guyana's Andrew 'Six Head' Lewis, Wayne 'Big Truck' Braithwaite and Vivian Harris. Other world champions such as Randy Turpin and Lennox Lewis were born in Guyana and Jamaica respectively, although representing other countries at the time of their victories.


 


Swimming:

In swimming, Caribbean personalities have been emerging on the international scene and the greatest evidence of this has been the Olympic Gold medal success of Suriname's Anthony Nesty at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA.


 


Cycling: Caribbean cyclists also have gained international prominence through the outstanding performances of Roger Gibbon and Gene Samuel of Trinidad and Tobago and David Weller of Jamaica.


 

All these diverse strains of sports, language, religion, music, ethnic background and cuisine blend together to create a unique culture and help to fashion us as a distinct and identifiable people of the world. Considering the small size of our Region's population, the magnitude of our contribution in these areas is truly phenomenal. Even as the world moves toward what can be called a global culture which forces us to look beyond our Community to face challenges and seek opportunities, we can as a people go forward secure in our Caribbean identity, only if we invest the resources necessary for its preservation and strengthening.
 

Gender equality

Gender equality means that women and men enjoy the same status within a society. It does not mean that men and women are the same, but rather that their similarities and differences are recognized and equally valued. Gender equality means that women and men experience equal conditions for realizing their full human rights, and have the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from national, political, economic, social and cultural development. The factors that affect gender inequality are a complex combination including economic structure, politics, culture, society, history, and geography specific to a country and region.

 

Gender and Development (GAD)

The Gender and Development (GAD) perspective emerged in the late 1980s as an alternative to the Women in Development (WID) approach which prevailed during the UN Decade for Women (1975 – 1985). Although the WID highlighted the existing poverty and disadvantage of women and their invisibility in the development process, the focus on women in isolation meant that unequal gender relations in various social and economic settings remained unaddressed.

The GAD approach uses a holistic perspective and recognizes the importance of social, economic, and political factors in women’s lives. It seeks to analyze the causes of gender inequality within the context of relations between women and men and to change the institutions and systems that bring about gender inequality. The GAD approach emphasizes empowerment of women who are economically and socially disadvantaged, while paying due consideration to the role of men in eliminating gender inequality. It welcomes the contributions of men, particularly men who share concern for gender equity and social justice. The gender and development approach recognizes that:

  • Gender is not a “women’s issue” but a relational issue
  • Women and men have different and special needs
  • Women cannot be treated as a homogeneous group
  • Women tend to be disadvantaged relative to men
  • The nature of inequality is often systemic and structural
  • Gender differences can also result in men being disadvantaged

 

Gender Analysis

Gender Analysis is a process that assesses the differential impact of a proposed policy or an intervention on women and men. It is a tool for understanding social processes and responding with informed and equitable options that consider that the experiences, needs, issues and priorities for men and women are different. A gender analysis can tell us who has access, who has control, who is likely to benefit from a new initiative and who is likely to be disadvantaged.

At its simplest, Gender Analysis asks questions about the differences between men and women’s activities, roles and resources. This helps identify men and women’s developmental needs. Assessing these differences makes it possible to determine men and women’s constraints and opportunities.

 

Gender Mainstreaming

Gender Mainstreaming gained popularity after it was highlighted as the main strategy or instrument for achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. Since then, most multilateral and bilateral agencies, as well as governments, have adopted a strategy for mainstreaming gender as the key to achieving gender-related goals and objectives.

Gender Mainstreaming is the process of ensuring that both women and men have equal access to and control over resources, decision-making, and benefits at all stages of the development process and in development projects. It is considered an instrument and not an end in itself and aims to integrate measures to ensure equitable or equal benefits for both men and women into a policy or project. If any adverse impact on either men or women is identified, the policy or project should include measures to mitigate such adverse impacts. Gender Mainstreaming, therefore, is a way to enhance overall development effectiveness and to pay attention to both men and women’s needs in creating a just and equal society.

Gender mainstreaming is a good governance issue – making government more efficient and effective at producing policies and services that will strengthen the social and economic wealth of a nation. It is about rights – women’s and men’s rights to equal opportunities, equal recognition and equal rewards within societies.

CARICOM Logo

 

The  logo of the Caribbean Communityconsists of two interlocking C's. The two C's are in the form of broken links in a chain, symbolising both unity and the break with our colonial past.

 

 

 

 

 

CARICOM Standard

 

The Standard of the Caribbean Community features a blue background - the upper part being of a light blue representing the sky and the lower part of a dark blue representing the Caribbean Sea. The yellow circle in the centre of the Standard represents the sun on which is printed in black, the logo of the Caribbean Community - two interlocking Cs. The two Cs are in the form of broken links in a chain, symbolising both unity and the break with our colonial past. The narrow ring of green around the sun represents the vegetation of the Region. 

The Fourth Conference of Heads of Government Meeting in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in July 1983, approved the design of the CARICOM Standard. The original design was done by the firm of WINART Studies in Georgetown, Guyana. The CARICOM Standard was flown for the first time at the Fifth Conference of Heads of Government Meeting in Nassau, The Bahamas, in July, 1984.”. 

 

CARICOM Passport

A CARICOM passport, which features the CARICOM logo and the words “Caribbean Community” printed on the cover, is a National passport which is issued in accordance with agreed common colours and format for intra-regional and extra-regional travel.

The Coat of Arms and the name of the Member State are also featured on the cover.

The issuance of the CARICOM passport was agreed to by Heads of Government and the document is seen as a defining symbol of regionalism.It is part of the measures to promote hassle-free travel for CARICOM nationals.

The first CARICOM passport was issued on 7 January 2005. Todate, except for The Bahamas, Haiti and Montserrat, all other Member States have issued.

 

CARICOM Song

 

Ethnicity, Slavery and, Indentureship

We are the descendents of many peoples who have helped to shape our history and culture. Our main ethnicities are: Groups of Indigenous peoples, Africans, Indians, Europeans, Chinese and Portuguese.

Indigenous peoples:  Our earliest inhabitants were the Carib, Arawak and Ciboney groups of indigenous peoples who migrated from South America. Today, descendants of these groups along with other indigenous people such as the Maya, Garifuna, Surinen and Tainos are still to be found in our Region.

Europeans: The first Europeans to arrive were the Spanish in 1492 – led by an Italian, Christopher Columbus - followed by the Portuguese, English, Dutch and French.  While historians have uncovered indications that African sailors arrived in the Caribbean before the Europeans,the vast majority of Africans were brought as slaves when the colonial powers divided our lands among themselves, based on conquest and began to import Africans.

Africans: From as early as the first half of the sixteenth century, Africans came to work as slaves on the plantations. The slaves came mainly from Ghana also known as The Gold Coast, Côte D’Ivoire, often referred to as Ivory Coast and from Guinea. Slavery lasted for more than 300 years and its indescribable inhumanity from port of origin to plantation, caused such severe psychological damage that the effects are still evident in our society today. Haiti was the first member state to abolish slavery. This took place in 1793 and in 1804, that country became an independent Republic. Slavery was officially abolished in 1834 in all other member states except Suriname. For four years thereafter, a system of apprenticeship – essentially a modified form of slavery – was put in place. In Antigua, however, there was no apprenticeship system and the slaves were completely free from 1834. In Suriname, slavery was abolished in 1863 and for ten years thereafter a system of apprenticeship was imposed.
 
East Indians: From 1838 East Indians were brought from India to the Caribbean in large numbers as indentured labourers, following the abolition of slavery, the shortage of labour that resulted and the introduction of the indentureship system, in all member states, except Barbados and Haiti. Nearly half a million East Indians were brought in to serve under this system, making them the largest group of indentured labourers. Their descendants represent the majority of the population in Guyana and a significant proportion of the population in Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname.
 
Portuguese and Chinese:  West Africans, Europeans – particularly Portuguese from the Madeira Islands – and Chinese were also brought in under contracts of indentureship. At the end of their contracts the Portuguese and Chinese left the plantations and along with immigrants from the Middle East, particularly Jews, Syrians and Lebanese, established businesses. These groups settled mainly in Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago as well as Suriname where there is also a significant Javanese presence. The Javanese, from the country now known as Indonesia, first arrived in Suriname in 1890 as indentured labourers. Indentureship ended in 1924.
 

The system of slavery did not provide for any entitlement to the slave, however, the contracts for indentureship included a low fixed wage, housing and medical attention as well as a grant of land or return passage on completion of service. In many other ways, however, indentureship continued a system of labour exploitation and degradation, which began under slavery.

Concurrent with the system of indentureship was the establishment of the “Village System” mainly in Guyana and Jamaica. These were communities of freed people on land bought and developed outside of the plantations. Beterverwagting, Buxton, Friendship Village and Plaisance in Guyana and Birmingham, Kitson Town, Sligoville and Kensington in Jamaica, were all established under this system.

Creative Industries as a pillar of Cultural and Economic Development

CARICOM Governments, have increasingly been recognizing the important contribution of cultural and creative industries to the economies of the region, and have recognized that with the creation of an enabling environment with the necessary policy, legislative and institutional support, the cultural and creative industries could realize exponential growth, create jobs and wealth in the region and positively engage especially young people of the Community.

Cultural and creative industries are among the most dynamic sectors in world trade. In 2008, the eruption of the world financial and economic crisis provoked a drop in global demand and a contraction of 12 percent in international trade.  However, world exports of creative goods and services continued to grow, reaching $592 billion in 2008; more than double their 2002 level, indicating an annual growth rate of 14 per cent over six consecutive years.

In several developed countries, the creative industries are emerging as a strategic choice for reinvigorating economic growth, employment and social cohesion.  The further development of these industries in CARICOM is expected to make a contribution to the achievement of goals related to poverty reduction, diversification of the tourism product through the promotion of cultural and festival tourism, and the positive engagement of the youth in the Region.

 

Additionally, as the Community takes steps to deepen its integration, culture can play a major role in promoting a strong regional identity and sense of community, especially among young persons.  The development of Cultural Industries can also assist Member States in building their resilience while adjusting to fast and immense changes in the global economy. Cultural industries are sustainable and renewable, as they are based on the creativity and ingenuity of the people of the Region.

Progress at the Regional Level

Progress has been made at the regional level, to develop a comprehensive policy framework to guide the continued development of this sector. The cultural and creative industries sector was also identified by Heads of Government at their Special Retreat in Guyana in May 2011, as one of the priority areas for job creation and growth.

The establishment of the Regional Task Force on Cultural Industries was mandated by Ministers of Trade and Culture (COTED-COHSOD)2 in January 2008 in Guyana.  The remit of the Task Force was to develop a comprehensive Regional Development Strategy and Action Plan for the cultural industries in the Region, with a core mandate to propose “approaches to providing relief from tariffs and other duties and charges on products that are inputs to the cultural industries”. Recommendations were to be made also in respect of incentives, financing the sector, registration, classification and free movement.

Sector strategies and action plans have been prepared by the Task Force for the sub-Sectors in which the Region has demonstrated comparative advantage, namely music, audio-visuals, visual art, publishing, festivals, fashion, performing arts and craft.

An important component of the Strategy is the proposed Regional Exemptions Regime for cultural industries which would be implemented under the CSME, linked with the free movement of artists and cultural workers. As part of a broader package of incentives for the Creative Sector, the proposal is to grant exemptions from tariffs and other duties and charges on inputs to the cultural industries, to approved cultural entrepreneurs and artists who are listed in national registries and in a regional registry of artists.

Between 2011 and 2014 discussions on the regional exemptions regime for the culture sector were held among COHSOD and COTED Ministers and in consultations in Member States with stakeholders in government and in the culture sector in CARICOM.

As a collective, Member States economies placed into three broad  categories: agriculture, industry and  services, indicate that while agriculture is a major economic sector in almost all of the  states, the services industry, notably  tourism and financial services  also account for a significant percentage of GDP in some countries. Similarly industry accounts for a significant percentage of GDP, though in fewer member states.

 

 

Other Services

 

The Principal Organs of the  Community, The Conference of Heads of Government (The Conference)   and  the Community Council of Ministers  (The Council) are assisted by five Organs, three “Bodies”  and the CARICOM Secretariat.
 

The Organs are:

The Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP)
The Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR)
The Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD)
The Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE)
The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED)
 

The Bodies are:

The Budget Committee: This Committee examines the draft work programme and budget of the Secretariat and makes recommendations to the Community Council.
 
The Committee of Central Bank Governors: This Committee provides recommendations to the Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) on monetary and financial matters.
 
The Legal Affairs Committee (LAC): This Committee comprises Attorneys-General and Ministers of Legal Affairs  and replaces the Standing Committee responsible for Legal Affairs. Its function is to advise the Organs and other Bodies of the Community.
 
The CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors (NEW): Heads of Government agreed to establish the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors (CCA) as a Body of the Community and also approved its Terms of Reference.  The role of the CARICOM Ambassadors is to facilitate the implementation of the Strategic Plan. In this context, several CARICOM Ambassadors were integrally involved in the national consultations on the Strategic Plan, in their capacity as Change Drivers.  Read more

 

The CARICOM Secretariat

The CARICOM Secretariat (CCS) is the Principal Administrative Organ of the Caribbean Community and has a mandate to provide a wide range of services to promote and deepen regional integration of the Community. These services include research and development; co-ordination of the activities of donor agencies, and international regional and national institutions; project development and management; dissemination of information; foreign and community relations; technical cooperation and servicing of meetings of the various Organs of the Community.
 
The Mission Statement:
To contribute, in support of Member States, to the improvement of the quality of life of the People of the Community and the development of an innovative and productive society in partnership with institutions and groups working towards attaining a people-centred, sustainable and internationally competitive Community.

The Community Council, which comprises Ministers responsible for CARICOM Affairs in Member States, is the second highest organ of the Community.  In keeping with the provisions of Article 13 of the Revised Treaty, it has “…. primary responsibility for the development of Community strategic planning and coordination in the areas of economic integration, functional cooperation [Human and Social Development] and external relations” in accordance with the policy directions established by the Conference.  Article 13 of the Revised Treaty defines the functions of the Community Council.

 

Among its other functions, the Community Council serves as a preparatory body for the meetings of the Conference including the preparation of the Provisional Agenda.  The Rules of Procedure of this Organ stipulates that meetings are held at least one (1) month prior to the meetings of the Conference of Heads of Government.  Matters emanating from the deliberations of the Organs of the Community which are proposed for consideration by Heads of Government, are first submitted to the Community Council for consideration.  The Community Council may sign-off on these matters or refer them to the Conference.  The Community Council also has responsibility to “examine and approve the Community budget, as well as mobilise and allocate resources for the implementation of Community plans and programmes.” 


The Bureau is a Sub-Committee of the Conference comprising the Incoming, Incumbent and Outgoing Chairpersons of the Conference, identified in accordance with the approved Rotation Schedule for the Chairmanship of the Conference. 
 
The Bureau is provided for in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.  Its functions are set out in Article 12 entitled Functions and Powers of the Conference, specifically sub-paragraph 11 (page 6).  Heads of Government customarily serve on the Bureau in their three capacities over an 18-month period.  The Bureau is assisted by the Secretary-General.


The Bureau was established at a Special Meeting of Heads of Government (October 1992, Trinidad and Tobago), which was held to consider the Recommendations of the West Indian Commission (WIC)[1] set out in its Report Time for Action.  One of those Recommendations was the establishment of a CARICOM Commission to assist in accelerating the implementation of decisions – identified by the WIC as the Achilles Heel of the integration movement.
In seeking to address the issue of the implementation deficit, Heads of Government agreed instead to establish a Bureau.

 

 The Bureau's principal responsibilities are:

  • Initiating proposals for development and approval by the Ministerial Councils;
  • Updating the consensus of Member States on issues determined by the Conference. That is,undertaking the necessary preparatory consultations among Member States and other stakeholders to assist Heads of Government in arriving at decisions;
  • Facilitating implementation of Community decisions, both at the regional and local levels, in an expeditious and informed manner; and
  • Providing guidance to the Secretariat on policy issues.

Key Community Milestones & Achievements.....

Governance in CARICOM is set out in its establishing  1973 Treaty of Chaguaramas and its later revised  2002 version:Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas Establishing the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

This Treaty organises the structure  of the Community into Organs, Bodies and Institutions. The Organs of the Community are the Conference of Heads of Government and the Ministerial Councils which have responsibility for key policy areas, as set out in the Revised Treaty. The Organs are the decision-making bodies of the Community.

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Our Vision

A Caribbean Community that is integrated, inclusive and resilient; driven by knowledge, excellence, innovation and productivity; a Community where every citizen is secure and has the opportunity to realise his or her potential with guaranteed human rights and social justice; and contributes to, and shares in, its economic, social and cultural prosperity ; a Community which is a unified and competitive force in the global arena.


Our Mission

The Community works together to deepen integration and build resilience so as to:

  • affirm the collective identity and facilitate social cohesion of the people of the Community;
  • realise our human potential as defined by the Ideal Caribbean Person, full employment and full enjoyment of human rights;
  • ensure that social and economic justice and the principles of good governance are enshrined in law and embedded in practice;
  • systematically reduce poverty, unemployment and social exclusion and their impacts;
  • mainstream all aspects of sustainable development, including the environment, economic and social dimensions;
  • create the environment for innovation,the development and application of technology,productivity and global competitiveness,in which the collective strength of the Region is unleashed;
  • promote optimum sustainable use of the Region’s natural resources on land and in the marine environment, and protect and preserve the health and integrity of the environment;
  • encourage citizens to willingly accept responsibility to contribute to the welfare of their fellow citizens and to the common good, practice healthy living and lifestyles,
  • respect the rule of law, protect the assets of the Community, and abhor corruption, crime and criminality in all its forms;
  • encourage citizens to willingly accept responsibility to contribute to the welfare of their
  • fellow citizens and to the common good ,practice healthy living and lifestyles, respect the rule of law, protect the assets of the Community, and abhor corruption, crime and criminality in all its forms;
  • project ‘one voice’on international issues;
  • increase savings and the flow of investment within the Community.

Our Core Values

Unity/Togetherness

We commit to winning hearts and minds to work towards a robust and inclusive Caribbean Community, able to work together to preserve the gains of regional integration and address the current challenges of economi
c recovery and growth and sustainable human development.
We celebrate the strength of both the shared and diverse aspects of our culture, heritage, and communities

Equity

We emphasize the reach of services and benefits to all stakeholders across the Community

 

Integrity

We practice a consistent commitment to honesty, trustworthiness and that which is morally correct in our relationships and operations. We are passionate about what we do and what we believe in the value of regional integration to enable the development of our Member States

 

People-centeredness

We emphasize the pivotal role of the peoples of the Community at all levels and in all spheres of endeavour to embrace regional integration and the benefits it continues to offer

 

Performance Driven/Results Focused

We emphasize the importance of targeted results in achieving sectoral/cross sectoral as well as institutional strengthening goals.

We value productivity and we pursue good management practice with planning and implementation of our work and effective monitoring, evaluation and reporting to ensure the desired results are achieved.

 

Good Governance

We have an abiding respect for human rights, the rule and law, and take action to ensure social and economic justice
for the people of the Community
.
We provide proactive, visionary leadership for promoting and reinforcing the spirit and commitment to regional integration, emphasizing transparency, accountability and
operational excellence within all organs and institutions in the Community.
We rely on research for evidence based decision  making at all levels, with a systematic approach to monitoring and measuring policy outcomes and impacts.

 

Good Environmental Management


We are committed to good environmental management and the protection of the Region’s natural assets across all sectors of development;
and empowering the peoples of the Community in their preparation for and management of the impacts of natural and manmade hazards and the effects of climate change


 

Our Services

The range of services of CARICOM – regional public goods - are provided by the key actors within the Community which i) are required under the Treaty, as well as ii) respond to the demand of Member States.  These are as follows:
1. Regional policy development and management – to create an enabling environment to implement, and achieve the objectives of, the RTC

2. Community Governance – Manage effective governance and decision making arrangements to support implementation of the RTC

3. Project/programme planning and management - to implement, and achieve the objectives of, the RTC

4. Research and Technical Advice – to support the development of the Community and enable the RTC

5. Public Education & Information – Building awareness and commitment regional integration, the CARICOM agenda (purpose, organization, opportunities and benefits of the Community) and a Community for all

6. Advocacy – regionally and international for the concerns and positions of the Member States of the Community (based on a coordinated foreign policy approach)

7. Coordination/harmonization – of legislative and policy environment to enable equitable access to the benefits of regional integration

8. Resource mobilization – for the resources to support regional integration

9. Capacity development as form of functional cooperation, for example, leadership development; project development and management of multilateral and national programmes and projects.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is a grouping of   twenty countries: fifteen Member States  and five  Associate Members. It is home to  approximately sixteen million citizens, 60% of whom are under the age of 30,  and from the main ethnic groups of Indigenous Peoples, Africans, Indians, Europeans, Chinese and Portuguese. The Community is multi-lingual; with English as the major language complemented by French and Dutch  and  variations of these, as well as African and Indian expressions.

 

Stretching from The Bahamas in the north to Suriname  and Guyana in South America, CARICOM comprises states that are considered developing countries, and except for Belize, in Central America and Guyana and Suriname, all  Members and Associate Members are island  states.

 

While these states are all relatively small, both in terms of population and size, there is also  great diversity with regards to geography and population as well as  the levels of economic and social development. 

 

Pillars of Integration

Functional cooperation, in various conceptions, has always been a quest for countries of the Caribbean. From the early efforts  for  a political union which led to the establishment of the West Indies Federation (1958), to  the deeper and more structured engagements  of the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) (1965),  to the more sustained  measure of regional integration through a Caribbean Community(1973). The last, for Member States, offered the best prospect for Caribbean economic development.

CARICOM came into being  on 4 July 1973 with the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas by Prime Ministers Errol Barrow for Barbados, Forbes Burnham for Guyana, Michael Manley for Jamaica and Eric Williams for Trinidad and Tobago.The Treaty was later revised in 2002 to allow for the eventual establishment of a single market and a single economy.

CARICOM rests on four main pillars: economic integration; foreign policy coordination;human and social development; and security.  These pillars  underpin  the  stated objectives of our  Community -

  •  to improve standards of living and work;
  •  the full employment of labor and other factors of production;
  •  accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development and convergence;
  •  expansion of trade and economic relations with Third States;
  •  enhanced levels of international competitiveness;
  •  organization for increased production and productivity;
  • achievement of a greater measure of economic leverage;
  • effectiveness of Member States in dealing with Third States, groups of States and entities of any description;and
  • the enhanced coordination of Member States’ foreign and foreign economic policies and enhanced functional cooperation. 

 

Our journey

CARICOM is the oldest surviving integration movement  in the developing world. Its achievements along the way are  many. Great strides have been made, particularly through functional cooperation in education, in health, in culture, in security. Its Single Market  functions,and it is a respected voice in international affairs because of  a coordinated foreign policy.

Click here for a  timeline that chronicles some key “milestones”  and  actions in its journey.

Community Strategic Plan

The CARICOM Song is the official, patriotic song of the Community, which celebrates the history, culture and identity of the people of the Caribbean. It is to be used primarily at ceremonial and Community events. In celebrating the Fortieth Anniversary of CARICOM in 2013, the CARICOM Secretariat launched a Song Competition to encourage the participation of all CARICOM Member States in composing a song that would inspire regional pride and unity, celebrate our diversity and highlight our shared vision and aspirations.

The composition “Celebrating CARICOM” by Ms. Michele Henderson, a highly acclaimed recording artiste from the Commonwealth of Dominica, was selected by a regional panel of judges as the official CARICOM Song. A unique feature of the Song that celebrates our linguistic diversity, is the Kwéyòl spoken in the Lesser Antilles and Suriname’s Sranan Tongo that punctuate the rhythmic Bridge. The Song was launched at the Thirty-Fifth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government held in Antigua and Barbuda, 1-4 July 2014.

Enjoy and share the Vision!

 

 

Download Lyrics here

Credits
Michele Henderson Delsol – Singer/Songwriter
Carl Beaver Henderson – Producer – HOTT Music Group, Trinidad
Roland Delsol Jr. – Producer – Audio Solutions Inc, Dominica
Earlson Mathew – Sonic Arts Studios, Dominica

Contact:
Michele Henderson: michelehendersoninc@gmail.com
Roland Delsol: (767) 615-5527
Carl Beaver Henderson: carlbeaver@gmail.com

All rights reserved. No part of this recording, including music and lyrics may be reproduced or distributed in any material form without the written permission of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the copyright owner. Copyright © 2014

Michele Henderson


Michele Henderson.

Singer, Songwriter and Performer extraordinaire, Michele Henderson has enjoyed a successful career as an artiste for over 20 years. Born in Grand Bay, Commonwealth of Dominica, Michele has thrilled audiences with her live performances in and outside the Region, with major performances at the World Creole Music Festival, Dominica; Grenada Spice Jazz Festival; St. Lucia Jazz Festival; Roskilde Festival in Denmark; Jazz Artists on the Green in Trinidad and Tobago; among several other performances in the USA, Europe, Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Michele has recorded 6 albums to date; her debut album titled “Michele Henderson” (2000) and her most recent being “Home” (2014). She has received numerous music awards in Dominica and was appointed Goodwill Ambassador to Dominica in 2004.

A  CARICOM  national arriving in, transiting or departing a  Caribbean Community  Member State, and or seeking to exercise a right under the CSME, may have had certain experiences about which he / she wishes to file a complaint with the relevant authorities. The experience(s) may have been at a port of entry, after entry into a Member State, or both. 
The following complaints procedure is proposed to assist CARICOM nationals in the exercise of their rights under the Treaty and secondary legislation of the Community.  It is recognized that a CARICOM national should be afforded prompt judicial review of a decision taken under any of the free movement regimes including the right of entry.  Prior to making a complaint concerning a decision taken under any of the free movement regimes, the CARICOM national should seek judicial review of the decision if this is available and it is feasible for him/her to so do.  Failure to seek judicial review will not preclude a CARICOM national from filing a complaint.
1. The Complaints Form shall be available at all airports in the arrival and departure area, the Ministry responsible for Trade, the Ministry responsible for Foreign Affairs,  the Ministry responsible for CARICOM Affairs, the Ministry responsible for Labour, the Ministry responsible for National Security, the CSME Focal Point  and  online;
2. A CARICOM national wishing to make a complaint shall fill out such a complaints form in hard copy or online;
3. The completed form shall be returned (in person / mailed / electronically) to the CSME Focal Point of the receiving country or the home country of the CARICOM national within five working days of the date on which the CARICOM national receives the tribunal’s decision into the incident or of the date of the
incident, where there is no judicial review process available to the CARICOM national. The form should be copied to the CSME Focal Point of the other country concerned.
4. The CSME Focal Point upon receipt of the complaints form will confirm receipt of the complaint to the CARICOM national copied to the CSME Focal Point of the other country concerned.  In the event that the form is sent to the CSME Focal Point in the home country, that Focal Point shall forward the complaint to his/her counterpart in the receiving country;
5. Within two weeks of receipt of a complaint, the CSME Focal Point of the receiving country must start with a review of the form and determine what further information, if any, may be required to facilitate the carrying out of the investigation;
6. The CARICOM national may be contacted in the event that additional information is needed to commence the investigation or during the investigation;
7. The CSME Focal Point may contact the Head of the relevant Department to obtain any necessary information in order to commence an investigation with respect to the complaint or during such an investigation;
8. Where the investigation [by the CSME Focal Point] has revealed that there was a problem, the relevant Department shall be informed so that the necessary corrective actions can be undertaken.  The relevant Department shall inform the CSME Focal Point of the corrective actions that have or will be taken;
9. The investigation shall be completed not later than eight weeks after the date of receipt of the complaint, and the CSME Focal Point will inform the CARICOM national and the CSME Focal Point of the home country of the outcome of the investigation.

The institutional focus on youth development in CARICOM can be traced back to the early nineteen seventies. The paradigm was problem-focused, treating youth as beneficiaries of adult determined social goods and adopting top down decision making processes. An overview of some catalytic actions by regional and international institutions over the past four decades and their impact is provided below -

1970 - the Commonwealth Youth Programme was established. It focused on regional exchange programmes which enabled uniformed groups and young people to share with and learn from each other and to establish their own platforms of unity and integration;

1985 - the UN “International Year of Youth”. This prompted many CARICOM States to establish or expand Youth Departments. It also revitalized government programming for youth and reinvigorated National Youth Councils (NYCs) to play a strong advocacy, brokerage and catalytic role in the national youth agenda;

1987 - the Caribbean Federation of Youth (CFY) was established.  Serving as an umbrella body for NYCs which effectively increased youth representation and advocacy at the regional and global levels;

2001 – 2009 - CCS Regional Strategy for Youth Development (RSYD) provided a regional focus for reorienting national youth portfolios, coordinating the work of regional development partners and fostering youth participation in regional development and integration.

2010 -  Declaration of Paramaribo and the CCYD  was tasked with undertaking “a full scale analysis of the challenges and opportunities for youth in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME); and making recommendations to improve their well-being and empowerment”. The Report argues that young people comprise the sector of the population best positioned by virtue of their creative potential to play the leading role in responding to the challenges of globalisation and, therefore, to the demands of regional integration and the CSME. However, despite various efforts to tap their participation, not only do they know little of the CSME, their commitment to the region is overshadowed by the multiplicity of problems with which they are confronted, including half-hearted attempts at meaningful governance structures.

The Report calls for four critical actions:
a) understanding the transitional character of adolescents and youth;
b) tangible recognition of their contribution to the Region;
c) more investment in them for greater returns to both country and Region; and
d) a radical shift towards partnering with them to tackle many of the burning issues confronting us.

• In 2010 – 2012 The development of the CARICOM Youth Development Action Plan- This plan is a holistic and multi-sectoral institutional framework for national policy, integrated planning and action. The CYDAP operationalises the Declaration of Paramaribo on the Future of Youth in the Caribbean Community, complements the implementation of the CSME and supports mainstreamed adolescent and youth well-being and empowerment.

There are five institutions established to facilitate implementation of the Agreement. They are as follows:

    - The Joint CARIFORUM-EU Council

    - The CARIFORUM-EU Trade and Development Committee

    - The Special Committee on Customs Cooperation and Trade Facilitation

    - The CARIFORUM-EU Parliamentary Committee

    - The CARIFORUM-EU Consultative Committee

The Joint Council and the Trade and Development Committee are to be assisted in the performance of their duties by the Special Committee on Customs Cooperation and Trade Facilitation and by other Special Committees, which may be established.

Rules of Procedure are in place for the Joint CARIFORUM-EU Council, the CARIFORUM-EU Trade and Development Committee, and the Special Committee on Customs Cooperation and Trade Facilitation.

Establishment of the Unit

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Implementation Unit based in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat was set up to facilitate the implementation of the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific (CARIFORUM)-European Union (EU) EPA, signed by fourteen CARIFORUM States in October 2008 and by the fifteenth CARIFORUM State, Haiti, in December 2009. The Agreement has been provisionally applied since 29 December 2008.

From 15 June 2011, the Director-General of the CARIFORUM Directorate assumed supervisory responsibility for what is now referred to as the EPA Implementation Unit within the CARIFORUM Directorate of the CARICOM Secretariat. The Unit was formerly known as the EPA Implementation Unit of the CARICOM Secretariat, established under that name on 16 February 2009. Its operation is supported, in part, by funds provided under a Grant Agreement between the Caribbean Development Bank, as Administrator of the United Kingdom Government's Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund), and CARICOM.

Mandate and Function of the Unit

The EPA Implementation Unit is mandated to assist CARIFORUM States in the implementation of the provisions of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA.

In this regard, the Unit is tasked with providing CARIFORUM States direct “hands-on” (sometimes in-country) technical guidance and assistance in meeting the commitments and enjoying the benefits outlined in the Agreement. To focus the implementation effort of CARIFORUM States and to effectively schedule the activities of the EPA Implementation Unit, an EPA Implementation Roadmap has been drawn up, in chronological order of the obligations in the Agreement.

The Unit’s Location and Reporting

The EPA Implementation Unit is located in the CARICOM Secretariat’s headquarters, in Georgetown, Guyana, and falls under the day-to-day management of the Director-General of the CARIFORUM Directorate.

Structure of the Unit

Provision has been made for a core group of professionals in the EPA Implementation Unit, namely: The Director, the Trade in Goods Specialist, the Trade in Services and Investment Specialist, the Legal Officer, the Private Sector Specialist, the Information and Public Education Specialist and the Administrative Officer.

Where in the execution of the functions of the Unit specialized expertise is required, short-term consultants may be recruited. In addition, on an as-needs basis, the Unit will engage specialists in disciplines which are not provided by the core group of Specialists, such as Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS), Trade-Related Issues, Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights. The Unit can also draw on relevant expertise within the CARICOM Secretariat.

Assistance Provided by and Activities of the Unit

EPA Implementation Unit Specialists provide expert guidance and assistance to CARIFORUM States, with respect to the implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA, in the areas of their competence. This support involves the holding of briefing sessions (and in some cases training exercises) for stakeholders, who include traders, government officials, professionals and other Service providers and legal officers in the States.

In addition, the Specialists offer technical guidance and advice to stakeholders in CARIFORUM States on the approach to implementation of the various provisions of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA. In this latter regard, the Unit is committed to collaborating closely with national EPA implementation units established in the CARIFORUM States.

The Unit also promotes wider appreciation of the provisions of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA, by way of a Public Education Programme. It provides for the preparation and publication of targeted material—for the information of public and private sector individuals as well as members of the general public interested in the Agreement—and other efforts in the several modes available.

The Caribbean Festival of Creative Arts (CARIFESTA) was conceived out of an appeal from a regional gathering of artists who were at the time participating in a Writers and Artists Convention in Georgetown, Guyana in 1970 and which coincided with Guyana’s move to Republican Status.

The three main considerations with regard to the staging of CARIFESTA were:

    the Festival should be inspirational and should provide artists with the opportunity
    to discuss among themselves techniques and motivations
    it should be educational in that the people of the Caribbean would be exposed to the values emerging from the various art forms
    and it should relate to people and be entertaining on a scale and in a fashion that would commend itself to the Caribbean people

The regional creative festival was first held in Georgetown, Guyana in 1972, attracting creative artistes from over 30 Caribbean and Latin American countries.

It is a celebration of the ethnic and racial diversity which separately and collectively created cultural expressions that are wonderfully unique to the Caribbean.

The cultural village life of CARIFESTA is intended to be a mixture of the States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM); the wider Caribbean, Latin America; and a representation of Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.

It is a vision of the peoples with roots deep in Asia, Europe and Africa, coming together to preform their art forms and embracing literature inspired by the Caribbean’s own peculiar temperament; paintings drawn from the awe inspiring tropical ecology; and the visionary inheritance of our forefathers

The symbol of the first CARIFESTA was a dark hand rising grasping the sun, depicting the skills and aspirations of the tropical man with talent untold.

CARIFESTA aims to:

    depict the life of the people of the Region, their heroes, morale, myth, traditions, beliefs, creativeness, and ways of expression
    show the similarities and differences of the people of the Caribbean generally
    create a climate in which art can flourish so that artists would be encouraged to return to their homeland; and
    awaken a regional identity in Literature

Ten years later, the occasion of CARIFESTA V which was held in Trinidad and Tobago in 1992 was a watershed event in the development and promotion of the arts and culture in the Region.

This exposition took on a new focus with linkages to the overall national programmes for the development of the arts and culture to ensure the complete harmonisation of objectives and effectiveness across the Region.

The Executive Management Committee (EMC) assists the Secretary-General in managing the work of the CARICOM Secretariat and work closely with the five Community Councils to facilitate the implementation of Community decisions.

The Committee comprises the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community and  the Assistant Secretaries General of the Secretariat’s Directorates of Human Foreign and Community Relations, Human and Social Development and Trade and Economic Integration  and the Chef de Cabinet, as Executive Officer.

The 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme (CRIP), valued at €165 million, provides support to the Region to aid in the implementation of the CARIFORUM-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Under the CRIP, a €46,500,000 contribution amount has been provided to support interventions in over a half dozen technical areas under the EPA. An additional €28,300,000 has been made available for purposes of the Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP), which, in part, will contribute to support for EPA implementation.  

10th EDF EPA CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAMME

Primary EDF commitment: €46,500,000
Duration of Programme: 84 months (60 months implementation/24 months closure)     

Overall Objective

To support the beneficial integration of the Caribbean Forum of the ACP States (CARIFORUM) into the world economy.


Programme Components

Sub-component 1: CARTAC is implementing a Fiscal Reform and Adjustment Programme for CARICOM States;
Sub-component 2: UNDP will be implementing a Fiscal Reform and Adjustment Programme for the Dominican Republic.


Overview of Programme Components

A Financing Agreement was signed between CARIFORUM and the EU in March 2012, in relation to the EPA Capacity Building Programme valued at €46.5 million. The Programme is intended to assist in developing capacity in CARIFORUM to take full advantage of the provisions of the Agreement and to honour commitments undertaken under the EPA. In that regard, the Programme provides support in the areas of:

(1) Fiscal Reform and Adjustment through the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) for CARICOM States and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in the case of the Dominican Republic (CARTAC is one of eight International Monetary Fund (IMF) Regional Technical Assistance Centres (RTACs) located around the world);
(2) Statistics in the Dominican Republic, also through UNDP;
(3) Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) Measures, through the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA);
(4) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), through the National Institute of Metrology of Germany (Phsikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt - PTB), with the involvement of the Caribbean Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and the Instituto Dominicano para la Calidad (INDOCAL) of the Dominican Republic;
(5)  Services, through the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) with involvement of the CARICOM Secretariat and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of the Dominican Republic (DICOEX);
(6) The Regional Rum Industry, through the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA); and
(7) Institutional and Implementation Capacity, which comprises the following four sub- components: (i) Support for the operation of the CARIFORUM Directorate of the CARICOM Secretariat; (ii) Support to facilitate the participation of CARIFORUM stakeholders in Joint Institutions established under the EPA; (iii) Support for National EPA Focal Points/EPA Standby Facility, for which the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is serving as the fund administrator; and (iv) Project to Facilitate Capacity Building through Training Programmes in the areas of Competition, Procurement and Customs and Trade Facilitation.

The aforementioned partner institutions are implementing 10th EDF CRIP Programmes in support of EPA implementation, on behalf of CARIFORUM. Ownership of the programmes is, therefore, vested in CARIFORUM and not in any one Partner Institution.

The details of the various components of the 10th EDF EPA Capacity Building Programme are provided below.


Component 1: Fiscal Reform and Adjustment
       

Sub-Component 1 (Fiscal Reform and Adjustment in CARICOM States)

Primary EDF Commitment: €3,500,000
Implementing Agency: CARTAC
Date of Commencement of Implementation: 13 December 2012
Implementation Status: Ongoing
Specific Objective(s): To enhance revenue mobilization and strengthen public finance management in CARICOM States.
Expected Results: Progress towards improved tax collection and strengthened public finance management in CARICOM States.

http://www.cartac.org


Sub-Component 2 (Fiscal Reform and Adjustment in the Dominican Republic)

Primary EDF Commitment: €500,000
Implementing Agency: UNDP
Date of Commencement of Implementation: Implementation is expected to commence in Q2 2014.
Implementation Status: Implementation is expected to commence in Q2 2014.
Specific Objective(s): To enhance revenue mobilization and strengthen public finance management in Dominican Republic.
Expected Results: Progress towards improved tax collection and strengthened public finance management in the Dominican Republic.

http://www.undp.org


Component 2: Statistics in the Dominican Republic

Primary EDF Commitment: €500,000
Implementing Agency: UNDP
Date of Commencement of Implementation: Implementation is expected to commence in Q2 2014.
Implementation Status:  Implementation is expected to commence in Q2 2014.
Specific Objective(s): To improve timelines, quality and coverage of published statistical data in the Dominican Republic.
Expected Results:
(1) Training for statisticians in the Dominican Republic provided; and
(2) Support provided for the production and updating of economic statistics (including trade statistics) in the Dominican Republic.

http://www.undp.org


Component 3:  Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) Programme

Primary EDF Commitment: €11,700,000
Implementing Agency: IICA
Date of Commencement of Implementation: 1 October 2013
Implementation Status:  Ongoing
Specific Objective(s): To increase production and trade in agriculture and fisheries which meet the international standards while protecting plant, animal and human health and life and the environment.
Expected Results:
(1) Strengthened legislation, protocols, standards, measures and guidelines in the area of Agriculture Health and Food Safety (AHFS) and fisheries;
(2) Enhanced national and regional coordination mechanisms in the support of the SPS regime developed and established in the CARIFORUM States; and
(3) Strengthened national and regional regulatory and industry capacity to meet the SPS requirements of international trade.

http://www.iica.int


Component 4: Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)

Primary EDF Commitment: €7,800,000
Implementing Agency: PTB, with the involvement of CROSQ and INDOCAL.
Date of Commencement of Implementation: 28 June 2012
Implementation Status:  Ongoing
Specific Objective(s): To increase the use of services of internationally recognised Regional Quality Infrastructure Institutions in the CARIFORUM States.
Expected Results: Progress towards a modern Quality Infrastructure (QI) according to internationally recognised principles for international trade as defined in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement and the TBT Chapter of the EPA.
The expected result can be broken down into the following three expected specific results:

(1) Regional frameworks in the areas of standardization, metrology and accreditation are operationalised and regional frameworks in the area of certification and market surveillance are developed;
(2) National and regional QI institutions are prepared for international recognition in the areas of metrology, accreditation and conformity assessment (calibration, testing, inspection and certification); and
(3) User orientation and awareness of QI services are improved and promoted and a regional Knowledge-Management System is developed and implemented.

http://www.ptb.de/index_en.html
http://www.crosq.org
http://www.indocal.gob.do/


Component 5: Services Sector

Primary EDF Commitment: €3,200,000
Implementing Agency: Caribbean Export, with involvement of the CARICOM Secretariat and DICOEX.
Date of Commencement of Implementation: 1 December 2013
Implementation Status:  Ongoing
Specific Objective(s):
(1) Develop policies, strategies and regulatory frameworks to support the CARIFORUM services sector;
(2) Assistance given to Coalitions of Service Industries/providers; and
(3) Improve the collection and dissemination of data/statistics for planning and marketing analyses for CARIFORUM services sector.
Expected Results:
(1) Enhanced competitiveness of CARIFORUM service supplies and creation of an optimum business environment for services. National and regional policies, plans and strategies for the services sector prepared and approved/or upgraded for the following services sectors: professional, financial, education, health and wellness, tourism, cultural entertainment and sporting, ICT, telecommunications, maritime transportation, postal and courier, and hazardous waste;
(2) Legislative and regulatory frameworks developed for the sectors listed at (1);
(3) Regional/national support organisations (especially Coalitions of Services Industries) strengthened to effectively assist services suppliers and consumers in order to take full advantage of the opportunities available under the CARIFORUM-EU EPA;
(4) Collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of data and statistics on the services sector;
(5) A monitoring and evaluation framework developed and implemented; and
(6) The capacity of stakeholders to implement monitoring and evaluation activities enhanced.

http://www.carib-export.com
http://www.caricom.org
http://www.seic.gov.do


Component 6: Rum Sector

     
Primary EDF Commitment: €7,700,000
Implementing Agency: WIRSPA
Date of Commencement of Implementation: 7 August 2012
Implementation Status: Ongoing
Overall objective: Build the long-term viability of the CARIFORUM rum sector in international markets as a significant source of employment, tax revenues and foreign exchange.
Specific Objective(s): To facilitate improvement in all areas of the ACP Caribbean rum industry such that it can achieve long term competitiveness within the world alcoholic beverage market.
Expected Results:
(1) Increased awareness of the ACR Marque as a sustainable symbol of quality, authenticity, and provenance for the ACP Caribbean rum category and brands;
(2) Producers provided with the knowledge required to access distributors and trade customers in individual markets in order to build long-term sustainable business;
(3) ACR Marque credibility strengthened and scale of operation increased in order to generate a future income stream and underwrite long term sustainability; and
(4) Increased collaboration between producers in order to expose new production and waste management techniques and technologies; to improve skills levels within producers and to promote improved environmental practices.

http://www.wirspa.com


Component 7: Institutional and Implementation Capacity
[€10,800,000]

Expected results
Support programme for the Caribbean Forum of ACP States (CARIFORUM) – European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Development Cooperation successfully implemented.

Sub-component i: Support for National EPA Focal Points/EPA Standby Facility

Primary EDF Commitment: €3,500,000
Implementing Agency: CDB
Date of Commencement of Implementation: 18 December 2012
Implementation Status: Ongoing
Overall objective: To contribute to EPA implementation at the national level
Specific Objective(s): Effective implementation of EPA at the national level
Expected Results:  
(1) An efficient mechanism is in place to provide funding for projects that foster capacity building measures for CARIFORUM States for the purpose of implementing the CARIFORUM-EU EPA at the national level;
(2) Capacity building projects that target EPA implementation at the national level designed and implemented; and
(3) The capacity of CARIFORUM States to implement EPA related activities is enhanced.

http://www.caribank.org

Sub-components ii & iii: Institutional Support to CARIFORUM/EU Development Cooperation and EPA Implementation (including Participation in Joint EPA institutions)

Primary EDF Commitment: €4,200,000
Implementing Agency: CARIFORUM Directorate
Date of Commencement of Implementation: 1 July 2012
Implementation Status: Ongoing
Overall objective: To provide Institutional support for CARIFORUM/EU Development Cooperation and EPA implementation and to support the beneficial integration of CARIFORUM into the world economy.
Specific Objective(s): Effective overall implementation of CARIFORUM-EU cooperation, including the EPA
Expected Results:
(1) Institutional support provided to the CARIFORUM Directorate; and
(2 )Effective CARIFORUM participation in Joint CARIFORUM/EU EPA institutions facilitated.       

http://www.caricom.org/jsp/community_organs/cariforum/cariforum_main_page.jsp?menu=cob

Sub-component iv: Training Programmes

Primary EDF Commitment: €3,100,000
Implementing Agency: International Service Contract to be awarded with CARIFORUM as Contracting Authority.
Date of Commencement of Implementation: Expected to commence by Q2 2014
Implementation Status: Expected to commence by Q2 2014
Overall objective: To contribute to the effective overall implementation of the EU-CARIFORUM Cooperation, including the Economic Partnership Agreement with particular reference to obligations relating to Competition, Public Procurement and Customs and Trade Facilitation.
Specific Objective(s): To provide EPA-support training programmes in the area of Competition, Public Procurement and Customs and Trade Facilitation.
Expected Results:  EPA support training programmes in the area of competition, procurement and customs and trade facilitation (in the context of EPA implementation) delivered to public and private sector stakeholders and staff of CARIFORUM Regional Institutions.

10th EDF REGIONAL PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (RPSDP)

Primary EDF commitment: €28,300,000
Implementing Agency: Caribbean Export
Date of Commencement of Implementation: 8 March 2011
Implementation Status: Ongoing
Overall Objective: To contribute to the gradual integration of CARIFORUM countries into the world economy enhancing regional economic growth and by extension alleviate poverty.
Specific Objective(s):
(1) Enhancing Competitiveness and Promoting Innovation among CARIFORUM's private sector;
(2) Promoting Trade and Export Development among CARIFORUM States;
(3) Promoting stronger trade and investment relations between CARIFORUM, French Caribbean Outermost regions (FCORs) and EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) in the Caribbean;
(4) Promoting stronger trade and investment cooperation between CARICOM and the Dominican Republic; and
(5) Strengthening the institutional capacity of Caribbean Export to implement trade and investment promotion programmes.

http://www.carib-export.com

In 2001 a Situational Analysis on Drug Demand Reduction issues in the Region was conducted to ascertain the status of drug use and policy and programmatic responses in CARICOM Member States. The Analysis revealed:

  • That capacity within the institutions for demand reduction is weak.    
  • That most strategies in the region to address drug demand reduction have been heavily weighted towards primary prevention – the Master Plans indicate some priority setting, but implementation problems arise from the scores of recommendations from past reports.    
  • That Member States have made insufficient progress to improve demand reduction efforts in the Region.    
  • That there was not much focus on data collection to inform policy decisions.    
  • That country’s priorities were not always in favour of drug abuse epidemiological efforts – research and development have not been key foci of national drug councils.    
  • The virtual non-existence of treatment and rehabilitative services in the smaller islands.    
  • That treatment and rehabilitation needs are not addressed – for example no minimum standard of care for treatment and rehabilitation.    
  • That the most visible efforts in the region to combat drug use went into the enhancement of law enforcement capabilities.    
  • The limited resources (financial and human) of national drug councils
  • That prevention education programmes have proven to be ineffective.
  • That there were no broad-based holistic approach to dealing with drug demand reduction in the context of other social issues affecting population groups – for example, issues with HIV/AIDS, crime and violence, sexual practices, etc.

As a result, and through a process of consultation with Member States, regional experts, and the Caribbean Epidemiological Centre (CAREC), the Regional Strategic Framework for Drug Demand Reduction was developed in 2001. The process was facilitated by CICAD. The Framework was approved in April 2001 in Antigua by CARICOM Meeting of the Inter-governmental Task Force on Drugs and Crime (IGTF). The draft Framework was submitted to and reviewed by a group of National Drug Councils (NDC) and Non-governmental Organisations (NGO) on 15 - 16 September 2001 in Georgetown, Guyana.

Later, in October 2001, the Framework was presented to, and endorsed by the Fifth Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) which was held in Georgetown, Guyana. The Framework highlights the regional problem and outlines the goals, strategies and interventions in five categories for addressing the existing situation.

In November 2005, the Strategic Framework was reviewed by the Directors of the National Drug Council at its first meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica. While the strategy was found to be still relevant and useful it was believed that critical issues such as HIV/AIDS and Substance abuse and interests for vulnerable groups, needed to be addressed as a priority. In this regard recommendations were made to update the Strategy to reflect the changes.

MEETING OF THE DIRECTORS OF NATIONAL DRUG COUNCIL AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A TECHNICAL ADVISORY BODY (TAB) FOR THE REGIONAL DRUG DEMAND REDUCTION

The 1st Meeting of the Directors of National Drug Council was held in November 2005 in Montego Bay, Jamaica with support from the Government of Spain. It was during this meeting that the Technical Advisory Body (TAB) for the Regional Drug Demand Reduction Strategy was established to provide oversight for the implementation and fast-tracking of the Regional Drug Demand Reduction Strategy.

Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Technical Advisory Body for Regional Drug Demand Reduction Strategy

The Terms of Reference was reviewed at the Second and Third meetings of the TAB, convened in September 2007 and February 2008, respectively.

The Technical Advisory Body for Regional Drug Demand Reduction Strategy (RDDRS) will include Directors of National Drug Councils, representatives from regional institutions / other territories and NGOs in the field of demand reduction and at least one high level representative from the regional task force on crime and security. The TAB will seek to extend technical support to the non – CARICOM countries in the interest and recognition of the implications of all Caribbean States and non- States and to advance the work to reduce illicit drugs in the region.

THE ROLES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE TECHNICAL ADVISORY BODY

The Technical Advisory Body will, inter alia:

    1) Identify and advance critical issues on drug demand reduction to the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) and provide oversight to the implementation of the RDDRS. More specifically, the Technical Advisory Body will:

        (a) Review national anti-drug policies and plan
        (b) Assist national drug councils/agencies in the development of work plan/programme in keeping with the Regional Strategic Framework for Drug Demand Reduction
        (c) Provide technical support at multi-sectoral meetings convened to identify synergies and mechanism for the inclusion of these in work-plans/programmes at the national level
        (d) Provide technical assistance and monitor the implementation of the drug demand reduction strategy at national level
        (e) Conduct annual review/evaluation of the status of implementation of the drug demand reduction program in Member States
        (f) Provide technical advice for the development of project proposals and funding to support drug demand reduction programmes
        (g) Evaluate the regional plan every three years and revise as appropriate
        (h) Advocate for, and provide technical assistance for the establishment of National Drug Councils in Member States where these do not exist.
        (i) Advocate for and identify strategies/best practices for integrating supply and demand reduction initiatives at regional and national levels.
        (j) Build linkages and strengthen cooperation with other regional and international programmes.
        (k) Mobilize resources for the implementation of the Regional Strategy for Drug Demand

    2) The service provided by the members of the Technical Advisory body will be voluntary in nature.

    3) Members of the Technical Advisory Body will be issued official letters of appointment.

    4) The life of the TAB will be reviewed every three (3) years.

    5) TAB members will be eligible to serve a term of three years herein after they can seek reappointment to serve another term.

    6) The composition of the TAB will be expanded to include additional members in order to engage necessary stakeholder in the work of the group.

    7) TAB members will be given opportunities to increase capacity by attending regional/international meetings.

Members of the TAB were peer selected based on their expertise in the field of Drug Demand Reduction. The present composition of the TAB is as follows:

ACHIEVEMENTS (2005 – 2008)

    •  The 1st Meeting of the Directors of National Drug Council (supported by the Government of Spain).

Resource Mobilization:

        800 000 Euros became available under the 9th EDF for capacity building in the area of drug demand reduction.

Capacity Building:

    •  Demand Reduction Workshop in the area of “Policy, Research and Policy Development”,  10-14 September 2007

        - 45 Practitioners from the 15 Member States

    •  “Monitoring and Evaluation” 26-28 March 2008:

        - 13 Practitioners from 9 Member States and 1 Associate Member trained.

        - Training Manuals developed.

Strengthening Information Systems:

    •  Monograph on Substance Abuse and its Related Studies (1990 -2007).

    •  Establishment of a web-based information system which aims at strengthening Caribbean Drug Networks.

Treaties and Agreements

Expired Procurement

Faqs for new recruits

Expired Vacancies

Notice

Caribbean Personalities

Development Partners
 

Secretary Generals

projects

Store

The Regional Agency provides a -based service which requires new publishers (i.e. those who are requesting participation in the Regional ISBN System for the first time) to pay a non-refundable registration and also for each block of ISBNs which is allocated. The registration does not apply to persons who have been previously allocated ISBNs by the Regional/National Agency.

Function and Scope

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique international identifier assigned to text-based monographic publications (i.e. one-off publications rather than journals, newspapers, or other types of serials) and certain types of related products that are available to the public, whether those publications and related products are to be sold or made available on a gratis basis. The ISBN facilitates ordering, acquisition, cataloguing, and circulation procedures in libraries and documentation centres, across political borders. The ISBN system serves the flow and documentation of bibliographic information; provides economic bibliographic control of the regional book production; enables bookshops and libraries to use electronic ordering (EDI). See FAQs here

The one-off non-refundable registration is payable by all new publishers requesting ISBNs regardless of the size of the output. However, the ISBN application must first be approved before any s are sent.All remittances must be drawn on a U.S. Bank.

Administration

The CARICOM Secretariat, is the Regional Group Agency which acts in the interest of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago. The Regional Agency currently identified by ISBN Group Identifier 976 has national agencies in the Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

WAIVER

The fees for ISBN blocks can however be waived if the publications are intended for free distribution.Proof must however be provided for a waiver to be granted by the Regional Agency.

ISBN PROCEDURES

The completed Application for an ISBN Registrant Element form will be processed only if the publisher satisfies the necessary criteria for eligibility as outlined under heading Eligibility of Publishers.Payment should be sent only after the Regional Agency has accepted the application and notified the publisher of the relevant s through the provision of an invoice.

The Regional ISBN Agency will not provide ISBNs via telephone.The processing time for ISBN requests is 14 working days from receipt of the correctly completed form.This excludes Saturdays, Sundays and holidays and is from the date the correctly completed form is received in the Agency and, not the day on which it was posted or emailed.


PRIORITY PROCESSING

A priority of US$25.00 is payable for each single ISBN and applies only to single ISBN requests, while US$50.00 is payable for all other requests.Priority service includes return of the ISBN Registrant Element and numbers within 72 business hours of receipt, provided there are no problems with the application. Priority service is by courier.


PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS

The one-off non-refundable registration is payable by all new publishers requesting ISBNs regardless of the size of the output. However, the ISBN application must first be approved before any s are sent. All remittances must be drawn on a U.S. Bank.

You may choose any of the following methods of payment:

  • Cheque or Bank Draft made payable to the Caribbean Community Secretariat
  • Wire transfer (all transaction s are payable by the publisher).

WE ACCEPT

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Gender Issues

Twenty countries make up the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).Fifteen are full members and  five are  Associate Members.


The geographical boundaries of our Community stretch from The Bahama Islands in the north, southward to Guyana and Suriname – both on the north coast of the South American mainland. They also extend from Belize in the West on the Central American mainland to Barbados – the most easterly of the islands. Suriname defines the eastern boundary of the Community.


All CARICOM countries are classified as developing countries. They are all relatively small in terms of population and size, and  diverse  in terms of geography and population, culture and  levels of economic and social development.
CARICOM countries share similarities and challenges. On the one hand they are all in proximity to major markets in North and South American, and  most countries,  have had to make  the  transition from agriculture or mining to a service-driven economy, especially tourism and financial services. On the other hand, they have to overcome the challenges  of frequent  natural disasters, in addition to  small size with  associated lack of economies of scale and vulnerability to external shocks.


All members subscribe to the Community’s principles outlined in the   Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (2002).  Leaders of member states shape the Community’s policies and priorities. They meet  twice  yearly to discuss issues affecting the Community and the wider world at the Conferences of Heads of Government. All members have an equal say regardless of size or economic status. This ensures that every member has a voice in shaping the Caribbean Community.

Feedback

  • All tours shall be conducted during the period of 1 February to May 31 and 1 September – November 30.
  • All tour arrangements must be formalised in writing at least one month in advance. This includes post, hand delivery, and email. No group should undertake a tour without having received confirmation from the CARICOM Secretariat in writing. This would include, post, hand delivery and e-mail.
  • Tours shall be conducted twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 10:00 am and 12:00 noon.
  • One tour shall be conducted per day, accommodating no more than 30 persons
  • We are closed for all Guyana public holidays

Those wishing to arrange group tours should contact  Mr. Leonard Robertson  at:

CARICOM Secretariat
    Turkeyen
    Greater Georgetown
    GUYANA
    Tel:  592 222 0001/75 Ext. 2423
    Fax: 592 222 0095
    E-mail:  lrobertson@caricom.org

Library/ Publications

Document Library

Audio Visual

Slides and Presentations

Member States

There are 15 Member States and they are listed in alphabetical order below:

Antigua and Barbuda

Membership: 1974-07-04

Bahamas

Membership: 1983-07-04

Barbados

Membership: 1973-08-01

Belize

Membership: 1974-05-01

Dominica

Membership: 1974-05-01

Grenada

Membership: 1974-05-01

Guyana

Membership: 1973-08-01

Haiti

Membership: 2002-07-01

Jamaica

Membership: 1973-08-01

Montserrat

Membership: 1974-05-01

Saint Lucia

Membership: 1974-05-01

St Kitts and Nevis

Membership: 1974-07-26

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Membership: 1974-05-01

Suriname

Membership: 1995-07-04

Trinidad and Tobago

Membership: 1973-08-01

Associate Members

There are 5 Associate members and they are listed in alphabetical order below:

Anguilla

Membership: 1999-07-04

Bermuda

Membership: 2003-07-02

British Virgin Islands

Membership: 1991-07-02

Cayman Islands

Membership: 2002-05-12

Turks and Caicos Islands

Membership: 1991-07-02

Membership in CARICOM

According to the Treaty of Chaguaramas of the Caribbean Community, membership of the Caribbean Community shall be open to any other State or Territory of the Caribbean Region that is, in the opinion of The Conference, able and willing to exercise the rights and assume the obligations of membership.

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Our Governance

About the Caribbean Community