COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE TWENTY-SECOND MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF GOVERNMENT OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY,3-6 JULY 2001,NASSAU, THE BAHAMAS
 

The Twenty-Second Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was held in Nassau, The Bahamas, on 3-6 July, 2001.

Heads of Government in attendance were: the Hon. Lester B. Bird, Prime Minister, Antigua and Barbuda; the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham, Prime Minister, The Bahamas; the Rt. Hon. Owen Arthur, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Barbados; the Hon. Said Musa, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs, Belize; the Hon. Pierre Charles, Prime Minister, Dominica; Dr. the Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister and Minister of National Security and Information, Grenada; His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana; His Excellency Jean Bertrand Aristide, President of the Republic of Haiti; the Rt. Hon. Percival J. Patterson, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Jamaica; the Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, Prime Minister and Minister of Development Planning and National Security, St Kitts and Nevis; Dr. the Hon. Kenny D. Anthony, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Information, Saint Lucia; Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance and Planning, St. Vincent and the Grenadines; His Excellency Runaldo Ronald Venetiaan, President of the Republic of Suriname and the Hon. Basdeo Panday, Prime Minister, Trinidad and Tobago.

Hon. Dr. Lowell L. Lewis, Minister of Communications and Works, represented Montserrat.   Also in attendance was the Hon. Derek H. Taylor, Chief Minister, Turks and Caicos Islands.

Heads of Government welcomed Hon. Jennifer M. Smith, Premier, Bermuda, and the Hon. W. McKeeva Bush, Deputy Leader of Government and Minister for Tourism, Environment and Transportation, Cayman Islands, as special observers to the Conference.

They also welcomed the President of the Dominican Republic, His Excellency Hipólito Mejía, and His Excellency Vicente Fox, President of Mexico, who addressed the Conference.

They also welcomed the Minister of Foreign Trade of Cuba, Hon. Ricardo Cabrisas and the continuing discussions with Cuba on external negotiations.

Opening Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony of the Twenty-Second Meeting of the Conference was staged at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Nassau, and was marked by an impressive cultural display performed by Bahamian artistes. The Ceremony was chaired by Mr Edwin Carrington, Secretary-General, Caribbean Community who delivered the Opening Remarks. Statements were delivered by the Rt. Hon. Owen Arthur, Prime Minister of Barbados and outgoing Chairman of the Community; Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Chairman of the Conference; Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and His Excellency Runaldo Ronald Venetiaan, President of the Republic of Suriname.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Ceremony, the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community noted that it was clear that the challenges confronting the Region were becoming greater in their implications and more profound in their intensity. He urged the Region to rise to meet and confront these challenges and alerted Heads to the fact that the Region would be unable to rise if it did not embrace the relevant technology, train its work force and provide an environment attractive toinvestment, if its labour force were decimated by the modern plague - HIV/AIDS and if it failed to implement in time the decisions, to which it had voluntarily subscribed, but had not implemented.

The Rt. Hon. Owen Arthur commented on the fact that he had found his period of Chairmanship vastly rewarding, noting among other achievements, the historic signing of the Agreement establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice; the finalisation of the legal framework for the Single Market and Economy; the launching of the Pan Caribbean Partnership for HIV/AIDS; the Agreement to create the Caribbean Technical Assistance Centre; the Region's support for the integrity of the democratic process in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and in Guyana; the initiation of a deeper and more mature economic relationship with Canada; the creation of a new American Community through the Summit of the Americas process, and the compelling image of Caribbean cohesiveness displayed at that Summit; and the leadership by the Region on the OECD Harmful Tax Initiative. He noted that, if there was a common thread that ran through the events of the last six months, it was perhaps the fact that CARICOM was broadening its reach internationally, while simultaneously consolidating its internal solidarity and unity of purpose. There was therefore much to be positive and hopeful about.

The Rt. Hon Hubert Ingraham pointed to the Single Market and Economy as a major factor in determining the future of the Region's economic interaction. The Region, he stressed, must however address issues beyond the economy which are critical to the community's well-being. These include health, social development, external community relations and support for democracy and democratic processes within the Region. This new phase, he added, must also proceed with the support and active involvement of the peoples of the Caribbean.

The Chairman, while being pleased that The Bahamas had been removed from the FATF list of Non-Cooperating Countries and Territories, noted that several CARICOM States remain listed. He therefore urged the Region to continue to advocate its position calling for a level playing field in all international initiatives concerning the provision and delivery of international financial services whether emanating from the FATF, the OECD or the FSF.

The Hon. Ralph Gonsalves advocated that it was important to assert that the Caribbean is a civilisation of a special type, predominantly an island civilisation, occupying a particular geographic space and possessed of a shared history of European conquest, settlement, exploitation, colonialism, and empire with a core of shared political values adopted and adapted from Western Europe. Caribbean civilisation and the contemporary circumstances of the Region's political economy therefore demanded a more profound political expression, institutionally.

The President of Suriname in his remarks focused on the need to pay sufficient attention to the human factor: youth, women and the men of the Caribbean. CARICOM unity, he said, could only be established when all the ideals and goals of the Region became rooted and embedded in the Caribbean people and their organisations.

Engagements with the Secretaries-General of the Commonwealth,the ACS, the OAS,the Director-General of the FAO

Heads of Government were pleased to receive the Secretaries-General of the Association of Caribbean States, the Commonwealth and the Organisation of American States, as well as the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation to their meeting which allowed them to engage the leaders on issues of import to the Region and preparations being made for forthcoming Summits. They were particularly pleased at the level of international interaction in which the Region was engaged and noted, in this regard, the recent encounter between the President of the IDB, His Excellency Enrique Iglesias, and the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Mr. Mike Moore and Ministers of Trade of the Region, held in Montego Bay, Jamaica on 28-29 June, 2001.

Commonwealth

Heads of Government welcomed the information provided by the Commonwealth Secretary-General on arrangements being made for the Brisbane Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. They expressed the Region's appreciation for the efforts of the Commonwealth Secretariat in support of the Region's response to the OECD Harmful Tax Competition Initiative, as well as for and the strengthening of democracy in the Caribbean.

They also expressed their appreciation for the information provided by the Secretary-General on the activities of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, particularly in relation to developments in Fiji and Pakistan.

They welcomed the proposal for the convening in London in July 2002, of a Commonwealth Summit on Small States. They noted that, since the Commonwealth/World Bank Study on Small States was released in early 2000, significant progress had been made in persuading the international institutions to recognise the special and differential status of small states. They welcomed in particular, the inclusion of a Small States Forum on the agenda of the Annual World Bank meetings and saw this as a positive response to the concerns of small states. Heads of Government however recognised that much work remained to be done in their efforts to sensitise the world community to the issues affecting small states and recommitted themselves to this task. In this regard, they noted that the proposed Summit would provide the opportunity for all Member States of the Commonwealth to focus on the priority needs and concerns of small states and the measures required to address those needs.

Association of Caribbean States (ACS)

The Secretary-General of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) briefed Heads of Government on the work of the ACS. Heads of Government were also briefed on preparations for the Third Summit of the Association, which will be held in Margarita Island, Venezuela, from 11-12 December, 2001. They reiterated the Community's continued support for the goals of the ACS and the importance which the Community attaches to the ACS as an important geo-political entity and medium of functional cooperation in the Caribbean.

Organisation of American States (OAS)

Heads of Government had an exchange of views with the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), particularly on the excellent cooperation being developed between CARICOM and the wider hemisphere through the OAS. They welcomed the joint efforts of CARICOM and the OAS, aimed at promoting an environment conducive to establishing a climate of trust among the main political actors and civil society in Haiti at this time.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

Heads of Government had a fruitful discussion with the Director-General of the FAO on issues related to the World Food Summit + 5 Conference, which will be held in Rome in November 2001.

They agreed that the Region would seek to be represented at the highest possible level at the Summit.


Social Partners

Heads of Government had a comprehensive exchange of views with representatives of the Caribbean Policy Development Centre, the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce and the Caribbean Congress of Labour. They stressed the importance of a systematic engagement at all levels between government and social partners in order to arrive at concrete proposals to advance the Region's agenda. In this regard, they highlighted the Regional Conference with Civil Society - "Forward Together" to be held in November 2001 as a means of bringing together all segments of civil society in a dialogue with Heads of Government on the future of the Region, and their collective roles therein.

Heads of Government acknowledged the importance of the national consultations to the success of the Regional Conference and exhorted civil society to participate fully in the process.

Establishment of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME)

Heads of Government commended the collaborative efforts of the Official and Ministerial bodies in completing the revision of the Treaty of Chaguaramas (The Treaty establishing the Caribbean Community) which now integrates the nine Protocols making provision for the free movement of persons, capital and services and the right of establishment. They expressed their satisfaction that the Revised Treaty allows for the subsequent inclusion in the Treaty, by way of additional Protocols, of new issues such as e-commerce, government procurement, trade in goods from free zones, free circulation of goods and the rights contingent on the free movement of persons. They noted that technical work has already started towards this end.

Heads of Government urged an intensification of the public education programme to promote the necessary shift in the mind set of the people of the Region, from the limits of national boundaries to the resources of the Region as a whole. They also undertook to ensure the completion of the basic complementary legal and other actions at the national level to give effect to their regional commitments, particularly relating to the free movement of the agreed categories of persons, namely university graduates, artistes, musicians, sports persons and media personnel, and to the CARICOM agreements on social security and the avoidance of double taxation.

Heads of Government noted progress made towards the finalisation of the Agreement for the establishment of a Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ). They committed themselves to its finalisation and signature before the end of 2001. Heads of Government reiterated the urgent need to put in place the regime for the Right of Establishment of the Provision of Services and the Movement of Capital. They mandated that the Joint Meetings of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), the Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP), and the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) be convened as scheduled in September 2001, with the objective of having agreed programmes by the end of December, 2001.

Heads of Government confirmed their intention to inaugurate the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) on 9 July 2001 in The Bahamas, and to give their early attention to the creation of the new support mechanisms for the CSME, including a Committee of Officials, the Technical Advisory Council comprising representation from the stakeholders across civil society, and the specialised Caribbean Community Secretariat Single Market and Economy Unit, which will be based in Barbados until the completion of the CARICOM Headquarters building in Guyana.

A number of Heads of Government signed the Revised Treaty of Chaguramas establishing the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

Confronting the HIV/AIDS Pandemic

Heads of Government noted with grave concern the escalating prevalence of the dreaded HIV/AIDS pandemic in the Region as a whole. They stressed in particular, its devastating effects among young adults in their most productive years, and its potential to seriously compromise the economic growth of the Region.

Heads of Government pledged their support for the work of the Pan Caribbean Partnership. Heads of Government resolved to support capacity building programmes at national levels and to pool resources and share national experiences in the areas of prevention and care, advocacy, research and resource mobilisation. They resolved to pursue joint efforts to negotiate affordable prices for the anti-retroviral drugs and for a programme of education for all.

Heads of Government were pleased that a number of their countries participated at the highest political level at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, and were deeply appreciative of the support to be provided by the United Nations as acknowledged by the United Nations Secretary-General in his message to the Twenty-Second Meeting of the Conference. They reiterated their support for the declaration arising from the Special Session and agreed to adopt a consolidated approach to maximise the benefits to the Region from the proposed UN Global HIV/AIDS-Health Fund. They stressed the need for those Governments that had not yet done so, to prepare their national strategic plans by September 2001, so as to facilitate access to available funding.

Heads of Government received with appreciation the announcement by the Canadian High Commissioner, His Excellency John Robinson, of CIDA's enhanced support to the Region's HIV/AIDS Pan Caribbean Partnership, in the sum of Cdn$20million.

Heads of Government recalled the pledge made by President Bush in Quebec City, of a total of US$20 million in HIV/AIDS funding to the Caribbean for fiscal year 2002, as part of the USA's proposed Third Border Initiative.

Heads of Government welcomed the proposal from Mexico for cooperation and technical assistance in these matters.

Conscious of the need to confront the pandemic within the context of a more comprehensive Caribbean Health Initiative, Heads of Government further agreed to issue the Nassau Declaration on Health 2001: The Health of the Region is the Wealth of the Region, which is attached at Annex I.

Regional Security Issues

Heads of Government recognised the need for regional action on crime and security issues arising from the increasing drug related activities and other serious crimes in the Region. They expressed grave concern over the threats posed to the security and stability of the countries of the Region. They recognised that concerted and coordinated responses at the national, sub-regional and regional levels, building on existing machinery, will be required in order to bring about lasting and effective solutions.

Heads of Government agreed that they will devote special attention to the issues of crime and security at their Thirteenth Inter-Sessional Meeting in Belize in early 2002. To facilitate decisions, they agreed to establish a special Regional Task Force to analyse the fundamental causes of crime and security threats in the Region and to develop recommendations for consideration by Attorneys-General and Minsters responsible for National Security in advance of their Meeting in Belize, from 4 to 6 February, 2002.


Tourism Summit

Heads of Government underscored that a viable and sustainable tourism industry was critical to the economic well being of all the states of the Region. They readily acknowledged that, although there existed Caribbean cooperation in tourism at some levels, this needed to be more focused and intensified, with a view to promoting the Caribbean Region as a single destination.

Heads of Government looked forward to the convening in The Bahamas on 20-21 October 2001, of a CARICOM Summit on Tourism aimed at jointly developing innovative strategies for strengthening the industry and imparting new orientation and dynamism to the region's tourism product.


Agriculture

Heads of Government, in light of the continuing importance of agriculture to the economic and social development of Member States, reviewed the pace of implementation of the Community Agricultural Policy for the transformation of the Region's agriculture to international competitiveness. They acknowledged that the regional programme, which had been refocused for greater effectiveness, and which was intended to support national initiatives, had been compromised by inadequate resources. Heads of Government endorsed the initiatives being developed by the Caribbean Development Bank and the CARICOM Secretariat to tackle the problem and pressed for their urgent implementation.

With respect to the Caribbean Agricultural Research Development Institute (CARDI), Heads of Government agreed to await proposals from the President of Guyana, as lead Head of Government responsible for agriculture, regarding the future of CARDI.


External Economic Relations

Heads of Government reviewed the state of external trade negotiations in which the Region is engaged. They acknowledged the progress made so far as reflected in the Declaration adopted by the Third Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, but reiterated the need to increase efforts to have the Region's interest and priorities included in the FTAA negotiations.

Heads of Government expressed satisfaction at the role being played by the Region's representatives, coordinated by the Regional Negotiating Machinery (RNM) in the preparations by the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, for the next phase of negotiations with the European Union.

In addressing the activities in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Heads of Government reiterated their commitment to a rules-based multilateral trading system which caters for the concerns and peculiarities of smaller economies such as those of the Caribbean Community. To that end, they recognised that the Region will need to deploy its best technical skills in pursuit of its interests in the negotiations in agriculture and services that are part of the built-in Agenda, the work on unresolved implementation issues of concern to developing countries and in the ongoing preparations for the Fourth WTO Ministerial Meeting to be held in Doha, Qatar in November 2001.

The Heads of Government recognised that the next phase of negotiations at the hemispheric, bi-regional and multilateral levels which will take place simultaneously, will place increasing demands on the human, technical and financial capacities of the Region. To ensure the readiness of the Region to meet those demands, Heads of Government agreed on the urgency for strengthening the institutional arrangements for coordinating the Region's participation in external trade negotiations.

ACP-EU Waiver Request for the Cotonou Agreement

Heads of Government were very disturbed at the failure of the Council for Trade of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at its Meeting on 5 July 2001, to agree to begin the consultation on the European Union request for the waiver for the Cotonou Agreement and the new banana regime.

They were also concerned to learn of a proposal to amend the waiver request to the WTO for the Cotonou Agreement which would have the effect of precluding access of ACP bananas under the Bound "A" quota and the autonomous "B" quota and of confining the preference for ACP bananas (Quota "C") to the duty-free concession and only to 31 December 2005.

They were disappointed that some Latin America banana exporting countries had sought to delay the approval of the waiver on technical grounds.

Heads of Government expressed their appreciation to those WTO members which support the urgent consideration of the waiver request, and urged Ecuador, the United States and other WTO member countries, to join the movement for an expeditious and favourable decision on the waiver request.


Belize-Guatemala

Heads of Government were informed that since their Inter-Sessional Meeting of February 2001 the illegal settlers that had been found within Belize had all been relocated to Guatemala. They welcomed the fact that this removal was done peaceably and in conformity with the Agreement on Confidence Building Measures signed by Belize and Guatemala at the OAS Headquarters on 8th November 2000, and reaffirmed in Miami on 17 January 2001.

They were informed that pursuant to the agreed procedure, Guatemala and Belize had submitted to the Facilitators and the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States their positions on the substantive issues raised by Guatemala's claim to Belize's territory and that the parties were now awaiting recommendations from the Facilitators designed to lead to a definitive solution of the dispute.

Heads of Government recalled United Nations General Assembly Resolution 35/20 adopted on the 11th November 1980, which called for ensuring the "security and territorial integrity of Belize", and that this call was endorsed by OAS Resolution AG/RES 501 adopted on 27 November 1980. Heads of Government expressed full confidence that the Facilitators would take these Resolutions into account in their deliberations.

They urged both Guatemala and Belize to seriously consider the recommendations made by the Facilitators and to remain engaged in the current round of negotiations.

Heads of Government reaffirmed their absolute support for the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Belize in accordance with the border agreed in the 1859 Border Convention.

Heads of Government expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the Organisation of American States and the Panel of Facilitators in assisting the Parties to maintain peaceful and harmonious relations and in attempting to achieve a lasting solution to the dispute.


Guyana-Venezuela

Heads of Government reaffirmed their solidarity with Guyana in its determination to counter the threat posed to its sovereignty and territorial integrity as a result of Venezuela's non-acceptance of the Arbitral Award of 1899, which definitively settled the border between the two countries.

They regretted the constraints posed by Venezuela's claim to Guyana's development, particularly in the Essequibo region. They supported the position taken by Guyana that the Geneva Agreement does not preclude it from fully exploiting all of its natural resources.

Heads of Government welcomed the continuing commitment of the Governments of Guyana and Venezuela to the good offices procedure established under the aegis of the United Nations Secretary-General.

They encouraged both countries to continue to avail themselves of this mechanism with a view to finding a peaceful settlement of the existing controversy.


OECS-Venezuela

Heads of Government were made aware of important issues surrounding the delimitation of maritime areas in the Eastern Caribbean between certain CARICOM Member States and Venezuela. They rejected the public statements made by the President of Venezuela, regarding the geographic feature that he referred to as Bird Island.

Heads of Government stressed that any future discussions on this issue must be conducted in accordance with applicable principles of international law. In this regard, they highlighted the critical importance of the UN Law of the Sea Convention 1982, as the universal instrument representing the codification of international law of the sea. Heads of Government declared their support for the maritime integrity of the affected Member States of the Community, including relevant maritime areas and called on all states to respect the rules and principles contained in the Convention.


Haiti

Heads of Government welcomed the steps taken thus far by the Government of Haiti, the Fanmi Lavalas and the Convergence Democratique, towards resolving the political situation in Haiti. They urged all political parties to constructively contribute to an early resolution of the political crisis.

Heads of Government noted that the people of Haiti continued to be the main victims of this political crisis and expressed their grave concern with respect to the rapidly deteriorating social and economic situation in Haiti and the social misery this has brought to the majority of the Haitian society.

They expressed deep concern over the continued and tragic loss of life by Haitian nationals, many of whom continue to risk their lives by leaving Haiti, via unseaworthy craft. Heads of Government were informed that twenty bodies had been recovered in The Bahamas alone during the first six months of 2001 and, from all indications, this represented a mere fraction of the total loss of life.

They agreed to issue a Statement on Developments in Haiti, which is attached at Annex II.


Inter-American Democratic Charter

Heads of Government emphasised the long-standing tradition of adherence to the principles of representative parliamentary democracy, good governance and the rule of law, which characterise the Governments of CARICOM Member States, and which had furthermore been enshrined in the Charter of Civil Society of the Caribbean Community. They were therefore fully committed to supporting all genuine efforts aimed at strengthening the institutions of democracy throughout the hemisphere and at enhancing inter-American cooperation in defence of representative democracy, including through the adoption of further instruments such as the Inter-American Democratic Charter, as proposed by the Third Summit of the Americas, held in Quebec City, in April 2001.

In that regard, Heads of Government stressed that the proposed Charter was a document of fundamental importance, which should be developed with the utmost care through the most inclusive and well-informed dialogue among Member States, including the full involvement of civil society, and taking into account the constitutional and legal procedures of each Member State. Every effort should be made to produce a final document which, through the clarity of its provisions and the political support it commanded among the Governments and peoples of the Americas, would be both implementable and effective.

Heads of Government were satisfied that the appropriate processes were now in place to facilitate the wide ranging and serious consultations necessary to give effect to the mandate of Quebec City, and looked forward to the active contribution of their Governments and civil society to the drafting process leading to the adoption of the Charter in Lima, in September this year.


Appreciation

Heads of Government expressed their deep appreciation to the Government and people of The Bahamas for the splendid arrangements made for their Conference which contributed greatly to the success of their meeting. They extended the best wishes of the Governments and people of the Caribbean Community to the Government and people of The Bahamas, as they celebrate their Twenty-Eighth Anniversary of Independence.


Date and Venue

Heads of Government accepted the offer of the Government of Belize to host the Thirteenth Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government from 4 to 6 February, 2002 and of the Government of Guyana to host the Twenty-Third Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in July 2002.

Heads of Government also noted with appreciation the kind offer of the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands to host the Fourteenth Meeting of the Bureau from 10-11 January, 2002.

Nassau, The Bahamas
6 July, 2001


Annex I

NASSAU DECLARATION ON HEALTH 2001 THE HEALTH OF THE REGION IS THE WEALTH OF THE REGION

We the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community:

COGNIZANT of the critical role of health in the economic development of our people and overawed by the prospect that our current health problems, especially HIV/AIDS, may impede such development through the devastation of our human capital;

RECOGNIZING that the escalation of these health problems is evidence of the deficiencies of our approaches, thus requiring the re-orientating and restructuring of the Health Services;

RECOGNIZING ALSO the need to place emphasis on the access to services for vulnerable groups in our societies, particularly for behavioral change in the youth; and, the empowerment of women;

RECOGNIZING FURTHER that while the resources and absorptive capacity of no one single institution, country or nation are sufficient to reverse the negative trend, the evidence of 'best practices' and technological breakthroughs, the international, regional and national mechanisms and frameworks which exist; and, our experiences in successfully combating serious public health problems, such as poliomyelitis and measles and cholera provide hope of what can be achieved through a collective regional response;

CONVINCED of the need to strengthen the regional and national structures and institutions through which our approach must be articulated, elaborated and discharged;

COMMITTED to providing the requisite resources within our capabilities;

CONSONANT with the goals of the Caribbean Community to promote the improvement, well-being and security of our peoples, recognize that the health of the Region is the wealth of the Region:

HEREBY DECLARE:

ARTICLE I

We commit ourselves to the pursuit of initiatives and targets to be implemented to achieve an improved health status of our populations within the next five years, emphasizing leadership, strategic planning, management, implementation and resource mobilisation in the context of health sector reform processes that are underway.

ARTICLE II

Direction

We will build on current regional and sub-regional initiatives where necessary, but will seek to establish a series of networks, each with specific roles and responsibilities, in a coordinated regional structure responsive to the needs of the ordinary Caribbean citizen and designed to ensure equity in access to quality preventive and care regimes. We therefore envisage the following:

- regular Consultations of the designated networks under the aegis of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD), to facilitate the regional coordinated efforts required to address cross-cutting issues at the heart of economic growth and equity such as poverty reduction,

improving human resource capabilities, and equity in access and delivery of services ; and with respect to intersectoral linkages with issues related to youth, gender, sports, illicit drugs and arms, and education and culture;

- the creation of a Caribbean Technical Regional Task Force on Health and Development within COHSOD to advocate, review and help to propel health to the centre of the development process and to draw on the body of research and development (R&D) that provides for evidenced based decision making at all levels.

ARTICLE III

Strategic Planning

We re-commit ourselves to the implementation of the Caribbean Co-operation in Health (CCH) Phase II as the framework under which all regional and sub-regional, national and institutional sector plans for health will be considered. Emphasis on the sharing of services and an integrated approach to managing health information and health planning and programming is an urgent need. Further we mandate that: the Regional Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS be revised and expanded to ensure that the Pan-Caribbean Partnership benefit fully from the availability of regional and global funds by 1 December 2001, especially in the context of the general targets established by the United Nations Special Session on HIV/AIDS; That the Regional Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS include the OECS Pharmaceutical Purchasing Scheme (PPS) as the representative body of the OECS for procuring anti-retro virals.

a Regional Strategic Plan for the Prevention and Control of the Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases be developed and submitted for approval by March 2002;

a Regional Strategic Plan on Mental Health be developed by September 2002;

an evaluation of the current CCH II be conducted and a Draft of its successor be submitted by December 2002.

ARTICLE IV

Management, Implementation and Resource Mobilization

We shall ensure that the CCH II Secretariat, which is to be jointly administered, by CARICOM and PAHO be made operational by:

placing reliance on the regional and sub-regional institutions to take the lead role on several issues and provide the services required by Member States and to that end these institutions will be reviewed to determine their adequacy, competitiveness and strategic advantages for the Region.

ensuring that the Pan-Caribbean Partnership on HIV/AIDS established in March 2001 provide a model with its primary mandate to mobilize resources for the implementation of the Regional Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS. Thus far, this has been successful in building Donor confidence and generating financial support. We recommend the strengthening and expansion of the Pan-Caribbean Partnership to include other health priorities and promote donor support.

ARTICLE V

Pan-Caribbean' Governance Issues

We recognize that the expansion of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) beyond its current membership is both desirable and inevitable, and further commit to:

enhanced areas related to the collective effort by all Caribbean countries for joint representation to exert a greater influence on decision making in the international arena which will favour the Region's interests;

ARTICLE VI

Development Issues

We recognize the primary importance of the Human Resource Development Strategy in both the short and longer term and therefore commit to fully supporting the approaches to:

promotion and prevention, as a responsibility, in relation to security of our assets;

treatment of those persons as an investment in the preservation of our human capital, a cost benefit strategy for sustaining productivity and services, and a human rights obligation.

ARTICLE VII

Institutional Strengthening and Sustainability

We the Heads of Government of the Community agree that the institutional strengthening of the CCH II Secretariat should be given highest priority, and recognize that the sustainability of our efforts will require attention to the involvement of civil society and the other specialized stakeholders. Accordingly, we are determined to lead the charge of the Caribbean in 'Fighting back' against HIV/AIDS and other health conditions, within the context of the articulated principles and processes to preserve and enhance 'The health of the Region which is the wealth of the Region'.

Nassau, The Bahamas
6 July 2001


Annex II

CARICOM STATEMENT ON STRENGTHENING DEMOCRACY IN HAITI

Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, during their 22nd Conference, engaged in an exchange of views on the political crisis in the Republic of Haiti, which emanated from the 21 May 2000 elections in that country.

The CARICOM leaders took note of the information presented by the President of Haiti, His Excellency Jean- Bertrand Aristide, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States, Dr Cesar Gaviria and OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Luigi Einaudi, and the Assistant Secretary General, Foreign and Community Relations of CARICOM, Ambassador Albert R. Ramdin, on the outcome of the recent Joint CARICOM/OAS Mission to Haiti from 29 June to 02 July, 2001.

The CARICOM Heads of Government reiterated their support for the Joint Mission, and acknowledged that it had proven to be an effective mechanism in achieving progress towards the facilitation of a resolution to the political crisis in Haiti.

Heads of Government also welcomed and expressed strong support for the progress towards an understanding between the Government of Haiti, Fanmi Lavalas, Convergence Democratique and the civil society. They urged all stakeholders to continue and increase their efforts in this regard.

CARICOM leaders were pleased to note that all involved parties in their effort to reach a pre-agreement relating to the 21 May 2000 electoral difficulties, have already agreed on the composition of the Provisional Electoral Council, the mechanism for the process of a National Dialogue and the establishment of a "Commission for Electoral Guarantees".

They exhorted all parties to continue their consultations towards finding consensus on the mandate of the new Provisional Electoral Council.

CARICOM leaders urged President Aristide to continue his efforts to enhance the democratic space for this process and to provide the necessary accompanying measures leading to a climate in which a definitive resolution to the political crisis can be found.

CARICOM leaders welcomed the steps taken thus far by the Fanmi Lavalas and Convergence Democratique. They urged all political parties to constructively contribute to this process of reconciliation and resolution.

CARICOM leaders emphasized the role of civil society organizations in this process and called upon them to continue remain engaged and contribute the process of developing a Haitian solution to the political crisis.

The People of Haiti are the main victims of this political crisis. The CARICOM leaders expressed their grave concern with respect to the rapidly deteriorating social and economic situation in Haiti and the social misery this has brought to the majority of the Haitian society.

In this light, CARICOM leaders called upon the international community, especially the international financial institutions, to accompany this process of strengthening of democracy, by supporting the social and economic development with all means available to them in the form of technical and financial assistance, without further delay.

CARICOM leaders also instructed the CARICOM Secretariat, under the guidance of the Prime Minister with the responsibility for Justice and Governance, to continue its collaborations with the General Secretariat of the Organisation of American States, in facilitating the process of dialogue and resolution.

Grand Bahama
The Bahamas
5 July 2001
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