The Fourth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community was held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from 4-8 July
1983. Twelve States were represented by their Heads of Government: the Rt. Hon. Sir Lynden Pindling, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas; Rt. Hon. J.M.G.
Adams, Barbados; the Rt. Hon. George Price, Belize; Hon. Mary Eugenia Charles, Commonwealth of Dominica; Hon. Maurice Bishop, Grenada; President
Forbes Burnham, Guyana; the Rt. Hon. Edward Seaga, Jamaica; Hon. John Osbourne, Montserrat; Hon. Dr Kennedy Simmonds, St. Kitts-Nevis; Hon. John
Compton, Saint Lucia; the Rt. Hon. Milton Cato, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Hon. George Chambers, Trinidad and Tobago. Antigua and Barbuda was
represented by its Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Lester Bird.
The Inaugural Ceremony commemorated the Tenth Anniversary of the establishment
at Chaguaramas of the Community.
The Inaugural Address was given by the Prime
Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the Hon. George Chambers. In his address, Mr
Chambers emphasised the fact that what was created and given life at Chaguaramas
was not merely a noble idea but an expression of the principle that the pursuit
of regional interest offered the best prospect for the economic and social development
of each Member State. "If we are to keep this noble idea alive; if we are to give
meaning to the vision which inspired the Treaty", Mr Chambers stresses, "then
we must be convinced of the relevance and applicability of its provisions to the
Community as it exists today."
Addresses given in response by the Rt. Hon. J.M.G. Adams, Prime Minister of Barbados;
the Rt. Hon. George Price, Prime Minister of Belize; the Rt. Hon. Edward Seaga,
Prime Minister of Jamaica; the Hon. Dr Kennedy Simmonds, Premier of St. Kitts-Nevis;
and H.E. Cde L.F.S. Burnham, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.
At the Inaugural Ceremony, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas was formally admitted
as a member of the Community when its Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. St Lynden Pindling,
signed the treaty of Chaguaramas and deposited the instrument of ratification.
At the conclusion of the Inaugural Ceremony, a trophy and replicas were presented
by the Rt. Hon. R.M. Cato, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, to
the team members and the three student members of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines
team - first winners of the annual CARICOM Travellers Cheques Schools Quiz Competition,
held in 1982-83.
The Heads of Government Conference elected as its Chairman, the Prime Minister
of Trinidad and Tobago. The Conference conducted its business through plenary
sessions, a caucus of Heads of Government and an Economic and General Committee.
Prior to the Conference, the Twenty-Third Meeting of the Common Market Council
and the Ninth Meeting of the Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Foreign
Affairs were held to consider economic, trade and foreign policy issues,
respectively, and make recommendations to the Conference thereon.
The Conference of Heads of Government, in admitting The Bahamas as an observer to the Common Market Council, agreed that for purposes of the Treaty of
Chaguaramas, The Commonwealth of The Bahamas should be designated as a More Developed Country
Heads of Government expressed deep concern that the international political situation, since their last meeting in Ocho Rios, continued to be marked by the
threat of global war, regional conflicts, rivalries and tensions. They were particularly concerned that small States remained subject to stresses and pressures
directly and indirectly, of a military political and economic nature.
The Conference deplored the increasing resort to violence as a means of resolving conflicts and disputes between States. It called on all States to abstain from
all forms of aggression and to use dialogue and negotiation to settle those conflicts which now threaten the peace and security of the Region. In particular, it
renewed its commitment to the adoption of a unified approach in dealing with economic aggression and to the establishment of a scheme of mutual assistance.
Recalling and reiterating the statement which it made on the Guyana/Venezuela controversy at the Third CARICOM Summit at Ocho Rios on 15 November
1982, Conference reviewed developments in the controversy and noted in particular that the Governments of the two countries had now referred the choice of a
means of settlement to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in accordance with the Provisions of Article IV (2) of the Geneva Agreement.
Noting the statement by the President of Guyana that Venezuela is continuing certain activities inconsistent with Guyana's territorial integrity, the Heads of
Government recalled their previously expressed concern for the sanctity of treaties and their respect for defined and demarcated boundaries, and expressed and
hope that the controversy would be quickly and peacefully resolved in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Agreement.
Conference deplored the fact that Guatemala has so far refused to accept the status of Belize as an independent State and that it is still maintaining an unfound
claim to the Toledo district which constitutes one fifth of its land area.
Conference upheld the principle of territorial integrity and condemned this latent manoeuvre on the part of Guatemala.
Conference supported the position of the Government of Belize for the settlement of this problem by peaceful means, without prejudice to its sovereignty and
The Conference further deplored the exclusionary provisions which currently exist in some regional treaties and arrangements. It called for their early removal
so that the principle of universality of membership would be upheld and that all States in the Region which desire to adhere to these treaties and arrangements
might be enabled to do so.
In considering the role of non-alignment, the Conference noted with satisfaction the growing strength of the Movement in the Region as reflected in its
increasing membership form among CARICOM Member States. It noted further that the Movement, as exemplified in the New Delhi Summit provided
especially for small states, an alternative to bloc politics, spheres of influence and military alliance. Conference reaffirmed its conviction that non-alignment
was an effective instrument for the preservation of peace and security and the creation of an equitable international economic order.
The Heads of Government expressed deep concern over the situation in Central America. The crisis faced by the peoples of this region was rooted not in East-West ideological rivalry but in deep-seated social and economic ills. They called for an end to foreign intervention, training of mercenaries and cross-border
conflicts. They appealed to contending parties to engage in direct dialogue and expressed support for the efforts of the Contadora Group to being peace to the
The Conference reaffirmed its conviction that the attainment and maintenance of peace and security in the Region were firmly linked to recognition of the
principles of non-use of force, non-interference and non-intervention in the internal affairs of States.
Reaffirming its conviction that sport at both the national and international levels should be based on respect for human dignity, the Conference of Heads of
Government expressed its deep abhorrence and condemnation of the policy of apartheid as practised by the racist regime of South Africa. The Heads of
Government unequivocally condemned the efforts of the racist regime to promote the cause of apartheid by attempting to destroy West Indian cricket by
enticing West Indian players to play in South Africa.
The Heads of Government recalled that South Africa had been expelled from the Olympic Movement in 1970. They deplored the fact that an increasing
number of sports bodies and individual sportsman in several countries have nevertheless continued to have sporting links with South Africa in violation and
defiance of the United Nations International Declaration against Apartheid in Sport.
In reviewing the situation in Namibia, the Conference condemned the continued illegal occupation of Namibia by the racist South Africa regime in open
defiance of the United Nations. It further condemned South Africa's policies and practices of brutal repression and wanton exploitation of Namibia by the
racist South Africa regime in open defiance of the United Nations. It further condemned South Africa's policies and practices of brutal repression and wanton
exploitation of Namibia's natural resources. It welcomed the recent adoption of Resolution 532 of the UN Security Council as well as its decision to reaffirm
the legal responsibility of the UN over Namibia and to pursue the early implementation of its Resolution 435. It registered its total rejection of the linkage of
Namibia independence with the simultaneous withdrawal of Cuban forces from Angola.
The Heads of Government considered a number of issues specifically related to the Regional Integration Movement and the developments in the international
The Heads of Government Conference also reviewed the deleterious effects which the global economic crisis was having on the development process in the
Region and considered a broad strategy aimed at intensifying the pursuit of structural changes in the economies of Member States, including the development
of the capacity for the efficient production and marketing of food within the Region and the rapid development of the capacity to export manufactured goods
After consideration of a number of proposals for a structural adjustment programme, the Conference authorised the CARICOM Secretary-General to request
the CDB to conduct a study, taking into account the views of the Member States and other appropriate regional institutions, with a view to identifying,
evaluating and recommending measures of structural adjustment which would maximise the production, employment and foreign exchange earnings of
Conference agreed on a number of measures for reactivating the CMCF. It was also agreed that an resumption of the CMCF a number of considerations will
be adhered to including debtor limits and quarterly settlements.
At the same time Conference directed that the Board of Directors of the CMCF considered and submit reports to their respective Ministers of Finance on the
the question of the enlarging of the Facility;
the transformation of the Facility into a legal entity;
the opening of another window for medium-term credit and possibly a Stabilisation Fund; and
the governance of the Facility, in particular its relationship to Ministries of Finance in Member
The Heads of Government noted the circumstances which necessitated the informal meeting of some Heads of Government in Barbados and the Bridgetown
Heads of Agreement that emerged therefrom. They expressed the hope that there would be no recurrence of these circumstances.
The Heads of Government also noted that the Government of Jamaica had since then introduced additional measures to safeguard its economy.
The Heads of Government agreed that the review of Jamaica's special rate of exchange for trade with CARICOM countries, as required under the terms of
Heads of Agreement, should be undertaken during the week of the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting in Port-of-Spain in late September 1983 in order
to avoid any disruption in intraregional trade.
Heads of Government urged multilateral financial institutions, and in particular the International Monetary Fund, to take immediate steps to implement the
recommendations of the Group of Twenty-Four and the Development Committee, as stated in the final communiques of their meetings held in Toronto in
September 1982, for establishment of a programme of action "to review the mechanisms and format of conditionality and the nature and content of adjustment
prescriptions" in small economies in general and in island and other States of CARICOM in particular.
Heads of Government endorsed the decision taken at the Seventh Meeting of the Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Finance to seek to have a
position of Adviser to one of the Executive Directors of the IMF, who has responsibility for one of the constituencies to which CARICOM countries belong,
reserved for a CARICOM national.
Heads of Government expressed concern at the non-implementation of recommendations for a special allocation of additional quotas for very small countries -
i.e. those with quotas of under SDR 10 million - or for a reintroduction of minimum quotas for such countries as proposed to the IMF by the Group of 24 in
connection with the Eight General Review of Quotas. They noted that all independent countries of DECS fall within this category, and urged the IMF
authority to reconsider carefully this matter.
Conference urged the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to continue its efforts to streamline its procedures to expedite the delivery of financial assistance to
the private sector and to consider the possibility of establishing a venture capital fund to provide risk capital (Equity and Loans) to productive sector projects,
particularly, in the LDCs, while taking due regard of related initiatives in the Region. Conference also agreed with the CDB's suggestion that a scheme be
devised to provide Technical support services to the indigenous private sector and requested CDB to liaise with relevant public and private sector bodies in
determining the parameters for such a scheme.
In the course of their review of the economic factors affecting the Region and the mechanisms for the mobilisation of aid, the Conference studied the
operations of the CGCED. It was felt that the mechanism had not provided over the years any great measure of additionality to the traditional flow of funds on
concessionary terms. It was agreed that the Region should undertake, under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia as the Chairman to the Ad
Hoc Advisory Committee of the Caribbean Group, a consultation process prior to the next Meeting of the Group in Washington in December 1983 so that the
issues of primary concern to the region could be identified and placed on the Agenda.
In taking note of progress in the implementation of the CBI Conference expressed its conviction that participation in the benefits under the CBI should be open
to all CARICOM States. It was agreed that Member States in their bilateral discussion with the US Administration on trade aspects of the CBI Bill should
press for the simultaneous designation of all Member States of CARICOM as beneficiaries so as to preserve the integrity of the regional Common Market
Conference noted that the private sector development bank which is to be located in Barbados and which is being supported financially by USAID under the
CBI, was expected to begin operations by the end of 1983.
Conference also expressed its deep concern at the fact that the US Government had instituted countervailing duty investigations against steel products from
Trinidad and Tobago and urged the termination of these investigations in order to avoid frustrating the exports of Trinidad and Tobago in respect of steel
Conference adopted for expeditious implementation, a comprehensive Regional energy Action Plan. Conference noted the long-term objective of the Plan as
the provision of a more co-ordinated and rational development of the energy resources of the Region and the objective of alleviating, within the shortest
possible time, the adverse impact of energy prices on the Caribbean economies. The Plan will also deal with such issues as the transportation of petroleum
products guaranteed supplies and markets for such products, energy demand management and conservation, the development of new and renewable sources of
energy and the establishment of a supply support mechanism.
One of the principal measures agreed to was that Trinidad and Tobago should become the supplier of first resort for all petroleum products to Member States
without domestic refineries and for deficit products in those States with `captive' refineries. Another was that Member States should accept the principle of
rationalisation of refining capacity within the Region and that efforts to that end should be consummated within the next eighteen months.
Conference also noted the commitment of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to the resumption of its CARICOM Oil Facility under revised terms and
Heads of Government agreed to sign an Intergovernmental Agreement on Co-operation
in Air Transportation among Member States. The Agreement provides, inter alia,
for one Member State to designate and airline owned by another Member State as
its national carrier.
They also agreed on a resolution calling upon third Countries to recognise the provisions of the Agreement.
They agreed that further progress in the area of rationalisation of passenger and freight air transportation in the Region would promote the integration process
and increase benefits accruing to Member States. They noted that the High Level Committee which they established at their Meeting in Ocho Rios had not
been able to study this question in depth, and mandated it to continue its work and report every six months to the Common Market Council.
Heads of Government agreed that the enlargement of facilities for air freight was an urgent requirement to increase intraregional trade. In this connection they
took note of the fact that participation in CARICARGO - the joint venture air freight company established by Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados - was open
to all Member States; and agreed that the High Level Committee should also address the question of enlarging facilities for regional air freight.
They also agreed to establish a CARICOM Civil Aviation Consultative Committee to provide a forum for consultation among Member States in the area of
Bilateral Air Services Treaties with particular reference to fifth freedom rights, airfares and rates, capacity control, multiple designation and intra-Caribbean
In considering the future of the West Indies Shipping Corporation (WISCO), the Conference reiterated its recognition of WISCO as the official intraregional
It declared its intention to institute such measures as may be necessary to rationalise activities in the regional shipping industry and safeguard the position of
WISCO as an effective, long-term provider of maritime transport services for the development of the Member States of the Community.
In recognition of the need for the provision of a adequate service to meet the demands of trade in agricultural and industrial products with the highest possible
level of efficiency, the Conference established a High Level Committee under the Chairmanship of Barbados, which will formulate proposals for rationalising
the operations of the regional and national shipping lines including areas of functional co-operation between the lines.
In considering the question of Food Security for the peoples of the Community, the Conference decided that a programme for regional food security should be
guided by the following principles:
- the Region should be the primary source of its own food supplies
- there should be a regional strategy aimed at self-sufficiency through intraregional trade
- international trade should satisfy any food gaps as well as serve as a net earner of foreign exchange for use in other sectors of the economy
- policies should be pursued which would ensure that adequate and nutritious
food would be within the reach of poor and working people
The Conference also agreed to the principle of the removal of all barriers to intraregional trade in primary agricultural commodities and livestock.
The Conference decided that in the application of these principles Member states would obtain their food supplies, first from national sources, second from
regional sources and third from international sources.
In keeping with its decision in November 1982 at Ocho Rios that attention should be given to the elaboration of appropriate relationships between the
Community and its Associate Institution, the Conference agreed that:
sectoral consultations should take place with the objective of effecting collaboration in the
preparation and implementation of programme and, at the request of the appropriate Standing
Committee of Ministers, there should be collaboration in the drafting of a sector programme
and in the allocation of specific activities to each Institution;
meetings of Administrative Heads of CARICOM and its Associate Institutions should take place
from time to time, as necessary;
the Committee of Ministers responsible for Energy, Mines and Natural Resources and the Committee
of Ministers responsible for Science and technology should be designated and established as Institutions
of the Community.
Heads of Government endorsed the decisions of the University Council that the date for the implementation of the academic aspect of the restructuring
proposals should be October1, 1984, and that of the University Grants Committee that the date for the implementation of the new financial arrangements
should be August 1, 1984, the beginning of the University's financial year.
Arising therefrom, Conference accepted the proposal on the restructuring of the University of the West Indies submitted by the OECS Countries and directed
that the University move with utmost despatch to implement the proposals within the limits of its resources. The operative date for the introduction of the new
arrangements should be the same as that for the overall restructuring of the University of the West Indies, i.e. October 1, 1984
The OECS proposal include the establishment of two offices of University services as follows:
one office headed by a full-time Pro-Vice Chancellor to be located at the Cave Hill
Campus with responsibility for the OECS Countries, Anguilla and the British Virgin
an office to be located at the Mona Campus with responsibility for Belize, The Bahamas, Cayman
Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands.
With respect to the funding of the Arbitration Award for academic and senior administrative staff a the St. Augustine Campus, UWI, and the settlement of
arrears, the Conference noted the commitments by Governments to make the necessary arrangements for resolving these matters.
Heads of Government recognised that the marine environment, particularly that of small island states with special hydrographic and ecological characteristics,
is vulnerable to pollution. They acknowledged the importance of the Caribbean Environment Programme in protecting he Region's fragile ecosystem and
agree that it was necessary for all the a CARICOM States to sign the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the wider
Caribbean Region, and the Protocol concerning co-operation in combating oil spills in the wider Caribbean as early as possible.
Conference reaffirmed the importance which it attached to CARIFESTA as a means of fostering awareness of the cultural identity and forging the solidarity of
the Caribbean peoples. It noted a number of proposals for the future organisation and hosting of this regional festival and decided that these proposals should
be referred to Member States for urgent consideration.
Conference accepted the offer of the Government of Jamaica to host CARIFESTA in 1988.
Concern that the music of the steelband is an art form of major significance to the people of the Region, the Conference decided that Member States should be
invited to serve on a Committee to consider and formulate proposals for a regional programme for development of the
The Conference approved the design of a flag for the Community.
The Conference set its congratulations to the Government and people of The Bahamas who during this week are celebrating their Tenth Anniversary of
They noted with satisfaction that another Member State of the Community, St. Kitts-Nevis, will shortly achieve its independence.
Conference expressed its appreciation to Dr Kurleigh King for his services over the past five years and noted that he would be leaving office on September 20,
Conference agreed to Council's recommendation that Mr Rodrick Rainford be appointed Secretary-General at the end of the present incumbent's term, that is
from September 21, 1983
At the conclusion of their Meeting, the Heads of Government expressed their gratitude for the excellent arrangements which the host Government, Trinidad
and Tobago, had made for the holding of their Fourth Meeting and for the warm hospitality of its people.
Conference accepted the invitation from The Bahamas to hold its Fifth-Meeting in The Bahamas during the first week in July 1984.
Conference also decided that in future it would meet every year during the first week of July; the annual meetings would coincide with the anniversary of the
Treaty of Chaguaramas.
PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
8 July 1983