Caricom Review Commission to submit report soon

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

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THE report of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Review Commission is expected to be completed and submitted to Cabinet shortly.

Speaking to heads of diplomatic missions at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, said following Cabinet’s deliberations, the "report will ultimately be made public and also shared with partners".


The commission, which was set up by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, has been charged to examine Jamaica’s role in Caricom and how the regional bloc has impacted the country’s development. The commission is chaired by former prime minister, Bruce Golding.


Senator Johnson Smith explained that the review aims to examine ways in which Jamaica can better secure value from the processes of regional integration and cooperation within the wider Caribbean region.


"Caricom is at a stage of review and renewal. The body itself is performing its own introspective review and so too Jamaica, as we think it is advisable for any organisation on which billions of dollars are spent and in which much time and resources are spent, that we should assess our place within the organisation and how it is that we can optimise our participation therein," she said.


She said the commission, which was established last year, does not only review Jamaica’s participation within Caricom.


"It also reviews the CARIFORUM member states as well, ensuring that the Dominican Republic and Cuba also form part of our relationship and expansion. That, of course, is connected to the broader policy mission of reviewing how the north- western Caribbean operates as a geographic and otherwise strategic reality that can be better utilised," she said.


A key matter for the commission’s consideration is whether the initial Treaty of Chaguaramas, which was negotiated for Caricom’s establishment in 1973 or its subsequent revision in 2001, has responded to the vast global changes occurring over the past 43 years.


Other topical issues for exploration include trade practices; the treatment of Jamaicans travelling to other Caricom countries; contrasts emerging between Caricom’s strategies and goals and those of individual countries and how these can be reconciled.


The function formed part of activities to observe Diplomatic Week 2017, which runs from February 5 to 10 under the theme: ‘Growth through Partnerships’.


—JIS


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