Trinidad to host Caricom 50th anniversary celebrations

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Trinidad and Tobago will host the 50th-anniversary celebrations of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) that coincide with the annual summit to be held in July this year.

Informed sources told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that Dominica was originally scheduled to host the July 3-6 summit, but has asked for Port of Spain to be the venue.

According to the sources, the Roosevelt Skerrit government is of the opinion that Trinidad and Tobago should host the 50th-anniversary celebrations given that the Treaty of Chaguaramas, which governs the 15-member regional integration grouping, was signed in Chaguaramas, west of Port of Spain, on July 4, 1973.

The treaty is a juridical hybrid consisting of the Caribbean Community as a separate legal entity from the Common Market which had its discrete legal personality. It was signed by Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago and came into effect on August 1, 1973.

The Revised Treaty, establishing the Caribbean Community, including the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) was signed in the Bahamas on July 5, 2001, and provides inter alia, for integration of efforts in economic matters, co-ordination of foreign policies and functional cooperation in a list of areas including labour administration and industrial relations and social security among subscribing states.

It came into effect on January 1, 2006.

The source told CMC that Trinidad and Tobago has since appointed its Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister, Dr Amery Browne, to head the committee planning the 50th-anniversary event.

At their last summit in the Bahamas last month, Caricom leaders acknowledged that a 50th anniversary is “a very special occasion for any organisation.

They reflected that for the Caribbean Community, marking the occasion should have a dual purpose. First, it should be a time for review, reflection, reform and renewal, in terms of looking back at the last fifty years and strategising for the next fifty.

“Second, it should serve as an opportunity for the entire Community to celebrate in recognition of the achievements to date,” according to the communique issued in Nassau.

It said in that regard, the regional leaders “considered proposals for the Caricom Fiftieth Anniversary Celebrations and agreed on the need to develop and implement activities at the national and regional levels in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Caricom”.

The regional leaders are expected to receive an update on their matter when they gather in Port of Spain on April 17-18 for Caricom Regional Symposium addressing crime and violence as a public health issue.

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