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Overview Let start by defining “CARICOM”. It stands for the Caribbean Community and Common Market. It was establish by the treated of Chaguaramas, which was signed by four countries, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica and Guyana and came into effect on August, 1973. However after, many years of existence CARICOM has extended to sixteen (16) members and eleven (11) CARICOM observers. The sixteen CARICOM members are Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos Islands, The Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago. The eleven CARICOM observers are Anguilla, The Cayman Islands, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, and Netherlands Antilles. The formation came about when the initial four countries governments saw the need for an integration of its members and economies, and the creation of a common market. History The establishment of CARICOM was a result of a 15-year effort to fulfil the hope of regional integration which was born with the establishment of the British West Indies Federation in 1958. When the West Indies Federation came to an end in 1962, came the beginning of what is now called the Caribbean Community. Remember both Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica establish independence during that same year and with the power to control their own domestic and external affairs. To discuss the concept of the formation of a single market among Caribbean Community, the prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago convened the first heads of government conference in July 1963, in Chaguaramas Trinidad. At this Conference, the leaders of the four (4) Caribbean Countries all spoke clearly of the need for close cooperation with Europe, Africa and Latin America. The first Heads of Government Conference proved to be the first in a series of Conferences among the leaders of Commonwealth Caribbean Countries. In July 1965, talks between the Premiers of Barbados and British Guiana and the Chief Minister of Antigua on the possible establishment of a Free Trade Area in the Caribbean resulted in the announcement that month of definite plans to establish such a Free Trade Area. This was carried further in December that year (1965), when the Heads of Government of Antigua, Barbados and British Guiana signed an Agreement at Dickenson Bay, Antigua, to set up the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA).
In the interest of common action and close cooperation among all the Commonwealth Caribbean territories, the actual start of the Free Trade Association was deliberately delayed in order to allow the rest of the Region, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica and all the Windward and Leeward islands to become members of the newly formed Free Trade Association. The Fourth Heads of Government Conference agreed to establish CARIFTA formally and to include as many Commonwealth Countries as possible in a new agreement of December 1965. It was also agreed that the Free Trade Association was to be the beginning of what would become the Caribbean Common Market which would be established (through a number of stages) for the achievement of a viable Economic Community of Caribbean Territories. It was at the Seventh Heads of Government Conference in October 1972, that the Caribbean Leaders decided to transform CARIFTA into a Common Market and establish the Caribbean Community of which the Common Market would be an integral part. At the Eighth Heads of Government Conference of CARIFTA held in April 1973 in Georgetown, Guyana the decision to establish the Caribbean Community was brought into fruition with the consideration of Heads of Government of the draft legal instruments and with the signing by 11 members of CARIFTA (the exception being Antigua and Montserrat). The Accord provided for the signature of the Caribbean Community Treaty on July 4 and its coming into effect in August 1973, among the then four independent countries: Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. The Georgetown Accord also provided that the other eight territories - Antigua, British Honduras, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Montserrat, St. Kitts/Nevis/Anguilla and St. Vincent which signed the Accord would become full members of the Community by May 1, 1974. One of the principal issues currently on the regional agenda, was the restructuring of the intergared process in the Community through the formation of a Single Market and Economy. Where it was at the eight CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in 1987 that the Prime Minister of Barbados presented the concept establishing a representative and deliberate institution which associates the people of the Region through their chosen representatives, with the task of promoting the Regional development process. However, two years later in 1989 at the 10th Conference of Heads of Government in Grenada, Barbados presented a discussion paper outlining a proposal for the formation of CSME, and in Marchc1990 an agreement was reached on a draft Inter Governmental Agreement providing for the establishment of the proposed body. A Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, establishing the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) was signed by the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community on July 5 2001 at their Twenty-Second Meeting of the Conference in Nassau, Bahamas.
The work of the CSM&E includes the negotiation of Protocols which will effectively amend the Treaty of Chaguaramas. The first of these, which provides for the restructuring of the Organs and Institutions of the Community, and redefining their functional relationship entered into force provisionally on July 4, 1997. Protocol II, on the rights of establishment, Provision of Services and Movement of Capital will enter into force upon signature by all Member States.
Formation of CSME
CSME stands for CARICOM Single Market and Economy. It is a single economic system that is designed to facilitate the pooling of the region’s financial, human and natural resources in order to build the economic capacity required to effectively respond to globalisation and the emergence of mega trading blocs. In 1989, the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community recognised the need to deepen the integration process in response to the changing world economic environment. This led to the decision to establish a Single Market and Economy. Of to date there are 13 member states, they are namely: − Antigua and Barbuda − Barbados − Belize − Dominica − Grenada − Guyana − Jamaica − Monsterrat − St. Kitts and Nevis − St. Lucia − St. Vincent and the Grenadines − Suriname − Trinidad and Tobago Mission Statement We envision a Caribbean Community in which every citizen has the opportunity to realise his or her human potential and is guaranteed the full enjoyment of their human rights in every sphere; in which social and economic justice is enshrined in law and embedded in practice; a Community from which poverty, unemployment and social exclusion have been banished; in which all citizens willingly accept a responsibility to contribute to the welfare of their fellow citizens and to the common good; and one which serves as a -3-
vehicle for the exercise of the collective strength of the Caribbean region, and the affirmation of the collective identity of the Caribbean people, in the world community. The CSME will be implemented in two phases; the first phase is CARICOM Single Market which is expected to be fully implemented by 1st of January 2009. The CARICOM Single Market is an arrangement which allows CARICOM goods, services, people and capital, also movements throughout the Caribbean Community without tariffs and without restrictions which would assist in achieving a single, large economic space, and provide a common economic and trade policy. The basic implementation actions are: − Extension of free movement of labour to teachers, nurses and domestic workers. − Streamlining of procedures for free movement of labour including contingent rights and transfer of social security benefits. − Implementation of free movement of service providers, with streamlined procedures. Implementation of Legal status for the CARICOM Charter for Civil Society. − Implementation of recommendations of the Technical Working Group on Governance along with the preparation and agreement of a regional Human Resource Development. − Establishment and commencement of operations of the Regional Development Fund. − Agreement among Central Banks on common CARICOM currency. − Establishment of the Regional Stock Exchange. The second phase is carded to take place between 2009 and 2015 which includes CARICOM Single Economy. The CARICOM Single Economy is an arrangement which further harmonises economic, monetary and fiscal policies and measures across all Member States of the Caribbean Community to strengthen and support the sustainable development of the region. This would mean the coordination of foreign exchange and interest rate policies, the harmonisation of tax regimes and of laws and the convergence of economic performance, common policies on agriculture and the energy sectors among other measures. The basic implementation actions for phase two are: − Implementation of common policies in Energy-related industries, Agriculture, Sustainable tourism and agro-tourism, Transport, and Small and medium enterprises. − Harmonization of taxation systems, incentives, and financial and regulatory environment. − Harmonisation of fiscal and monetary policies. − Implementation of Regional Competition Policy and Regional Intellectual Property Regime. − Implementation of CARICOM Monetary Union. Some benefits of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy are: − Increased production and trade in goods and services in a combined market of over approximately million persons and for the world beyond -4-
− Competitive products of better quality and prices − Improved services provided by enterprises and individuals, including transportation and communication − Greater opportunity for travel − Opportunities for nationals to study and work in CARICOM countries of their choice − Increased employment and improved standards of living The targeted areas of development are economic, social, environmental and governmental. The economic sector of the CSME offers an accelerated economic growth through adjustment and transformation of regional economies and an improved global competitiveness through sustained innovation and productivity. The main drivers of economic growth and transformation are expected to come from the goods and services industries in the area of the energy sectors, agriculture, forestry and fishing, manufacturing, tourism and some exports services. This would be achieved by a harmonising of the foreign trade policies, human resource utilisation, monetary incentives, transport, investment, financial services, capital market integration, quality infrastructure and functional corporate cooperation. The social element is targeting an investment in the human capital of the member states, reasserting the role of culture by through education, preservation and presentation of cultural heritage, the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) which would focus on skills for employment for both national and regional level and a public policy in labour-management relations all sectors of the work force, inclusive of a decent minimum wage and conditions agreement. The environmental dimension is this harmonization includes the adoption of a common Environmental Regulatory Regime which protects preserves and manages the natural environment to ensure sustainable development, so that investors and other economic agents can operate across the entire space of the CSME on the basis of the same policies and regulations. Also, sponsoring the preparation and publication of a regular State of the CARICOM Environment reports, including the status of implementation of national laws and international commitments relating to the environment with particular attention to priority issues such as the coastal and marine environment, forestry and watershed management, 17 waste disposal and recycling, climate change impact analysis and adaptation, and natural disasters impact and management. CSME is not a political union but is trying to implement the automatic application of decisions of the Conference of Heads of Government at the national level in certain defined areas, the creation of a CARICOM Commission with Executive Authority, the automatic generation of resources to fund regional institutions, the strengthening of the role of the Assembly of Caribbean Community Parliamentarians. Although the CSME is overflowing with possibilities it should not be regarded as the overall cure for a country’s economic problems. -5-
The Conference of Heads of Government consists of the Heads of Government of the Member States. Any Head of Government may designate a Minister or other person to represent him or her at any Meeting of the Conference. The Conference is the supreme Organ of the Community and determines and provides policy direction for the Community. Except where otherwise provided in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, the Conference 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 and may take decisions in order to establish the financial arrangements necessary to defray the expenses of the Community and is the final authority on questions arising in relation to the financial affairs of the Community. The Conference may establish such Organs or Bodies as it considers necessary for the achievement of the objectives of the Community and issues directives of a general or special character to other Organs & Bodies of the Community, in regards to achieving of the objectives of the Community. Contributing Community Organs and Bodies Some major contributing bodies are the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) and the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an inter-governmental organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance between countries and dependencies in the Eastern Caribbean. It also performs the role of spreading responsibility and liability in the event of natural disaster, such as a hurricane. The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) shall be responsible for the promotion of trade and economic development of the Community. In particular, COTED shall promote the development and oversee the operation of the CSME, evaluate and establish measures to enhance production, quality control and marketing of industrial and agricultural commodities, establish and promote measures to accelerate structural diversification of industrial and agricultural production, promote and develop policies and programmes to facilitate the transportation of people and goods, promote measures for the development of energy and natural resources, establish and promote measures for the accelerated development of science and technology, promote and develop policies for the protection of and preservation of the environment, promote and develop policies for the enhancement of external economic and trade relations of the Community, and undertake any additional functions remitted to it by the Conference, arising under this Treaty. The Caribbean Court of Justice will serve two main roles. To act as a court that can handle trade disputes amongst CARICOM member states (Original Jurisdiction). A Court
that will eventually serve as a court of final appeal, replacing the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London. The reasons given for the establishment of a supreme appellate court are many and varied, including a perceived regional disenfranchisement with the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The Treaty was revised through a series of protocols - legal instruments setting out the new rules - and in 2001, these protocols were integrated into the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. The following is the institutional structure of the Community as set out in the Revised Treaty: Principal Organs − The Conference of Heads of Government (and its Bureau) − The Community Council of Ministers (The Community Council) The principal organs are assisted by four 'Organs', three 'bodies' and by the CARICOM Secretariat - 'the Principal Administrative Organ'. The organs are: − The Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) − The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) − The Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) − The Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) The bodies are: − The Legal Affairs Committee: provides legal advice to the organs and bodies of the Community − The Budget Committee (examines the draft budget and work programme of the Secretariat and submits recommendations to the Community Council) − The Committee of Central Bank Governors: provides recommendations to the COFAP on monetary and financial matters
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