BASSETERRE, St Kitts – The following is the edited communiqué issued at the end of the 32nd regular meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) here today.
“The Thirty-Second Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was held at Frigate Bay, St. Kitts and Nevis from 30 June – 4 July 2011. The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr Denzil Douglas presided.
“Other members of the Conference in attendance were: the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Hon. Winston Baldwin Spencer; the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham; the Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon. Freundel Stuart; the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerritt; the Prime Minister of Grenada, Hon. Tillman Thomas; the President of the Republic of Guyana, His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo; the President of the Republic of Haiti, His Excellency Michel Martelly; the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Hon. Bruce Golding; the Chief Minister of Montserrat, Hon. Reuben Meade; the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Hon. Stephenson King; the President of the Republic of Suriname, His Excellency Desiré Delano Bouterse; and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
“Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade represented Belize and the Hon. Dr. Douglas Slater, Minister of Foreign Affairs, represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Chief Minister of Anguilla, Hon. Hubert Benjamin Hughes, represented that Associate Member.
Order of the Caribbean Community (OCC)
“Sir Edwin Carrington, former Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, was invested with the Community’s highest honour, the Order of the Caribbean Community. In presenting the Award, the Community heralded him as instrumental in deepening the regional integration process, having overseen the revision of the Treaty of Chaguaramas and the consequent transition of the Community from a Common Market to a Single Market.
CARICOM Triennial Award for Women
“The Tenth CARICOM Triennial Award for Women was bestowed upon Professor Violet Eudine Barriteau Deputy Principal, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, for her outstanding contribution to Gender and Development and the socio-economic development of the Caribbean Community.
Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community
“Heads of Government reviewed the recommendations made by the Search Committee for the post of Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community. They agreed to conduct interviews with the short-listed candidates within two weeks and committed themselves to making a decision on the new Secretary-General shortly thereafter.
Review of the CARICOM Secretariat
“Heads of Government received an initial report and held discussions with the team of consultants on the on-going Review of the CARICOM Secretariat. They looked forward to further interaction with the team during their in-country consultations and to receiving their final report before the end of the year.
“The Review of the Secretariat is the first in a series of initiatives mandated by the Heads of Government towards improving governance arrangements within the Community. The Review of the CARICOM Secretariat will be followed by a review of all Organisations and Institutions established within the Community.
PRIORITIES FOR THE COMMUNITY
“In elaborating on discussions held at their Special Retreat in Guyana on 21-22 May on the priorities for the Community, Heads of Government affirmed the importance of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) in advancing the development of the Region.
“They reiterated the importance of ensuring a fully effective and efficient Single Market which is critical to making the Region more competitive and better equipped to compete in the global market place. While reiterating their intention to review the schedule towards full implementation of the Single Economy, putting a pause on specific elements, such as the creation of a Single Currency, Heads of Government highlighted the critical importance of advancing implementation of those elements of the Single Economy which would create an environment more conducive to investment and job creation.
“With special reference to agriculture, Heads of Government reiterated the importance of the sector to the socio-economic development of the Region. They agreed on the need for action which would more effectively take the plans and programmes already developed from paper to field to market to ensure food and nutrition security for the Region.
“The issue of transportation continued to engage the attention of the Heads of Government. They recognised that efforts were being made to resolve the challenges posed but recognised that these were not yet adequate to address the problem.
“Heads of Government called on the private sector, civil society particular labour, and the universities of the Region to help create innovative solutions to encouraging competitiveness. They received an update on the formation of the Caribbean Business Council and recognised it as an important element in the continued engagement with the private sector.
“Heads of Government agreed that the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on cricket should engage the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) in an effort to resolve their on-going dispute. This Sub-Committee comprises Heads of Government of Antigua and Barbuda (Chair), Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the Chair of the Conference as an ex officio member (St. Kitts and Nevis).
“Heads of Government received a report from the Chairman of the Council for National Security and Law Enforcement regarding the Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS).
“They commended the Council for its actions to date and looked forward to the conclusion of the audit of the Agency and a further report from the CONSLE on the recommendations arising out of the investigations.
“Heads of Government adopted the CARICOM Declaration on Small Arms and Light Weapons as the regional mechanism in the collective effort to combat the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and their ammunition. They noted with grave concern that the use of these weapons has spawned an alarming rise in murders and gun violence throughout the Region. A copy of the CARICOM Declaration is provided on pages 14 to 16. (CMC)