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DECLARATION OF DICKENSON BAY ISSUED BY THE TWENTY-NINTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF GOVERNMENT OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM), 1-4 JULY 2008, BOLANS, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


Posted in: Statements from CARICOM Meetings | 05 July 2008 | Release Ref #: NA | 830

    We, the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), meeting at Dickenson Bay, Antigua and Barbuda, on the occasion of the Twenty-Ninth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government, and on the 35th Anniversary of the Community;

    Recalling the historic signing, 43 years ago, of the Dickenson Bay Agreement that brought into existence the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) which evolved into the Caribbean Community;

    Acknowledging the vision of unity of the Founding Fathers of the Caribbean Community;

    Being conscious of the accomplishments of the Community over the past 35 years, including the launching of the Single Market and the commitment to the establishment of the Single Economy;

    Noting that the regional integration process remains the only viable option for a Community of small developing states in the current global economic dispensation;

    Recognising the need for strong leadership and resolute commitment to the integration process;

    Affirming the continuing need to invest in the development of the human and other resources of the Community in the movement towards deeper integration, and to ensure that our citizens live in a peaceful and safe environment, that they enjoy an improved standard of living and quality of life, and that their rights are protected;

    Fully convinced that communication with and the participation and involvement of the Peoples of the Community are critical to meeting the objectives of the Community;

    Acknowledging the communication gap that exists across/within the Community and the need to elevate mass communication with the Caribbean people to the top of the Regional agenda; 

    Declare:

    Our renewed commitment to regional integration;

    Full support for the initiatives to advance the achievement of the objectives as set out in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas;

    That we will use all means possible to galvanise the People of the Community as active participants in the integration process and embrace the media and other stakeholders as partners to accomplish this objective;

    Our full support for the streamlining of the procedures of the integration process including an enhanced role for the Bureau of Heads of Government in representing the Community, in fostering implementation of Community decisions; and further strengthening of the quasi cabinet;

    Our support for a variable geometry of integration which would allow for variation in the pace of accession to the integration arrangements;

    Our intention to strengthen national systems to advance implementation of Community decisions;

    Our intention to give renewed attention to the elaboration of the best methods by which the above objectives may be realised.

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