CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana) The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is engaged in an all out effort to complete the institutional framework to take forward the regional integration process. Among the critical areas being addressed is the implementation of Protocol VII in which case the Community Council of Ministers will be defining a way forward. They will also look at the future of the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) and review the progress being made towards the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
These are some of the key areas likely to come before the Sixth Meeting of the Community Council of Ministers due to convene in Bridgetown, Barbados 16-17 June, 2000. The Council will bring to bear perspective on the course of deliberations of the Twenty-First Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community which will be convened in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in July.
The Council is the second highest decision-making organ of CARICOM with responsibility for the development of Community strategic planning and co-ordination in the areas of economic integration, functional cooperation and external relations.
Also down on the Council’s agenda for the two-day deliberations is a request for the establishment of a regional climate change centre, and the establishment of a special support unit for Haiti, the lone provisional member of CARICOM.
The Council is also expected to be updated on the proposed CARICOM Passport which the Heads of Government had agreed to at their Seventh Special Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago in October last year. This defining symbol of regionalism is also linked to moves to strengthen the involvement of Civil Society in Community activities, another issue likely to engage The Council’s attention along with the staging of the Caribbean Festival of Creative Arts (CARIFESTA) VII in St. Kitts and Nevis in August.
The Council is also expected to convene in a retreat to look at proposals for the review of its role and functioning. This organ consists of Ministers responsible for Community Affairs and any other Minister designated by Member States.