The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) formally welcomes the Cayman Islands as an Associate Member of the Community. They now join Turks and Caicos, The British Virgin Islands and Anguilla as Associate Members.
The Instrument for Associate Membership by the Cayman Islands was today signed in the Islands' capital city of George Town by Rt. Hon. Said Musa, Chairman of CARICOM, and Prime Minister of Belize on behalf of the Community, and Hon. W. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, Leader of Government Business, Minister of Tourism, Environment Development and Commerce on behalf of the Cayman Islands.
Heads of Government of CARICOM, at their Thirteenth Inter-Sessional Meeting held in Belize in February 2002, agreed to grant Associate Membership to the Cayman Islands and Bermuda in accordance with article 231 of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, which provides for such Membership of CARICOM.
Associate Membership grants functional cooperation and extends some rights and privileges to such members. Terms of Associate Membership of the Cayman Islands include:
The right to attend as an Observer, the meetings of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community and the Community Council of Ministers.
The right of participation (without the right to vote) in the deliberations of the Organs and Subsidiary Bodies of the Community, with the exception of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations in order to promote the interest of the Cayman Islands in specific programmes and measures including the right to propose programmes and measures, or the modification of programmes and measures, as well as to share in the benefits of all CARICOM regional programmes and measures whether proposed by the Cayman Islands or not.
The accession of the Cayman Islands as a CARICOM Associate Member is welcomed by both sides and is regarded as a positive and natural step towards a fuller integration of the family of nations of the Caribbean Community.