The Sixteenth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community was held in Georgetown, Guyana on 4 – 7 July, 1995.
ADMISSION OF SURINAME TO THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY AND COMMON MARKET
The Conference formally admitted Suriname as the fourteenth Member of the Caribbean Community, following the deposit by that country of the Instruments of Accession to the Treaty establishing the Caribbean Community and the Common Market. The instrument of Accession to the Common Market makes provision for Suriname to implement the arrangements relating to the Common Market effective 1 January 1996. The admission of Suriname gave effect to the decision adopted at the Sixth Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government held in Belize City, Belize in February 1995.
Heads of Government in attendance were: Hon. Lester Bird, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antigua and Barbuda; Hon. Owen Arthur, Prime Minister of Barbados; Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Belize; Hon. Edison C. James, Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs, legal Affairs and Labour of the Commonwealth of Dominica; Dr. the Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada; His Excellency dr. Cheddi Jagan, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana; Rt. Hon. Percival J. Patterson, Prime Minister of Jamaica; Hon. Reuben Meade, Chief Minister of Montserrat; Rt. Hon. John Compton, Prime Minister and Minister of finance, Planning and Development, Saint Lucia; Rt. Hon. Sir James Mitchell, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, St Vincent and the Grenadines;. His Excellency Dr. Runaldo Ronald Venetiaan, President of the Republic of Suriname, Hon. Patrick Manning, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
Hon. Janet A. Bostwick, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, headed the delegation of that country.
The British Virgin Islands, an Associate Member of the Caribbean Community, was represented by Ms Lorna Smith, Permanent Secretary, Chief Minister’s Office.
The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis was not represented at the Conference.
Also present at the Opening Ceremony were H. E. Ms Claudette Werleigh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Haiti; Mr Carlos A. Morales Troncoso, Secretary of State for External Affairs, Dominican Republic; Ambassadors and Special Envoys of the Governments of Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico; the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Joseph Verner Reed; the Assistant Secretary-General of the OAS, Ambassador Christopher Thomas.
CONFERMENT OF THE ORDER OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (OCC)
The Order of the Caribbean Community was conferred on four distinguished nationals of the Caribbean Community. Receiving this award were; Hon. Nita Barrow, OCC, Governor-General of Barbados; Hon. Telford Georges OCC, of Dominica; Hon. Alister McIntyre, OCC, of Grenada and Hon. Michael Manley, OCC, of Jamaica.
The Conference received messages of goodwill from the Secretary-General of the United Nations and also from the Presidents of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Mexico.
The Prime Minister of Belize, Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel, out-going Chairman of the Conference, delivered a statement at the Opening Ceremony. In his statement, the Prime Minister observed that the problem faced by Members States in dealing with the large issue of a unified market and economy, required not only political will but also a willingness on the part of the people of the Region to risk what little each of them may have achieved in the hope that they may all be better off in the end. He noted that several fears which are felt, including loss of jobs, loss of internal markets, loss of land, loss of sovereignty, are not irrational fears, but that like any other fear individuals may have, must be admitted and addressed and the Community must plan its actions so that these can be overcome.
In his remarks as incoming Chairman of the Community, the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Hon. Edison James, emphasised that “in the final analysis, we must realise that our survival depends on our working together as a body. The saying “United we stand and divided we fall” may now sound banal, but the sentiment is one that needs to be imbedded deep in the psyche of Caribbean peoples. We must never forget that our interests do not always receive recognition in the international arena, but sometimes we are pitted against powerful opposing forces. Thus it is only as a united team that we can safeguard the Region’s interest, that we can ensure the prosperity of the Region and its peoples.”
The President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, H.E. Dr. Cheddi Jagan, incoming-Chairman of the Conference, in his Address stated the “In short, the regional integration process must be people-driven. The social partners must be included in our consultations. And our peoples must be fee to travel, work and settle, without let or hindrance, in any of our Member States, thereby bringing us even closer together and contributing, in meaningful terms, to our collective development.” He added that “We need an agenda for development for our Region. Past models have proven to be ineffective. We must elaborate a new strategy not only for political stability and peace but also for economic growth and human development.”
The Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Hon. Keith Mitchell, in his statement, emphasised that “the economic and social growth of our Community must be linked to its level of scientific research and development and its ability to apply that research and development utilising modern technology”. He also issued a strong appeal to fellow Heads of Government to implement the decision which they take and to do so on a timely basis.
The President of the Republic of Suriname, H.E. Hon. Runaldo Ronald Venetiaan, in his maiden Address tot he Conference, noted that “with the accession of Suriname to the Caribbean Community and the Caribbean Common Market, a new and important chapter has been added to the process of integration in our Region.” He added that in his country’s search for partners it had opted, “on the basis of historical, geographical, socio-economic and culture considerations, for countries and peoples which would offer Suriname a natural environment in the immediate vicinity. We know have found this in CARICOM”.
The Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community in his address, remarked that “unfortunately the Community and its Member States continue to miss significant opportunities to further strengthen the Regional Integration Process by the slow or non-implementation of a number of Community decisions freely taken.” He added that “this defaulting, especially on issues directly affecting the lives of citizens such as freer intra-regional travel as well as freedom for skilled nationals to move and work throughout Member States, greatly risks destroying faith in the Community, its Institutions and indeed, its leadership”.
The Conference observed one-minute’s silence as a mark of respect for the late Hon. Lavity Stoutt, former Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands, an Associate Member of the Caribbean Community, who passed away on Sunday, 4 May 1995.
CALL FOR EXPEDITIOUS ACTION
Discussions were held in a frank and open manner as Heads of Government assessed the state of the regional Integration Movement. They were encouraged by the number of significant successes to date. The Community has instituted currency convertibility; has adopted Regional Education and Cultural Policies; and is in full accord with the text for an Agreement on Reciprocal Social Security Arrangements. In the area of external relations, the effectiveness of the coordination of the foreign policies of the Member States of the Community was highlighted, inter alia, by collective action at the Summit of the Americas and the establishment of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), an initiative developed and promoted by the Caribbean Community.
The spirit in which the Meeting was conducted, and the determination to fulfil the promises made to the people of the Caribbean Community, derived its impetus from the statements made at the Opening Ceremony, and from the words of wisdom and messages of encouragement that were conveyed by the four distinguished recipients of the Order of the Caribbean Community.
Heads of Government recognised, that although much work remained to be done, it was necessary as a pre-condition to deciding on activities in preparation for the 21st Century, to ensure the fulfilment of undertakings already given. They therefore took decisive steps with regard to the following:
|– Movement of Skills
– Privatisation of LIAT
– Implementation of a Multilateral Air Services Agreement
– Strengthening the Institutional Capacity of the Region
– Establishment of the Caribbean Supreme Court
PROGRESSION TOWARDS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SINGLE MARKET AND ECONOMY
Heads of Government, in their discussions on the Single Market and economy, reviewed the progress of activity in several areas related to the Single Market.
Movement of Skills
With respect to the Movement of Skills, Heads of Government agreed to expand their original decision for unrestricted movement of graduates of regional universities to work in Common Market States, to apply to all CARICOM nationals who are graduates of accredited institutions, and that this provision should apply from 1 January 1996. They also agreed that Member States would be free to extend similar treatment to non graduates with those skills as may be required. In doing so they reaffirmed the critical nature of this issue to the success of a true Single Market and Economy.
In support of this decision, Heads of Government further instructed the Secretary-General, in collaboration with the regional universities and Member States to look at accreditation issues and to develop the administrative machinery and procedures necessary to implement the free movement of a CARICOM national who are university graduates. They further mandated the Secretariat to draft model legislation to give effect to this decision and to make the model legislation available to Member States by 30 September 1995.
Heads of Government recognised that an important incentive to induce and sustain the free movement of skilled persons is the preservation, protection and payment of social security benefits. In this context, they agreed to take all necessary steps to allow the CARICOM Agreement on Social Security to enter into force from 1 January 1996.
Regional Free Trade
With respect to the completion of the free trade area, an important basic feature of the Single Market, they noted that significant progress had been achieved since their Inter-Sessional Meeting in February 1995 with respect to the removal of the requirement of import licenses on intra-regional trade. In this regard, they received information that the remaining three Member States – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and Montserrat had taken the necessary action to remove this requirement, with a limited number of exceptions. At the same time, they expressed appreciation for the declaration by Barbados that licensing requirements would be removed on all remaining items by 31 December 1995.
Heads of Government were advised of the incidence of other barriers to trade and, in an effort to identify and remove these, mandated officials to meet with two months to address the whole question of the application of licensing and other barriers to intra-regional trade.
In addition, Heads of Government noted the entry into force in June 1995 of (new) Article 29A of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, a safeguard provision relating to intra-regional trade in agricultural products, and accepted that this will open the way for full free trade in primary agricultural products in CARICOM.
The Common External Tariff
With respect to the Common External Tariff, the Heads of Government acknowledged the implementation of the second phase of the CET by the agreed date of 30 June 1995, by Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and noted the commitment by Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to implement this phase by 30 September, following the recent completion by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) of a study on the revenue impact of the reductions in the CET. In relation to Montserrat, Heads of Government agreed that in light of the level of the rates of duty in the Customs tariff of that Member State, Montserrat would implement a tariff which reflects the rate levels agreed for the CET in 1998, with certain differences in light of the trade and other concerns of Montserrat.
Heads of government reaffirmed their approval of the implementation by Belize of the first phase of the CET in April 1996, to coincide with a tax reform programme which will be introduced in that Member State.
In recalling their agreement in 1992, at the time of adoption of the revised CET, for a programme of technical and financial assistance for the productive sector in the region, the Heads of Government welcomed the approval of the Lomé IV Caribbean Regional Trade Development Programme which contained a programme aimed at increasing the competitiveness of regional industry, and the call for priority attention to be paid to the needs of industrial enterprises in the LDCs.
Heads of Government welcomed the information from the Council of Central Bank Governors that, with the exception of The Bahamas, all Central Banks have put in place arrangements for the implementation of currency repatriation.
Heads of Government noted that the current bilateral arrangements for the settlement of intra-regional trade payments are working satisfactorily. They endorsed the recommendations form Ministers responsible for Finance that the CARICOM Multilateral Clearing Facility (CMCF) should not be reactivated or any other similar facility instituted at this time.
They recalled their decision taken in 1992 to establish a Monetary Union by the year 2000 and noted that convergence of macro-economic policies was an important first step to this process. They agreed to mandate the Central Bank Governors to take a more pro-active role in the facilitation of policy convergence of Member States.
Movement of Capital
Heads of Government observed that several regional enterprises have made cross border investments without utilising the provisions of the CARICOM Enterprise Regime (CER). They noted that since its signature, developments have occurred both regionally and internationally, which are likely overtime to remove the impediments to the intra-regional economic activity. In this context, they agreed to terminate the CARICOM Enterprise Regime.
Heads of Government noted that despite these developments the pace of implementation by Member States of measures aimed at creating the Single Market and economy as still below expectations. They expressed the desire for technical support to be provided to assist Member States in the implementation of decisions.
THE PRIVATISATION OF LIAT
The structure for the privatisation of the regional airline LIAT (1974) Ltd was agreed when the Heads of Government meeting as shareholders amended the plan based on the proposal of their representatives and agreed on the allocation of the airline’s shares to regional private sector and government bidders. The plan provides for approximately 80 per cent ownership by regional private sector investors from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St. Kitts and Nevis involving the participation of the regional carriers BWIA, and Air Caribbean, the employees of LIAT, indigenous banks and credit unions as well as the shareholder Governments in CARIB Express.
Heads of Government also took another significant step in their decision to implement as early as possible, the amended Multilateral Agreement Concerning the Operation of Air Services Within the Community. This Agreement would embrace the operations of LIAT, CARIB Express, BWIA and all other CARICOM air carriers of the signatory states within a regulatory framework for a more liberal and transparent exchange of commercial route rights within the Caribbean Community in the context of traffic requirements, thereby fostering healthy competition and growth, and improved quality and economic efficiency in the operation of regional air transport services. The implementation of this Agreement is an important component of the establishment of the Single Market.
The Agreement was conceived against the backdrop of the initiatives being taken within the international air transport environment with respect to liberalisation, globalisation, the creation of regional groupings and the likely impact of these and other developments on the growth, expansion and efficiency of air transport.
The Governments of Antigua and Barbuda and Guyana agreed to give route rights to CARIB Express by 20 July 1995.
STRENGTHENING THE REGION’S INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY
Heads of Government reviewed progress made within the Secretariat to strengthen that institution of the Community with the appointment of three Assistant Secretaries-General and a General Counsel; the putting into effect of a new management system and the adoption of an integrated approach to the Secretariat’s Work Programme and Budget.
They welcomed the establishment of a Technical Action Services Unit (TASU) with the assistance of the Government of Canada through the Caribbean Regional Institutional Strengthening Programme (CRISP) to assist in the implementation of the Community’s decisions, particularly in those areas where technical inputs not readily available in Member States were required. Heads of Government expressed their gratitude to the Government of Canada for their assistance provided.
TRENDS IN THE REGIONAL ECONOMY
Heads of Government observed that most CARICOM countries experienced improved economic performance in 1994 but that high levels of unemployment also continued to be a major problem in most countries. They reiterated their commitment to pursue policies which create a climate to stimulate investment and increased employment opportunities and, at the same time, provide a sustainable, social safety net for the protection of the most vulnerable sectors of their population.
FINANCING CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT
Heads of Government adopted the recommendations and areas for priority for the development of capital markets in CARICOM. In so doing, they noted that several Member States had already implemented elements of the recommendations on the legal regulatory framework and therefore committed themselves to accelerating the process of capital market development in each Member State.
Heads of Government viewed with extreme concern the severe debt burden facing several Member States, mindful of its detrimental effects upon the development of regional economies. They welcomed Guyana’s call for concerted action to secure debt reduction including debt relief from the multilateral institutions.
Heads of Government noted Guyana’s willingness to assume the lead responsibility for the debt issue within the context of follow-up to the Summit of the Americas.
Heads of Government acknowledged with appreciation the contribution the donor Community has made to the development process at both the national and regional levels.
They noted with disappointment however the trend towards a decline in official development assistance to the Caribbean and expressed concern that the decline was taking place at a time when countries in the Region were undertaking the economic transformation necessary to ensure international competitiveness while minimising social dislocations.
Heads of Government agreed to work towards strengthening the Region’s negotiating position vis-à-vis development agencies and donor countries.
They also agreed to improve aid management capabilities at both national and regional levels in order to optimise the use of available resources.
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND
Heads of Government endorsed the proposal developed by Guyana for the establishment of the Regional Development Fund (RDF) in the context of the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). They acknowledged the President of Guyana’s expression of gratitude to Members States and the CARICOM Secretariat for their assistance in refining the concept of the RDF.
To further advance the concept, Heads of Government mandated their representatives to pursue the initiative at all levels including the Organisation of American States (OAS) and other Multilateral Organisations with which they are associated.
Heads of Government noted Guyana’s expressed interest in participating in the Working Group on Smaller Economies, which Ministers, meeting at the Denver Trade Ministerial Meeting, agreed to establish.
JOINT CONSULTATIVE GROUP
Heads of Government agreed that the NGO Community should be represented in the Joint Consultative group and in this regard requested the Secretary-General to conduct a study of regional NGOs with a view to their more effective incorporation into the decision-making process.
They recognised this step as an important element of the wider dialogue that was taking place among the Governments, social partners and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) of the Region but stressed, however, that this should be a partnership with all the partners undertaking their duties and responsibilities in the implementation of the Community’s decisions.
Heads of Government accordingly received representatives for the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL), the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC) and for the first time representation of the NGO communities through the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC). They recognised the contribution which these three organisations were making to the further development of the Caribbean.
HUMAN AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT ISSUES
Heads of Government devoted attention to issues related to human and social development. They reviewed the conclusions and follow-up activities relating to the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994) and discussed the issues arising out of the World Summit on Social Development (Denmark 1995). They were firmly of the view that in order to ensure the sustainable development of the region, Member States needed to focus attention on promoting the quality of life of the citizens of the Community through the development of people-centred programmes. They acknowledged that the effectiveness of such programmes depended on the degree of consultation with, and involvement of, their social partners, including the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
FOURTH WORLD CONFERENCE ON WOMEN (FWCW)
Heads of Government also examined the status of the Community’s preparations for the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW) (China, September 1995) and favourably considered the request from the Seventh Meeting of Ministers with responsibility for the Integration of Women in Development (The Bahamas, May 1995) for the greater recognition of women’s issues in the deliberations of the Conference of the Heads of Government.
Heads of Government were of the view that the FWCW was an event of signal importance to the Region, and endorsed the plans to convene a retreat later in July 1995, in Barbados, for participants of the FWCW, including representatives of the NGO community active in this area. They reiterated support for the work being done by the Meeting of Ministers responsible for the Integration of Women in Development and endorsed the recommendations of the Seventh Ministerial Meeting for strengthening of the women’s movement.
Heads of Government recognised that all these International Meetings, as well as others before them, reflected a continued concern about the issues of poverty and unemployment as factors contributing to social dislocation, and constituting a threat to peace, security and stability. Heads of Government acknowledged that a renewed focus of attention was required in addressing such social issues as the human side of development; the empowerment of the individual; the rights of the child; the rights of women; and the involvement of civil society in the decision making process.
NEW GLOBAL HUMAN ORDER
In this regard, they supported the call by the President of Guyana for the establishment of a New Global Human Order which not only challenged the international community to make the next fifty years a time dedicated to social and ecological justice, but also agreed that each nation needed to set in place a new order of society that expressed concern for the security of nations and individuals and which prescribed the common set of values that must be adhered to for the attainment of a just, peaceful and secure society.
CHARTER OF CIVIL SOCIETY
In this spirit, Heads of Government recognised that the Charter of Civil Society developed on the basis of full consultation within Member states, could also become the basis of the regional response to the call for a new normative order. They therefore urged Member States which had not already done so to compete the process of national consultations of the draft Charter of Civil Society in order to secure its implementation by the Community.
PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM
Heads of Government received the report of the Working Group on Public Sector Reform and Administrative Restructuring, which emphasised the primacy of human resource development, management, and information systems, endorsed the recommendations and agreed to have them implemented at the national level with a minimum of delay. These recommendations are aimed at achieving more efficient and cost effective public services in support of sustainable human development.
They recognised that the implementation of these recommendations would contribute to the execution of the plan of Action adopted at the Summit of the Americas and agreed that the decision of the Summit on Governments and Public Administration be incorporated into the Work Programme of CARICAD.
THE MARKETING OF BANANAS
Heads of Government were concerned that the Caribbean Banana Industry remained threatened by the several attempts, including the 301 Action in the US, pressures on the European Union (EU) by the United States and the challenge mounted in the European Court of Justice, all seeking either dismantling or modification of the 404 Regime which, in response to the Banana Protocol of the Lomé Convention, facilitates the entry of Caribbean banana supplies to the European Market.
Heads of Government took notice of the several initiatives undertaken at the political level to sensitise EU Governments as to the key role played by the industry. In this context they agreed to continue to lobby the EU to resist the pressures of the US to modify the EU Banana Regime to the detriment of ACP States.
Heads of Government emphasised the need for the termination of the 301 Action, and agreed to continue their consultations with the Government of the United States.
Recognising that the future of the Caribbean Banana Industry rested significantly on its ability to better compete within the market place, support was given for the work being undertaken by producing States to modernise the industry.
CARIBBEAN BASIN TRADE SECURITY BILL
Heads of Government welcomed the bi-partisan support in the US Congress for the Caribbean Basin Trade Security Bill. They expressed their appreciation to President Clinton for his Administration’s support of the Bill and looked forward to its early passage.
ENHANCED TRADE ARRANGEMENTS BETWEEN CARICOM AND SELECTED COUNTRIES
Heads of Government reiterated the need for CARICOM to enhance trade arrangements with third countries in order to sustain growth in the face of the new global trading environment. They accepted a proposal by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to establish a framework under the aegis of the Prime Ministerial Committee on External Negotiations within which Trade Agreements with third states would be negotiated on the basis of an exemption clause.
SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS
Heads of Government recalled the decision from the Summit of the Americas to negotiate a Free Trade area of the Americas (FTAA) by the year 2005. They noted that the First Trade Ministerial Meeting had taken place in Denver, Colorado, USA on 30 June 1995 in accordance with the timetable in the Plan of Action. They observed that a number of working groups had been established to examine areas for immediate consideration and welcomed the establishment of the Working Group on smaller economies. They agreed on an approach to ensure that Region’s interests are promoted in the creation of the FTAA.
MID-TERM REVIEW OF LOMÉ IV
Heads of Government in noting the conclusion of negotiations on the Mid-term Review of Lomé IV expressed appreciation to the Government of France for the role which it had played in brokering an agreement on the size of the financial envelope of the Eight European Development Fund (EDF). They expressed disappointment that little progress had been made with respect to trade cooperation.
WORLD FOOD SUMMIT
Heads of Government reaffirmed the conclusions of the Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Agriculture (SCMA) as well as the Resolution of the SCMA endorsing the proposal of the Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to convene a World Food Summit in November 1996 and calling on financial institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and domestic and regional agencies to support FAO in this initiative.
Heads of Government noted the report of Prime Minister Esquivel of Belize on relations between Belize and Guatemala, in particular that relations throughout the year remained cordial, although no initiative emerged on the way forward to resolve the outstanding territorial claims of Guatemala. Belize continues to monitor illegal planting and logging by Guatemalans on Belizean territory, and this has been kept under control. Belize continues to attend official meetings in Central America at all levels, including that of Heads of Government, with no objection from Guatemala.
Heads of Government reiterated their strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize.
Heads of Government noted the report of the President of the Guyana on recent developments in Guyana-Venezuela relations and took note of Guyana’s apprehension at the concept of “globality” being advanced by Venezuela to guide the management of Guyana-Venezuela relations.
Heads of Government welcomed Guyana’s intention to establish a Parliamentary Select Committee on Border Affairs to deal with this issue. They also welcomed Guyana’s continued commitment to the McIntyre Process as the means of resolving the border controversy and reaffirmed their support for Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
RELATIONS WITH HAITI
Heads of Government agreed to accord the highest priority to the earliest functioning of the institutional machinery, already mandated to provide the vehicle for the most efficient and effective delivery of CARICOM assistance to Haiti, namely, the CARICOM-Haiti Joint Commission and the CARICOM Joint Mission in Haiti which will share the facilities of The Bahamas Embassy in Port-au-Prince.
Heads of Government reaffirmed the need to respond with urgency to the priority needs identified by the Haitian Government and submitted to CARICOM. CARICOM’s assistance would be given either directly, in conjunction with, or by encouragement to regional institutions, international organisations and the private sector.
Heads of Government expressed appreciation to the European Union (EU) for its agreement to assist the funding of a cadre of CARIFORUM experts and professionals to provide technical as well as managerial expertise to the Haitian Government.
Heads of Government expressed the Community’s continued admiration for the role being played by the CARICOM Peace-Keeping Contingent in Haiti and urged them to maintain these efforts in which the entire Community takes pride.
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF CARIBBEAN STATES (ACS)
Heads of Government welcomed the further progress made toward the establishment of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), including the quickened pace of ratification of the ACS Convention, noting that Instruments of Ratification had now been deposited by twelve CARICOM Member States. They looked forward to the early entry into force of the Convention and the convening of the First Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Association.
The formal establishment of the ACS will mark the culmination of an initiative that was developed and advanced by CARICOM, with the support of other Caribbean States, countries and territories and usher in a new era of co-operation among them, obliterating the separateness of the pass.
THE ACS-WIDE SUMMIT ON TOURISM, TRADE AND TRANSPORTATION
Heads of government received a report from the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago on preparations for the ACS-wide Summit on Tourism, Trade and transportation which is scheduled to convene on 17-18 August 1995 in Trinidad and Tobago. They expressed satisfaction at the state of preparations for and the level of response by countries to the ACS-Wide Summit and recognised the significance of the outcome of the Summit’s proceedings for the programme of the ACS.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REPORT ON THE CHANCELLOR’S COMMISSION ON THE GOVERNANCE OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES
Heads of Government received a report from the Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI) on the progress being made in implementing the report of the Chancellor’s Commission on the Governance of the University. It noted that a full report on the details of implementation would be shortly available to governments in good time for the special Meeting of the University Council scheduled for 24 November 1995.
Heads of Government however noted the intention of the chancellor and Vice-Chancellor of the University to call on Heads of Government for an informal exchange of views on the report prior to the Council’s meeting.
LAW PROGRAMME AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GUYANA
Heads of Government received a report from the Vice-Chancellor of the UWI regarding difficulties which had arisen as a result of the decision of the University of Guyana to introduce a full degree programme in Law, which was not in conformity with Inter-Governmental Agreement of 1970 establishing regional arrangements for the teaching of law.
The Vice-Chancellor of the UWI informed the Heads of Government that he had advised the President of Guyana about those difficulties, and informed him that UWI will make further efforts to resolve the matter with the University of Guyana, since it was unable at this time to certify the programme at the University within the provisions of the Inter-Governmental Agreement.
FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Heads of Government considered the Fiftieth Anniversary celebrations of the United Nations to be a significant occasion not only for a review of achievements but also to reaffirm the commitment of the international community to the objectives of development, peace and security within and among Member States. They noted the various activities being undertaken within Member States of the Caribbean Community to celebrate this occasion and confirmed their intention to play an active part in the formal activities scheduled for the United Nations later this year.
ASSEMBLY OF CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY PARLIAMENTARIANS
Heads of Government welcomed the information provided by the Prime Minister of Barbados that his country will host the First Assembly of Caribbean Community Parliamentarians in May 1996.
CARIBBEAN SUPREME COURT
Heads of Government agreed that those Member States which were in a position to implement the establishment of the Caribbean Supreme Court, as an Appellate Court, of final instance should proceed to do so.
They agreed that a Committee of Parliamentary Counsels (Legal Drafters) be established to prepare draft Rules of the Court for consideration of the Rule Making Authority in anticipation of the establishment of the Court.
Heads of Government received the report from the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago on the status of preparations for (staging) CARIFESTA VI scheduled for 19 August – 2 September 1995, and commended the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago for the efforts which they are expanding in order to ensure that the Festival is a success. They agreed that in the context of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations, CARIFESTA would be presented as the premier regional activity in commemoration of this Anniversary.
Heads of Government expressed their appreciation for the sterling service rendered, and on behalf of, the Commonwealth of Dominica and to the Governments and peoples of the Region by Hon. Dame May Eugenia Charles, former Prime Minister of Dominica, particularly with regard to the safeguarding of the CARICOM banana market in Europe. They also expressed their gratitude to the Rt. Hon. Nicholas Braithwaite, former Prime Minister of Grenada, for his valuable contribution to the development of the Region.
Heads of Government also expressed their deep appreciation for the services given to the Community, particularly over the last ten years by Mr Brynmor Pollard, former General Counsel of the Secretariat.
Heads of Government thanked the Secretariat for its excellent performance in hosting the Sixteenth Meeting of the Conference and extended particular gratitude to the Secretary-General and members of his staff for the excellent work which has been done in preparing for the meeting.
They also expressed their gratitude to the Government and people of Guyana for the assistance which they had given to the Secretariat in the hosting of this Conference.
DATE AND VENUE OF SEVENTH INTER-SESSIONAL AND SEVENTEENTH MEETINGS OF THE CONFERENCE
Heads of Government accepted the offer of the Government of Guyana to host the Seventh Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference in early 1996 and of Antigua and Barbuda to host the Seventeenth Meeting of the Conference in July 1996.