Antigua and BarbudaConference of Heads of GovernmentHaitiMemberPress Releases


The Seventeenth Meeting of the Bureau of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with participation by the Core Group on Haiti, was held at the Office of the Prime Minister, St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda on 4-5 May 2004, under the Chairmanship of Hon. Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government.

Present at this Meeting were Bureau Members: outgoing Chairman of the Conference, the Most Hon. P. J. Patterson, Prime Minister of Jamaica; incoming Chairman (of the Conference), Dr. the Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada; and His Excellency Edwin Carrington, Secretary-General.

The members of the Core Group on Haiti present or represented at the Meeting included the current Chairman and outgoing Chairman, Dr. the Hon. Kenny D. Anthony, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia; Hon. Patrick Manning, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago; and. the Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Bahamas representing the Hon. Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Bahamas. Dr. the Hon. Michael Missick Chief Minister Turks and Caicos Islands, also a member of the Core Group was not present.

Also present at this Meeting was Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis who chaired the last Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference in place of the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.


In his opening remarks Hon. Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, referred to the upcoming CWC 2007 games and was of the view that the Region should have the capability of ensuring that none of the games be hosted in a non-West Indian country.

He also made reference to the need to assist the people of Haiti in taking charge of their own destiny and in placing their country on the path to enduring democracy and development”; and that “other countries, including some of the world’s major powers, are looking to CARICOM to point the way forward.”

In concluding, he stated that “speaking for Antigua and Barbuda, I would put forward the view that the CARICOM Secretariat should be significantly strengthened so as to enable it to relieve Member states of the cost and the high demand on Ministerial and technical personnel time.

We would consider this a good investment for the Member countries who participate in funding such a programme.”

In response the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, Prime Minister of Jamaica congratulated the Hon. Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda on his election to Office and expressed the hope that his tenure would be successful.


The Meeting discussed a report from the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee chaired by Dr. the Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada which focussed on the Sunset Legislation related to the various aspects of the management of the event, special security arrangements, transportation and accommodation, health and emergency services and the development of venues for hosting CWC 2007.

The Heads of Government present noted that bids for hosting matches are to be submitted to CWC 2007 by 6 May 2004 and that the results from the bid process are to be made available on 12 July 2004 at a ceremony at the CWC 2007 headquarters.

They focussed also on the issue of profit-sharing and agreed that the Technical Advisory Group to the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Cricket chaired by Mr. Clavis Joseph will discuss follow-up with the WICB and advise Heads and the Local Organising Committees (LOCs) on the relevant options.

Having commented on the sterling and noteworthy performance by Brian Lara, the Bureau also agreed to issue a statement paying tribute to Mr. Lara. A copy of this statement is attached.

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)

The Meeting considered the issues related to the inauguration of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) this year. Both the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission and the Board of Trustees of the Caribbean Court of Justice Trust Fund are completing their respective transitional tasks. The Commission intends to recommend the President to the Heads of Contracting Parties; and, itself appoint the first batch of Judges within the next six to eight weeks. The Board, in consultation with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) continues to elaborate the Draft Investment Guidelines and the Financial Regulations for the Trust Fund. A candidate has been identified for the post of Chief Executive Officer.

The CDB has completed all the steps preparatory to release the bond issue on the international capital markets in respect of the US$94m to capitalise the Trust Fund.

Consultations between the Lead Prime Minister for Justice and Governance, the Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Preparatory Committee, the Commission and the Board have been set for 17 May 2004 in Barbados. Those consultations will map out a schedule for the inauguration of the Court.

Relations with Haiti

The Bureau reviewed several of the issues regarding the Community’s relations with Haiti following the decisions taken at the Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference. These included the status of the call by Heads of Government for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the departure from office of then President Aristide; the Establishment of the CARICOM Task Force; the appointment of a Special Envoy and CARICOM’s participation in international efforts to assist that Member State.

Concerning the call for the investigation, the Heads of Government present noted the difficulties of pursuing the matter through the United Nations as initially contemplated. Following consultations with several Heads of Government not present, it was recommended that a request be submitted to the Chairman of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) for the convening of a meeting of that Body to discuss the situation in Haiti, with a view to invoking Article 20 of the Inter- American Democratic Charter. This article provides for a collective assessment of the situation “in the event of an unconstitutional alteration of the constitutional regime that seriously impairs the democratic order in a Member State”. Following receipt of the consent of all Heads of Government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda, Hon. Harold Lovell, will convey the request on behalf of the Chairman of the Conference.

As regards the admission of the Interim Administration to the Councils of the Community, it was recalled that this matter would be reviewed by the Conference at the upcoming meetings scheduled for 4-8 July in Grenada.

The Bureau and the Core Group noted that the Chief Coordinator of the CARICOM Task Force had been appointed in the person of Mr Hugh Cholmondeley. The Bureau and Core Group received a report from the Chief Coordinator regarding his participation in a meeting of the Donor Community in Haiti which is in the process of drafting an Interim Cooperation Framework. This Framework is aimed at coordinating the developmental efforts in Haiti.

With respect to the Special Envoy, the Bureau and the Core Group noted that a formal affirmative response was awaited from the prospective candidate.

The Bureau and the Core Group noted the adoption by the United Nations Security Council of a Resolution establishing the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the deployment of which will commence on 1 June 2004. The Community remains committed to participating in the efforts of the international community for the economic, social and institutional development of Haiti.

Upcoming Meetings

The Meeting noted two important Summits scheduled to be convened prior to the Twenty-Fifth Meeting of the Conference in July 2004. These include the Third EU/LAC Summit to be held in Guadalajara, Mexico, 28-29 May 2004 and the Fourth ACP Summit, Maputo, Mozambique, 21-24 June 2004. The Heads of Government present agreed to make every effort to ensure that the Community is adequately represented at the highest level at these Summits.


In closing, the Meeting reiterated its congratulations to the Hon. Baldwin Spencer on becoming Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. It also offered its heartfelt thanks to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda on the excellent arrangements made, and the generous hospitality offered.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat
St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
5 May 2004



The Bureau of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (with participation by the Core Group on Haiti) Meeting in Antigua and Barbuda on 4-5 May 2004, under the Chairmanship of Hon. Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, lauded the achievement of Mr. Brian Lara in being the first ever batsman in the 127 years of Test Cricket to score 400 runs in an innings in a Test match. When this is placed alongside his 501 runs in an innings as the highest score in a first class match, Brian Lara, the cricketer, is indeed a legend. Not only does this latest feat of 400 runs demonstrate the highest calibre of batsmanship, but also an indomitable will and character that have been Mr. Lara’s trade mark throughout his illustrious career. Breaking the record with his 375 in 1994 at the Antigua Recreation Ground was remarkable. To do so a second time ten years later, and at the same venue is beyond superlatives. This landmark will forever remain in the annals of sporting history.

CARICOM Heads of Government applaud Mr. Lara’s achievement which brings pride to the people of the Region. We wish continued blessings on his gift of genius which will no doubt inspire young West Indian men and women and would hopefully help to lift the overall performance of the West Indies Cricket Team as we look forward to CWC 2007.


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