Press Releases


The Caribbean’s Regional Negotiating Machinery (RNM) received a significant boost from the Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC) last week when the way was cleared to proceed on three “uniquely Caribbean” studies relating to external negotiations.

CARICOM Secretary General Mr Edwin Carrington revealed this following his meeting in London with COMSEC officials. At last July’s Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community at Montego Bay, Jamaica, Commonwealth Secretary General Chief Emeka Anyokou had offered to the Community a US$100,000 grant for research to help prepare the Region for its slew of negotiations.

Mr Carrington said arrangements were not quite concluded for other studies which were relevant to the wider African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) grouping.

The three studies which will begin shortly relate to: preparing the Caribbean for joining the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA); the special interests of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and how these can be protected in Post Lomé arrangements and FTAA negotiations and; the Services sector particularly financial and accounting services.

The RNM was established by CARICOM Heads of Government to conduct external negotiations on behalf of the Region. The Caribbean is engaged in negotiations to establish a Free Trade Area of the Americas and follow up action on the 1994 Summit of the Americas and has initiated discussions with other western hemisphere trade blocs and individual countries towards establishing free trade regimes. The Region is also involved in extensive preparation with other members of the ACP for negotiations with the European Union (EU) for a new post Lome arrangement.

Mr Carrington left London for Brussels, Belgium where he was invited by the EU to participate in the final forum on the Green Paper submitted by the EU on future relations with the ACP. This forum ended on Tuesday and the Secretary General headed immediately for New York, USA to participate in the informal meeting between Caribbean Foreign Ministers and United States Secretary of State, Madeline Albright scheduled for Thursday at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.

This meeting is a follow up to the Caribbean-US summit held in Bridgetown, Barbados last May and precedes the formal annual meeting between the Foreign Ministers and Secretary of State scheduled for the Caribbean in the first quarter of 1998.

Mr Carrington will also attend the annual informal meeting of CARICOM Foreign Ministers scheduled for New York on Friday October 3. This annual meeting takes advantage of the presence of the region’s Foreign Ministers in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

Show More
Back to top button