Press ReleasesStatements and Declarations


We the Heads of Government of Member States of the Caribbean Community and The Bahamas here assembled –

Deeply aware of our situation as small States, for the most part newly independent, island-developing, prone to natural disasters and with small open economies particularly vulnerable to turbulence and pressures from within the international economic system;

Concerned about the global trend towards the use of force as a means of settling disputes and the assertion of spheres of interest and the hazards to which in consequence small States are increasingly exposed;

Mindful of the fact that external strategic perceptions of the Region can present both special opportunities and difficult problems for the development of our States;

Deeply aware of our common identity and of the need to consolidate and strengthen the bonds which have historically existed among our people;

Recognising nevertheless the reality of the growing heterogeneity in the social, economic and political systems of our States,

    • Reaffirm our strong conviction that the maintenance and deepening of the Caribbean Community established by the Treaty of Chaguaramas provides the only certain way for the survival of our states as independent, free and developing societies
    • Declare our belief that the regional integration movement is the only viable option available for the optimal development of all the human and natural resources of the Region in the contemporary economic and political circumstances in the Region as well as in the world as a whole
    • Affirm our commitment to the political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights of the peoples of the Region in accordance with the Universal declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
    • Assert that while recognising that the emergence of ideological pluralism in the Community responds to internal processes and is an irreversible trend within the international system, we are committed to ensuring that it will not inhibit the processes of integration
    • Accordingly affirm our commitment to the interests of the Community as one of the main determinants in the formulation of foreign policy goals in response to regional and global issues
    • Reaffirm further that Member States will aim at the fullest possible co-ordination of their foreign policies and should seek to adopt as far as possible common positions on major international issues
    • Express our profound concern at the heightening of tension in the Region resulting from the recent increase in military activities in the Caribbean area
    • Reaffirm and call on all States to respect the principles of non-interference and non-intervention in the internal affairs of other countries
    • Reiterate the right of self-determination of all peoples, including the right to choose their own path of social, political and economic development, and insist that there can be no justification for any external interference with the exercise of that right
    • Assert our commitment to the maintenance of absolute respect for defined borders, and demarcated and traditional lines of jurisdiction of States of the Region
    • Insist that while the Member States have an urgent and pressing need for external economic assistance to achieve the goals of rapid social and economic development, the principles of international social justice requires that such assistance be given in consultation with and with the fullest respect for the sovereign wishes of the recipient countries
    • Consider that aid programmes for the Region should therefore be truly reflective of national goals and priority areas for development
  • Affirm that programmes of aid channelled through regional institutions should be supportive of the integrity of such institutions and their autonomous character and should utilise indigenous resources and expertise

Attaching the highest importance to the principles and objectives asserted herein, declare our common resolve to work together towards their maintenance and fulfilment.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

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