Caricom Summit: Problems, Commitments and Agreements

The meeting ended with specific projections on the various problems in the area, such as regional security, environment, steps towards the Caricom Common Market, tourism, non-transmissible diseases, air transport and the situation in Venezuela
Caricom Summit: Problems, Commitments and Agreements

The 15 member countries of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) have recently began to implement the commitments adopted on July 7 in the capital of Grenada during the 38th summit of that organization.

The meeting ended without major agreements, but with specific projections on the various problems in the area, such as regional security, environment, steps towards the Caricom Common Market, tourism, non-transmissible diseases, air transport and the situation in Venezuela.

On the first point, participants in the meeting analyzed the work to be done to reinforce the fight against transnational organized crime, considered as ‘the most immediate and significant threat facing the region’, according to the final communiqué of the summit.

Several member countries signed the Arrest Warrant Treaty, a system of arrest and surrender of people who have fled from justice and are sought for criminal prosecution for a crime or execution of a sentence.

Another document adopted and opened for signature was the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, signed on this occasion by Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent And the Grenadines and Suriname.

Participants also discussed the problems affecting the entry into operations of the Caricom Single Market (CSME) and asked to accelerate the implementation of the measures contained in that project.

In that respect, they approved an implementation plan for the period 2017-2019 and called for greater efficiency of the Finance and Planning Council, as an organization to boost the CSME.

The summit recognized the lag in growth among members of CARICOM and other small Island Developing States because of obstacles that hamper economic progress.

In the same way, they also highlighted the results of human resources development strategy so far, particularly with regard to financial and technical assistance and the implementation of the plan of action in this area.

This includes essential aspects such as basic education from early childhood through high school and continuing education that allows citizens to reach their full personal and work potential in favor of families, communities, the country and the region.

However, they found insufficient the actions contained in the CARICOM Declaration to address chronic non-transmissible diseases, adopted in 2007 and called for the promotion of healthy lifestyles and inter-sectorial approaches to address health problems.

On the contrary, they emphasized the progress scored in the field of tourism and its sustainable growth and called for the regional development of the sector and the adoption of measures that favor the movement of travelers.

Linked to this issue, the meeting reached agreements on key air transport issues that will facilitate travel within the region and with third countries and the use of airports in Caricom states as destination for tourists and the movement of people and goods.

They also urged state airlines to increase collaboration and coordination and called to establish a single airspace and air service agreements with potential targets such as China, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Belize-Guatemala and Venezuela-Guyana border disputes were also discussed during the meeting, as well as the impact on the region of the Brexit -the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

In a separate statement on Venezuela, the summit reiterated its attachment to the principles of non-intervention and non-interference in internal affairs, the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy.

In the same way, participants recalled the increasing violence and polarization between government and the opposition and called to find a solution through dialogue and negotiation with country member of Caricom as active actors.

Source/Prensa Latina

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