Caricom Heads urge UK to reconsider Montserrat’s case

Caricom Heads of Government have expressed their disappointment at the United Kingdom’s denial of the request by Montserrat for an entrustment to participate in the Caricom Single Market and Economy.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the 29th Caricom Heads of Government Meeting in Antigua and Barbuda on Friday, the Heads and urged the UK to reconsider its position.

According to the communiqué, Heads have approved a framework for dealing with child protection and development, which looks at the potential impact of climate change and how to deal with children in emergencies. They have also agreed to explore the issue of the regions capacity to provide services in connection with organ transplants.

The Heads also provided their signatures for the Caricom Development Fund’s (CDF) provisional applications. The fund was opened with US$60 million, with a target of US$250 million.

CDF is intended to provide financial support and other assistance to disadvantaged countries.

A task force on climate change was established to provide advice on ways to combat rising food costs in the light of global climate changes.

With respect to tourism in the region which was discussed on the first business day, the Heads have agreed on a strategy of a “regional marketing campaign” to create a regional marketing fund and a comprehensive information gathering system that will satisfactorily reflect what contributions the tourism sector makes to the economy of Caribbean nations.

Heads also reaffirmed their support for stronger alliance of the regions airlines with a focus on emerging new markets.

The Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System (CASSOS) was established after the signing of an agreement by governments of Guyana, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago to institute the system in pursuant of Article 21 of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. CASSOS places the Regional Aviation Safety Oversight System (RASOS) with additional functions which are aimed at effectively sharing the limited technical aviation expertise in the region; synchronization of the region’s training, licensing and inspection procedures in the aviation sector and providing technical support to member states to ensure that all international safety measures are employed by all the states. The approach of CASSOS is consistent with that of ICAO and the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Several heads have expressed their willingness to sign the EU/Cariforum Economic partnership Agreement.

However it was noted that consultations are to be held in Guyana before any decisions are taken to sign the agreement.

The heads have also conveyed their gratitude to Guyana for the plans it has laid out for Carifesta and to Trinidad and Tobago for agreeing to host the inaugural Caribbean Games, being organized by the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committee (CANOC) and the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Association (TTOC) and scheduled to be held in July 2009.

The games are intended to draw out the best athletes in the region and will be held every four years.

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