Guyana, four other Caricom countries sign arrest warrant treaty

Guyana along with Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia formally signed the Caribbean Arrest Warrant Treaty yesterday afternoon.

According to a press release from the Department of Public Information (DPI), the treaty was signed by the leaders of the five countries and aims to establish, within the Caribbean Community (Caricom), a system of arrest and surrender of requested persons with the aim of conducting criminal prosecutions for applicable offences or to execute custodial sentences where persons might have escaped from justice after being sentenced.

The release added that the treaty was presented as a draft for ratification when the Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of Caricom was hosted in Guyana in February.

At a post-Cabinet briefing in February, Minister of State Joseph Harmon had said, “The adoption of this treaty will simplify the procedures by which fugitives from justice are returned to participating member states, to face criminal prosecution or serve judicial sentences.”

The press release added that the treaty is one of the regional security tools that was framed to improve the cooperation between the Caricom states in the fight against crime and to reduce its complexity, cost and delays in the current extradition arrangements in the region.

Ten other member states are yet to sign the treaty.

Meanwhile, the 38th  Caricom Heads of Govern-ment Conference, which ended yesterday was des-cribed as “very successful” by Grenada Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell.

According to the DPI, the Caricom Chairman, who addressed the media last evening at the Grenada Radisson Hotel, said that consensus was reached on several key issues.

These included the recognition that regional tourism is a major factor for engendering economic growth, which will see sustained regional marketing to promote the sector.

Mitchell also said that an agreement was reached to proceed with the establishment of a single airspace. He said too that the issue of air transportation taxes was also addressed and the Caribbean Development Bank has been asked to finance a study on the effects of these taxes, on regional economies, according to the press release.

The findings of the Commission on Human Resources Strategy for 2030 were also presented, Mitchell said and commitments were given to ensure that the aim of realizing an integrated regional education system within the timeframe occurs.

The DPI said the Grenadian PM revealed that Caricom will also initiate plans for a single ICT space and a regional plan for statistics.

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