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Key recommendations mapping CARICOM review

Published:Wednesday | February 7, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Tuesday tabled the Report of the Commission to Review Jamaica's Relations within the CARICOM and CARIFORUM Frameworks.

The 144-page report from the commission, which was led by former prime minister Bruce Golding, is to be debated in Parliament, but already, the Holness administration has indicated that it does not accept all the recommendations.

Here are some of the key recommendations:

• Jamaica should seek a clear commitment by all member states to  a measurable programme of action to fulfil all their obligations in making the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) fully operational in five years.

- Member States should facilitate the full free movement of people within CARICOM, except in cases of security and public-health risks. They should also push for the harmonisation of customs laws, regulations and procedures, among other things.

- If there is no commitment by CARICOM countries and diligent execution, Jamaica should withdraw from the CSME, but retain its CARICOM membership.

- Sanctions should be crafted for flagrant breaches of governance structure or wilful non-compliance. Suggested penalties include: restricted access to policy-based loans or grants from the Caribbean Development Bank, the loss of right to vote on decisions, and loss of entitlement to benefits.

- Each head of government ought to be held directly responsible for ensuring the full participation of their designated representatives in CARICOM and Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) affairs.

- CARICOM should examine the basis for assessment of member states' financial contributions to the secretariat and related institutions to ensure equity.

- Member states need to urgently secure the best possible extension of the Cotonou Agreement with the European Union and a post-Brexit trade and development agreement with the United Kingdom through CARIFORUM.

- Future negotiations of trade or economic agreements ought to be conducted as far as possible through CARIFORUM.

- There should be a review and rationalisation of the growing list of CARICOM institutions and agencies in an effort to reduce costs, eliminate overlaps, and improve service delivery.