Haiti political stability, Anguilla governance andborder issues on CARICOM agenda

Anguilla’s Chief Minister Hon. Hubert Hughes

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JULY 9TH 2012 (CUOPM) – Following a report from the Chief Minister of Anguilla, the Hon. Hubert Hughes regarding the governance situation in his territory arising from the difficult relationship with the British Governor, Caribbean leaders are to send a delegation to The Valley.

According to the communiqué following the 33rd Conference of Caribbean Heads of Government in St. Lucia, CARICOM is to send adelegation of Foreign Ministers to visit the territory and to report their findings to the Bureau of the Conference.

During the meeting the Heads of Government recognized that, although English was the official language of the Community, the facility to communicate in their languages could enhance the participation of Haiti and Suriname in the integration process. They therefore requested the conduct of a study to examine the possibilities and implications, including costs, of introducing French and Dutch.

Heads of Government noted that since their last Meeting, Guyana and Venezuela continued to work to preserve the excellent relations that currently exist between the two countries.

They expressed satisfaction that Guyana and Venezuela remained committed to the Good Offices Process of the United Nations Secretary-General to aid them in the search for a solution to the controversy that arose from theVenezuelan contention that the Arbitral Award of 1899, that definitively delimited the territory between Guyana and Venezuela, is null and void.

Heads of Government reaffirmed their unequivocal support for the maintenance and safeguarding of Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Heads of Government welcomed the agreement by Belize and Guatemala for simultaneous referenda on 6 October 2013, when the electorates will beasked to decide whether the dispute should be finally determined by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

They also welcomed the strengthening of relations, at the highest political level and the expressed interest by the parties in solving the issue once and for all and in that regard looked forward to the conduct of the important public awareness campaigns in both countries.

Heads of Government expressed deep concerns at the security and environmental issues developing along the border and called on the Guatemalan authorities to act decisively against those whose actions threaten the successof the efforts to improve relations between the two countries.

They expressed appreciation for the role played by the Secretary-General in attempting to resolve the dispute. They reaffirmed their unequivocal support for the maintenance and safeguarding of Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

According to the communiqué, Heads of Government reviewed the status of negotiations for a CARICOM-Canada Trade and Development Agreement. They welcomed the convening of a fourth round of negotiations in the Region, in mid-July and expressed expectations of significant progress being achieved. Heads of Government reiterated the Region’s objective of negotiating a pro-development agreement which would support sustainable economic and social development of the peoples of the Region.

Heads of Government underlined their serious concern about the impact on the Caribbean rum industry, arising from the subsidies provided to multinational rum companies by the Governments of the United States Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Noting that subsidies were in violation of World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, they called on the Government of the United States to work with the Region to rectify these discriminatory measures and restore the competitive balance to the US rum market.

Heads of Government looked forward to the convening of the extraordinary meeting of the CARICOM-Dominican Republic Joint Council, to beheld in October and agreed that the preparations on issues related to the CARICOM-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement should be expedited. They mandated the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) to ensure that progress was made in advancing implementation.

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