BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, February 28, 2019 (PLP PR Media Inc.) — A renewed interest was generated in the integration movement during the successful 30th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) held over a two-day period (February 26-27) in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday evening February 27 at the Royal Ballroom of the St. Kitts Marriott, Chairman of the Conference Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris advised that all member states participating in the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) have now signed the Protocol on Contingent Rights.
“Nine countries have agreed to apply, provisionally, the protocol,” said Dr Harris. “This means that the nationals of those countries, their spouses and dependants will benefit from additional rights such as primary education when they move from one member state of the Community to another.”
Countries participating in the Caribbean Single Market and Economy are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
“We have also reached agreement on a protocol to deal with Public Procurement that will open the regional market for goods and services procured by public entities,” said Prime Minister Harris. “Two countries signed this agreement during the course of the meeting.”
The Heads of Government at the two-day 30th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community are said to have welcomed the opening of the Agreement on the Protocol for Public Procurement and noted that the Protocol can be provisionally applied when seven Member States have signed a declaration of intent.
Prime Minister Harris who assumed the CARICOM chairmanship on January 1 this year was flanked at the press conference by CARICOM’s Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, and Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Kamina Johnson-Smith. Jamaican Prime Minister the Most Hon Andrew Holness, who attended the two-day meeting was the immediate past CARICOM Chairman.
While Dr the Hon Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, did not participate in the press conference, he appeared briefly and Prime Minister Harris recognised his presence.
Other Heads of Government attending the 30th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community were Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Hon Gaston Browne; Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Dr the Hon Hubert Minnis; Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon Mia Motley; Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon Roosevelt Skerrit; Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr the Hon Keith Mitchell; Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Hon Allen Chastanet; and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr the Hon Keith Rowley.
Belize was represented by the Attorney General Hon Michael Peyrefitte; Guyana was represented by His Excellency Second Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon Carl Greenidge; Haiti was represented by Foreign Minister, Hon Bocchit Edmond; and Suriname was represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Yidiz Pollack-Beighle.
Associate Members in attendance were Bermuda represented by Deputy Premier and Minister of Home Affairs, Hon Walter Roban; and the Turks and Caicos Islands, represented by Deputy Premier, Hon Sean Astwood.