MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Caribbean leaders have decided to have an urgent review of the governance structures of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), as they seek to address frustrations regarding the pace of implementation of decisions taken at regional summits.
Governance structure has been a major talking point at the 31st Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of CARICOM, which ended Wednesday at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa, in Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica.
Speaking to the regional press media on July 7, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, said Heads of Government received a report from the Community Council of Ministers requesting a review of the institutions of CARICOM, and are of the view that such a step is urgently needed.
“We have basically agreed for a body of people to come together, hopefully the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, do a quick assessment based on what they have sent to us as a recommendation and see how far we can get in determining what model to go forward with,” the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) reports Dr. Douglas as saying.
A concern expressed by several Heads, including Dr. Douglas and President of Guyana, His Excellency Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, is that there is no body with enough power to implement the decisions made by the leaders.
“If we were to have this permanent structure that will continue to work, whether you have a change in government or not, the work continues,” Dr. Douglas argued.
He said the body would be empowered to pursue the work of CARICOM on a daily basis with regard to implementing decisions, only consulting the Heads on final decisions for immediate implementation.
Dr. Douglas said the Heads of Government have agreed to examine the governance structures of other regional groups such as the Organization of American States, the European Union, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, to see whether any aspects of these can be adopted by CARICOM.