Barbados has signed a number of agreements at the just concluded 30th Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in St. Kitts and Nevis.
They included the signing of the Protocol on Public Procurement for the Caribbean Community and the Declaration of Intent to provisionally apply the protocol on Public Procurement, and the agreement on the return or sharing of recovered assets.
In a Communiqué issued by the CARICOM Secretariat, Heads of Government reviewed the progress on decisions that were taken at the Eighteenth Special Meeting of the Conference on the CSME.
They reiterated the critical importance to the region of the national and regional security architectures in combatting crime and violence, transnational crime and other security threats, as well as for the effective functioning of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) free movement régimes.
Heads of Government also welcomed the adoption and opening for signature of the agreement on the Return and Sharing of Recovered Assets from Criminal Activity.
The communiqué also said that leaders welcomed the fact that all countries had signed the Protocol on Contingent Rights. Eight countries had decided to apply the measures that would allow their nationals to benefit in those countries from the provisions of the agreement on Contingent Rights, specifically in relation to allowing spouses and dependents of skilled workers, who move to another country, to access services such as education and health on the same basis as nationals.
CARICOM Heads of Government welcomed the opening for signature of the Agreement on the Protocol for Public Procurement and noted that the Protocol could be provisionally applied when seven Member States have signed a Declaration of Intent, while recognizing that for entry into force, the Protocol must be signed by all parties to the Revised Treaty.
Heads of Government, in pursuit of strengthening the consultative mechanisms for engagements with the private sector, labour and civil society, agreed to meet with representatives of national business and labour advisory committees twice every year. They emphasized that this was essential for enhanced regional decision-making, particularly in the context of the CSME.
CARICOM Heads of Government also issued a statement on the situation in Venezuela, saying that they were “deeply concerned by the recent…escalation in tensions in that country and the ensuing increase in hardship and suffering of the people exacerbated by the imposition of sanctions.”
They stated that the people of Venezuela must be allowed to decide their own future in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter – non-intervention, non-interference, prohibition of the threat or use of force, respect for the rule of law, human rights and democracy.
CARICOM has stressed that if the situation is to be peacefully resolved then there must be meaningful and internal dialogue between the contending parties.