Both Prime Minister Gonsalves and Mr. Golding will be engaging in a high level session focused on making the CSME more effective.
That session takes place on the first day of the Consultation and will be chaired by Mr. Joseph Cox, Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat.
Following the high level session, a series of panels will discuss whether the CSME as currently configured sufficiently supports sustainable growth and development and the free movement of skills and persons as an integrating measure among other areas.
A Commission, chaired by Bruce Golding, a former Prime Minister of Jamaica, has recommended that Jamaica withdraws from the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) within five years if CARICOM does not implement a number of reforms within that period.
Those reforms would include one of the most contentious subjects for the regional integration process - full free movement of people throughout the Community subject only to exclusions for security and public health reasons.
The report however specifies, that Jamaica should retain its membership in CARICOM – the Caribbean Community - even if the regional body does not implement the reform agenda, but with its status changed to one identical to the Bahamian position, outside of the Single Market and Economy.
There are 32 actions recommended by the Commission to Review Jamaica's Relations within the CARICOM and CARIFORUM Frameworks.
The first recommendation is that Jamaica should seek "a clear, definitive commitment by all Member States to a specific, time-bound, measurable and verifiable programme of action to fulfill all their obligations and complete all requirements for the CSME to be fully established and operational with the next five years."
It wants each Head of Government to be directly responsible for ensuring full participation of their designated representatives in the various organs, institutions and bodies of CARICOM and CARIFORUM.
One recommendation is for the regional CARICOM's longstanding governance dilemma to be fixed by inserting an explicit Treaty provision requiring Member States to five effect to the rights and obligations within their states arising from Community Law as well as decisions of the Heads of Government that require executive action within a timeframe to be specified, "being not less than six months."
Sanctions would be included in the Treaty for "willful non-compliance or flagrant breaches" of these requirements.
The Commission wants the differentiation between More Developed Countries and Less Developed Countries within CARICOM to be eliminated, but it still wants the provision for special treatment of disadvantaged countries, regions or sectors to be retained.
On the basis of that change, Jamaica should make a commitment to the Second Funding Cycle of the CARICOM Development Fund, the Golding led review body is recomending.
It recommends as well the creation of the post of CARICOM Auditor-General that would be independent of he Secretariat and would be responsible for auditing the Secretariat and all Community institutions and agencies.
The consultation is facilitated with the assistance of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
- Countries: CARICOM