By Cathy Lashley
BGIS: The implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), took centre stage, when Prime Minister Freundel Stuart met with CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRoque on Monday.
The briefing meeting was convened at Ilaro Court to review areas of concern ahead of the the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee meeting on t
the CSME which is to take place on February 23, and which is chaired by the Prime Minister of Barbados.
It was attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean; Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Senator Darcy Boyce; Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris and other senior government officials.
The Secretary General was accompanied by high-level representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat.
In welcoming Ambassador LaRoque and his delegation, Mr. Stuart noted that as part of preparations for the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CSME at the upcoming 25th Inter-sessional Meeting of Heads of Government, which will take place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on February 24 and 25, he wanted a status report on developments pertaining to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
In his remarks, Ambassador LaRoque noted that the implementation of The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas had started with a “bang” and significant progress had been made.
It was his view that the further one advances, integration becomes increasingly difficult, “so it is not too surprising that the pace was quicker at first”.
He noted that something he would have learnt from the Prime Minister is that while we must take stock of what we have not yet achieved, we must always recognise that there have been accomplishments, because a considerable amount of work has, in fact, been done.
The Secretary General said that the timing of this review was on target in the sense that the recent ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice as it pertains to decision making in particular, the determination of community law and the impact of decisions, are now occupying the minds of the Secretariat and all Member States.
Monday’s meeting examined such issues as the Free Movement of Skilled Nationals; The Right of Establishment; Free Movement of Services; and Free Movement of Goods. Related issues such as immigration; contingent rights; and compliance were among the other items discussed.
The consultation will also serve to determine the agenda for the upcoming 25th Meeting of the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CSME.