Prime Minister to Sign ACS Protocol of Amendment


Prime Minister P. J. Patterson has been given the go ahead to sign the Protocol of Amendment to the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) Convention Establishing the Sustainable Tourism Zone of the Caribbean, following Cabinet’s approval of the amendments.
The ACS is the body of all the governments that border the Caribbean Sea, comprising South and Central America and the Caribbean island states. Information Minister, Senator Burchell Whiteman, while addressing yesterday’s (February 9) post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, explained that amendments had become necessary “because there were areas in the original Convention with which we had some difficulty and we have now obtained agreement on the amendments, which will protect our interest as well as the interest of other state parties”.
For example, he said Jamaica wanted to make it clear that nothing in the Convention, or one article in the Convention, could be construed as entitling the Special Committee on Transport to negotiate or determine international civil aviation route traffic rights on behalf of any party, including Jamaica.
“We defined precisely what was meant by destination and we defined again what the Caribbean region should be interpreted to mean,” Senator Whiteman pointed out.
The Attorney General and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade have approved the amended Protocol in its present form.
Giving an update on the situation in Haiti, Senator Whiteman said that while conditions in the troubled country remained very challenging, CARICOM remained optimistic that there would be some improvement in the state of affairs.
He said the CARICOM Foreign Ministers, who were recently given the task of seeing that agreed measures to resolve the political impasse in Haiti were being implemented, were still keeping a close tab on the situation and would be advising the regional body very shortly on developments and what options might exist.
The Minister noted that while the escalation in violence was regretted and even more so, the loss of life, CARICOM had put forward a time frame of some four to six weeks before the implementation of confidence-building measures, which would facilitate the initiation of dialogue between President Aristide and Opposition groups in Haiti.

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