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  • Chairman of Jamaica’s newly formed Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Review Commission, Hon. Bruce Golding, says the panel will be taking a structured approach to fulfilling its very broad mandate.
  • Further, he said the impact on the Caribbean of Britain’s decision to withdraw from the European Union (EU) must also be taken into account.
  • The Chairman said the Ministry will shortly issue a formal invitation for public submissions to the Commission as well as establish a dedicated e-mail address to which these can be conveyed.

Chairman of Jamaica’s newly formed Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Review Commission, Hon. Bruce Golding, says the panel will be taking a structured approach to fulfilling its very broad mandate.

He says this includes utilising a “huge body of work”, comprising reports, research and studies that exist on CARICOM, to “inform ourselves as we try to address the wide range of issues”.

Mr. Golding said this will help in arriving at findings, conclusions and recommendations “that will be worthy of… consideration” by the administration of Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.

The Commission, which is the brainchild of Mr. Holness, has been charged to examine Jamaica’s role in CARICOM and how the regional bloc has impacted the country’s development.

Mr. Golding, former Prime Minister, was speaking at the Commission’s launch at Jamaica House on Tuesday, June 28.

He said a key matter for the Commission’s consideration is whether the initial Treaty of Chaguaramas that was negotiated for CARICOM’s establishment in 1973 or its subsequent revision in 2001 has responded to the vast global changes occurring over the past 43 years.

Mr. Golding said other topical issues for exploration include trade practices; the treatment of Jamaicans travelling to other CARICOM countries; contrasts emerging between CARICOM’s strategies and goals and those of individual countries and how these can be reconciled.

Further, he said the impact on the Caribbean of Britain’s decision to withdraw from the European Union (EU) must also be taken into account.

“Indeed, on that matter, the Prime Minister has expanded the scope of the Commission to include examining our trade arrangements that were negotiated through CARIFORUM as well as those that exist through our membership in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries,” he added.

Importantly, Mr. Golding said the Commission is also required to examine Jamaica’s existing economic relations with other Caribbean states and explore potential new relationships “and how those will be affected by our participation in CARICOM”.

“Naturally, we will have to evaluate the performance of CARICOM, its successes and its failures, and seek to identify reasons for those and if and how they can be rectified,” he noted.

In preparation for its work, Mr. Golding advised that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, which will house the Commission’s Secretariat, will be distributing briefing material to the members.

The Chairman said the Ministry will shortly issue a formal invitation for public submissions to the Commission as well as establish a dedicated e-mail address to which these can be conveyed.

Mr. Golding also thanked the Ministry’s staff for the support already provided to the Commission. “I look forward to their continued support,” he said.

The Commission will have its first meeting at the Ministry on Tuesday, July 5.

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