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The Caribbean Community and Common Market or CARICOM was established by the Treaty of Chaguaramas  which came into effect on August 1, 1973. The first four signatories were Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. The group was originally organized to provide a continued economic linkage between the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean following the dissolution of the West Indies Federation which lasted from January 3, 1958 to May 31, 1962.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has become unofficially multilingual in practice with the addition of Dutch-speaking Suriname on July 4 1995 and Haiti, where French and Haitian Creole are spoken, on July 2 2002.
In 2001, the heads of government signed a Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas PDF, thus clearing the way for the transformation of the Common Market aspect of CARICOM. Part of the revised treaty includes the establishment and implementation of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) which will be based in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
The (CCJ) will act as the original jurisdiction for settlement of disputes on the functioning of the Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME ), as well as serving as an appellate court of last resort for member states which have severed their country's ties with the Privy Council in London, United Kingdom.
The goal statement of the CARICOM Secretariat is:"To provide dynamic leadership and service, in partnership with Community institutions and Groups, toward the attainment of a viable, internationally competitive and sustainable Community, with improved quality of life for all."
Caribbean Single Market and Economy
The leaders agreed to create the Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME ) which will come into effect in 2005 for Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
The three countries had originally set January 5, 2005 as the date of signing the agreement relating to the (CSME ), the ceremony had then been rescheduled to coincide with the February 19 inauguration of the new CARICOM-headquarters building at Liliendaal, in Guyana.
The prospect was that 10 of the remaining 12 CARICOM countries will join by the end of 2005. The Bahamas and Haiti are not expected to be a part of the new economic arrangement at that time. The CARICOM Secretariat also maintains frequent contact with another orgaization named the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), which works with many of the smaller isles of CARICOM. Many of the OECS countries are seeking to maintain themselves as a micro-economic grouping within CARICOM.
Currently CARICOM has 15 Full members:
There are five associate members:
See also: Trade bloc
The CARICOM Common Passport
On Friday, January 7, 2005 the Republic of Suriname became the first full member state to officially launch the new bloc "CARICOM Passport". The new Passports boast having better security and are also machine-readable. The full member states of the Caribbean Community had agreed to establish a common passport in order to make intra-regional and international travel easier for their citizens. The passports are also thought to save additional costs for member states by using a similar cover design, the designs will also follow newly updated international standards on Passport design.
The next state planning to release the national CARICOM passport is Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, SVG plans to begin issuing the new CARICOM passports around April, 2005. The Co-operative Republic of Guyana and also Antigua and Barbuda announced they will begin to use the new CARICOM passport format by the middle of 2005.
Design: The 3 colors of the new Passports are:
- Dark-blue for civilians;
- green for government officials and
- red for diplomats.
In the case of Suriname, the Passport is adorned with the national symbols for the Republic of Suriname, as well as the CARICOM insignia on its cover. The President of the Republic of Suriname Ronald Venetiaan, received the first of these new CARICOM passports.
Antigua and Barbuda's design is to feature the country's Coat of Arms, country name, as well as the CARICOM logo.
The passports for Suriname were created by, the Canadian Banknote Company Ltd. (CBN) Under a 5 year programme with a price tag of US$1.5 Million. It is believed other member states of CARICOM will now soon follow with the introduction of their own branded version of the national 'CARICOM' Passport.
- Airline amalgamation
- Civil Society Charter
- Currency Union
- Freedom of Movement
- Political Union(s)
- Regionalised Stock Exchange
From around the year 2000, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states have placed a new focus and emphasis on establishing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with local and international trading partners. This is particially done in collaboration with the Caribbean Regional Negociating Machinery (CRNM).
Free Trade Agreements
- CARICOM - Canada Proposed to be finalised by the end of 2005.
- CARICOM - European Union On-going negotiation on the EPA("Economic Partnership Agreement")
CARICOM - Mercosur Open for discussions in May 2005
- The Community's Web site is http://www.caricom.org
- Statistical information compiled by the CARICOM Secretariat http://www.caricomstats.org/
Last updated: 08-17-2005 09:22:57