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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM or CC) is an organisation of fifteen states and dependencies throughout the Caribbean having primary objectives to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy.[14] The organisation was established in 1973. Its major activities involve coordinating economic policies and development planning; devising and instituting special projects for the less-developed countries within its jurisdiction; operating as a regional single market for many of its members (Caricom Single Market); and handling regional trade disputes. The secretariat headquarters is in Georgetown, Guyana. CARICOM is an official United Nations Observer.[15]

CARICOM was established by the English-speaking parts of the Caribbean, and currently includes all the independent anglophone island countries plus Belize, Guyana and Montserrat, as well as all other British Caribbean territories and Bermuda as associate members. English was its sole working language into the 1990s. The organization has become multilingual with the addition of Dutch-speaking Suriname in 1995 and the French-speaking Haiti in 2002. Furthermore, it has added Spanish as the fourth official language in 2003.[16] In July 2012, CARICOM announced that they were considering making French and Dutch official languages.[17] In 2001, the heads of government signed a revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that cleared the way to transform the idea of a common market CARICOM into a Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy. Part of the revised treaty establishes and implements the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Membership

Currently CARICOM has 15 full members, 5 associate members and 8 observers. All of the associate members are British Overseas Territories, and it is currently not established what the role of the associate members will be. The observers are states which engage in at least one of CARICOM's technical committees. Although the group has close ties with Cuba, that nation was excluded due to lack of full democratic internal political arrangement.[citation needed] In 2017 the Republic of Cuba and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) bloc signed the "CARICOM-Cuba Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement"[18] to facilitate closer ties.

Organisation of Eastern Caribbean StatesCaribbean CommunityAssociation of Caribbean StatesMontserratAntigua and BarbudaDominicaGrenadaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesThe BahamasBarbadosBelizeGuyanaHaitiJamaicaSurinameTrinidad and TobagoColombiaCosta RicaCubaDominican RepublicGuatemalaHondurasMexicoNicaraguaPanamaEl SalvadorVenezuela
A clickable Euler diagram showing the relationships between various Supranational Caribbean Organisations and agreements.

Association of Caribbean States

CARICOM was instrumental in the formation of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) on 24 July 1994. The original idea for the Association came from a recommendation of the West Indian Commission, established in 1989 by the CARICOM heads of state and government. The Commission advocated both deepening the integration process (through the CARICOM Single Market and Economy) and widening it through a separate regional organisation encompassing all states in the Caribbean.[53]

CARICOM accepted the commission's recommendations and opened dialogue with other Caribbean states, the Central American states and the Latin American nations of Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico which border the Caribbean, for consultation on the proposals of the West Indian Commission.[53]

At an October 1993 summit, the heads of state and government of CARICOM and the presidents of the then-Group of Three (Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela) formally decided to create an association grouping all states of the Caribbean basin. A work schedule for its formation was adopted. The aim was to create the association in less than a year, an objective which was achieved with the formal creation of the ACS.[53]

Community of Latin American and Caribbean States

CARICOM was also involved in the formation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) on 3 December 2010. The idea for CELAC originated at the Rio Group–Caribbean Community Unity Summit on 23 February 2010 in Mexico.[54][55][56][57][58]

European Union: Economic Partnership Agreements

Since 2013, the CARICOM-bloc and the Dominican Republic have been tied to the European Union via an Economic Partnership Agreements known as CARIFORUM signed in 2008.[35] The treaty grants all members of the European Union and CARIFORUM equal rights in terms of trade and investment. Within the agreement under Article 234, the European Court of Justice also carries dispute resolution mechanisms between CARIFORUM and the states of the European Union.[

An estimated 30,000 Jamaicans legally reside in other CARICOM member states,[40] mainly in the Bahamas (5,600),[41] Antigua & Barbuda (estimated 12,000),[42] Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago).[40] Also, an estimated 150 Jamaicans live and work in Montserrat.[42] A November 21, 2013 estimated put 16,958 Jamaicans residing illegally in Trinidad & Tobago, as according to the records of the Office of the Chief Immigration Officer, their entry certificates would have since expired.[43] By October 2014, the estimated Jamaicans residing illegally in Trinidad and Tobago was 19,000 along with an estimated 7,169 Barbadians and 25,884 Guyanese residing illegally.[44] An estimated 8,000 Trinidadians and Tobagonians live in Jamaica.[45]

Barbados hosts a large diaspora population of Guyanese, of whom (in 2005) 5,032 lived there permanently as citizens, permanent residents, immigrants (with immigrant status) and Caricom skilled nationals; 3,200 were residing in Barbados temporarily under work permits, as students, or with "reside and work" status. A further 2,000-3,000 Guyanese were estimated to be living illegally in Barbados at the time.[46] Migration between Barbados and Guyana has deep roots, going back over 150 years, with the most intense period of Barbadian migration to then-British Guiana occurring between 1863 and 1886, although as late as the 1920s and 1930s Barbadians were still leaving Barbados for British Guiana.[47]

Migration between Guyana and Suriname also goes back a number of years. An estimated 50,000 Guyanese had migrated to Suriname by 1986[48][49] In 1987 an estimated 30-40,000 Guyanese were in Suriname.[50] Many Guyanese left Suriname in the 1970s and 1980s, either voluntarily by expulsion. Over 5,000 were expelled in January 1985 alone.[51] in the instability Suriname experienced following independence, both coups and civil war.[48][49] In 1987 an estimated 30-40,000 Guyanese were in Suriname.[50] Many Guyanese left Suriname in the 1970s and 1980s, either voluntarily by expulsion. Over 5,000 were expelled in January 1985 alone.[51] in the instability Suriname experienced following independence, both coups and civil war.[49] In 2013 an estimated 11,530 Guyanese had emigrated to Suriname and 4,662 Surinamese to Guyana.[52]

CARICOM was instrumental in the formation of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) on 24 July 1994. The original idea for the Association came from a recommendation of the West Indian Commission, established in 1989 by the CARICOM heads of state and government. The Commission advocated both deepening the integration process (through the CARICOM Single Market and Economy) and widening it through a separate regional organisation encompassing all states in the Caribbean.[53]

CARICOM accepted the commission's recommendations and opened dialogue with other Caribbean states, the Central American states and the Latin American nations of Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico which border the Caribbean, for consultation on the proposals of the West Indian Commission.[53]

At an October 1993 summit, the heads of state and government of CARICOM and the presidents of the then-Group of Three (Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela) formally decided to create an association grouping all states of the Caribbean basin. A work schedule for its formation was adopted. The aim was to create the association in less than a year, an objective which was achieved with the formal creation of the ACS.[53]

Community of Latin American and Caribbean States

CARICOM was also involved in the formation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) on 3 December 2010. The idea for CELAC originated at the Rio Group–Caribbean Community Unity Summit on 23 February 2010 in Mexico.[54][55][56][57][58]

European Union: Economic Partnership Agreements

Since 2013, the CARICOM-bloc and the Dominican Republic have been tied to the European Union via an Economic Partnership Agreements known as CARIFORUM signed in 2008.[35] The treaty grants all members of the European Union and CARIFORUM equal rights in terms of trade and investment. Within the agreement under Article 234, the European Court of Justice also carries dispute resolution mechanisms between CARIFORUM and the states of the European Union.[36]

OHADAC Project

In May 2016, Caricom's court of original jurisdiction, the CCJ, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the ACP Legal Association based in Guadeloupe recognising and supporting the goals of implementing a harmonised business law framework in the Caribbean through ACP Legal Association's OHADAC Project.[59]

OHADAC is the acronym for the French "Organisation pour l'Harmonisation du Droit des Affaires en les Caraïbes", which translates into English as "Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in the Caribbean". The OHADAC Project takes inspiration from a similar organisation in Africa and aims to enhance economic integration across the entire Caribbean and facilitate increased trade and international investment through unified laws and alternative dispute resolution methods.[59]

See also

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