Guyana is among six Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states that signed the Protocol on Contingent Rights last Friday. The Protocol, which has been in the works for over a decade, paves the way for dependents of persons with approved Skilled Certificates to not only move freely with their loved-ones, but access basic social services.
Barbados, St Lucia, Grenada, Suriname, and Haiti also signed the accord on July 6 – the last day – of the Regular Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government held in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The Heads of Government regarded this as a major historic step that would encourage greater use of the free movement of skills as it ensures levels of comfort for families. The decision to adopt the instrument, comes following an operational review of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), where it was reiterated that there was need to accelerate its implementation.
Heads of Government also place greater focus on advancing those areas which would help to create enabling support measures for a competitive Single Market.
These include an Investment Policy and Investment Code, an Incentives Regime, an Integrated Capital Market and beginning with model Securities Legislation.
They also mandated the Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) to finalise these instruments over the course of the year and to be completed by July 2019.
The leaders also adopted the Procedures on the Refusal of Entry of Community Nationals and the harmonised Form to be used by Immigration when refusing entry, and urged Member States to implement the Procedures on the Refusal of Entry of Community Nationals by August 1, 2018.
In recognition of the need to keep focus on the CSME, they also agreed that a Special Meeting of the Conference on this matter would be held in November 2018 in Trinidad and Tobago.
They also agreed that the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CSME will meet quarterly to guide and invigorate the implementation process. The first such Meeting would be in September 2018. Emphasis at this time would be on what is practical and achievable over the next 12 months.