Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) - Explained
What is the CARICOM?
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Table of ContentsWhat is CARICOM?What is the History of the Caribbean Community and Common Market?Academic Research on the Caribbean Community and Common Market
What is CARICOM?
Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) is an organization formed by twenty countries in the Caribbean region for promoting economic integration and mutual cooperation among its member countries.
What is the History of the Caribbean Community and Common Market?
The CARICOM was formed in 1973 for developing a coordinated economic policy for its member nations and implementing development planning and special projects for supporting the less developed nations within its jurisdiction.
It is also operated as a regional single market (CARICOM single market) for many of its members and intervene in the trade disputes.
The community was formed by the developing countries to devise a development planning that helps in promoting the economy and ensures an equitable sharing of the benefits of economic integration.
CARICOM has fifteen member states and five associate members. These states are home for approximately sixteen million people and 60% among them are under the age of 30 years. They are mainly from various indigenous ethnic groups, Africans, Indians, Europeans, Chinese, Portuguese and Javanese. It was set up with the Treaty of Chaguaramas on July 4, 1973, in Georgetown, Guyana. The organization is currently based in the same city.
The community emerged in 1958, after a 15-year long effort towards promoting regional integration and cooperation. It was established with three main objectives: (i) Encouraging mutual cooperation among its member states. (ii) Narrowing the political and economic relations among themselves. (iii) Promoting cultural, educational and industrial cooperation.
The major language of CARICOM is English, and it is complemented French and Dutch and their variations, as well as African and Asian expressions. The community comprises developing countries stretching from The Bahamas in the north to Suriname and Guyana in South America.
All its member states are island states except for Belize in Central America and Guyana and Suriname in South America. The full members of CARICOM are: (i) Antigua and Barbuda (ii) Bahamas (iii) Barbados (iv) Belize (v) Dominica (vi) Grenada (vii) Guyana (viii) Haiti (ix) Jamaica (x) Montserrat (xi) Saint Kitts and Nevis (xii) Saint Lucia (xiii) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (xiv) Suriname (xv) Trinidad and Tobago The associate member states are: (xvi) Anguilla (xvii) Bermuda (xviii) British Virgin Islands (xix) Cayman Islands (xx) Turks and Caicos Islands The countries participating as observers are: (i) Aruba (ii) Colombia (iii) Curaao (iv) Dominican Republic (v) Mexico (vi) Puerto Rico (vii) Sint Maarten (viii) Venezuela
CARICOM is headed by the Chairman and the post is held by the Heads of States (for the republics) and Heads of the Government (for the realms) of its 15 member states on a rotational basis.
The governance of CARICOM was defined in the Treaty of Chaguaramas and later it was revised in 2002 in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. The structure is organized into Organs, Bodies, and Institution.
The Supreme Organ of the Caribbean community is the Conference of Heads of Government. It consists of the Heads of Government of the Member States and is responsible for its policy direction. They are the final decision maker about the Treaties between the Community and International organizations and States.
Typically, the Conference makes its decision unanimously. Taking care of the financial operations of the community is also a responsibility of the Conference but this function has been delegated to the Community Council.
Incoming, Incumbent, and Outgoing Chairpersons of the Conference form a Sub-Committee of the Conference and that is known as the Bureau. It was set up by the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. The Secretary-General assists the Bureau.
The second highest organ of the Community is the Community Council formed with the Ministers of the member States. These ministers are responsible for CARICOM affairs. The primary responsibilities of the Community Council include developing a strategic plan for the Community, coordinating economic integration, functional cooperation (human and social development) and external developing external relations. The other organs of the Community are:
- Council for Economic and Commercial Development (COTED)
- Council for External Relations and the Community (COFCOR)
- Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD)
- Council for Financial Planning (COFAP)
Apart from these organs the Community also has various institutions. Those include:
- Agency for Cooperation in Disasters and Emergencies (CDRA)
- Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI)
- Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO)
- Caribbean Corporation for Food (CFC)
- Caribbean Institute for the Protection of the Environment (CEHI)
- Institute for Research and Development of Caribbean Agriculture (CARDI)
- Caribbean Institute for Education in the Protection of Wildlife and Veterinary Assistance (REPAHA)
- Association of Parliaments of the Caribbean Community (ACCP)
- Center for the Administrative Development of the Caribbean (CARICAD)
- Caribbean Institute for Food and Nutrition (CFNI).
It also has some associate institutions and those are:
- Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)
- University of Guyana (UG)
- University of the East Indies (UWI)
- Caribbean Law Institute / Central Caribbean Law Institute (CLI / CLIC)