Jamaica At Odds With Other CARICOM Members Over CDF

CMC News:-  The capitalisation of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Development Fund (CDF) has emerged as a contentious issue as Caribbean leaders enter the final day of their annual summit here on Friday.

The CDF is an institution of the CARICOM with a mandate to provide financial or technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors in the Community.

According to the CARICOM website, in this capacity, the CDF is central to addressing the disparities among the member states of CARICOM, which may result from the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) that allows for the free movement of skills, good, services and labour across the 15-member grouping.

CARICOM sources told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that Jamaica had stormed out of the caucus meeting last night as the issue was being discussed with Prime Minister Andrew Holness apparently disagreeing with his regional colleagues on the position adopted on the contributions to be made by the so-called more developed countries of CARICOM.

Holness did not speak to reporters when he arrived at the venue for the summit on Friday, but informed sources said that Jamaica is questioning the accuracy of the report of previous meetings on the matter.

They said Jamaica is claiming their position is to opt out at this point in time of making a contribution to the CDF, while  some Caribbean countries such as Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts-Nevis contend that they cannot opt out and that it is an obligation of each member by way of Treaty.

Further the sources said that the other Caribbean countries argue that if Jamaica cannot pay at this point in time, they should acknowledge that they owe and make it a debt payable.

Jamaica responded that it would be “unfortunate” and any attempt to blame Kingston for any failure of this meeting will be “resisted”.

Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell told CMC that while he would not want to comment on the situation, the CDF is a fund “meant to help the less developed countries …to deal with the problem of the unbalance in trade issues.

“Jamaica indicated that it has some financial problems that it has to deal with and I think a decision was made years ago for the second tranche. So there was an issue concerning this and I think Jamaica is in the best position to answer for themselves on that,” Mitchell told CMC.

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley told CMC that “virtually all Caribbean territories have resource issues. What we have confirmed is that as part of the treaty by way of treaty clauses, as we operationalize the CSME there is a requirement to look after the needs of the LDCS through the clause that says we have to set up this CDF which gives them a benefit.

“So the MDCs, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, who will be the major beneficiaries of the CSME accessing the markets of the smaller countries that do not have the same capacity to benefit from the CSME. So the treaty makes provision for those countries in the MDCs to fund this CDF”

But he said as had been discussed when regional leaders held a special summit on CSME in Trinidad last December, “to operationalize the CSME, the requirement to fund the CDF is now upon us at a time when all of us have financial constraints.

“So what we are saying is that we should not allow our financial constraints prevent us from operationalizing the CSME, but having said and done that, we must now to the best of our ability accept that responsibility to fund the CDF and find in an agreed arrangement.”

Rowley said he believes “we have an understanding what we discussed yesterday and discussed going forward is encouraging everybody to pay up.

“You live in the Caribbean, you know how it is, whether it is UWI (University of the West Indies) …we usually have to encourage people to make their payments”.

7 COMMENTS

    • You have to feel for Mr Holness. Trying to usher in his #NewJamaica principal. Having china as a major lender(Having to repay them), PetroJam, JPS and other internal issues where financing is concerned. Hearing that Jamaica now has to contribute again financially towards the CDF, a Dwindling Jamaican dollar….it’s alot for the man currently. He wants to develop his country and look after the interests of his people first. 100s of 1000s are already pressuring him in his home country to deliver on their behalves. This added requirement form CARICOM isn’t making things any lighter.

    • Seems a repeat of the infamous WEST INDIAN FEDERATION situation…..I hope the same will not be the actual result where they pull out.

  1. Typical Jamaica the biggest island in the Caribbean and one of the poorest never willing to pull their weight. The small islands you despise always bail you out.

    • Its always more expensive to manage a larger physical household than a smaller one you know. Such is the case with Jamaica. Run pipes, Power and Telephone lines for distances that exceed those between some Caribbean countries themselves. Its a lot to chew on for them. Their dollar isn’t the strongest and their industries don’t deliver like in the past. Their people are extremely patriotic though and that’s a plus. They’re creative and willing work hard. They love their country and most aren’t happy concerning the crime rates there. Yes, I have seen where a few ignorant ones make low statements with regards to the various “small sizes” of other Caribbean countries. We do know however that size isn’t all that matters for a given country. Some of the smaller countries would have been able to develop their infrastructure just as well as is the case in Jamaica if granted more space. Some are very mountainous which makes building difficult. Kingston for the most part and many other Jamaican parishes are flat. Nice country but they need to regard others in the region.

    • Don’t read you illiterate fools. I have news for you Jamaica’s economy well these days and is on a serious rebound. Goggle it for yourself check Bloomberg News what they say about the their stock exchange it’s amongst one of the best performing in the world yes they have a stock exchange something (St Lucia and other smaller islands don’t have) so I don’t know which “smaller islands” can bail out Jamaica as you put it. They will end IMF in September our jackass leader want to sit down with the IMF. Their tourism is number one right now despite the crap you read here and with all those Americans dying in DR has been a shot in the arm for JA they doing well. The country has a serious crime problem but aren’t we all ? Stop reading only your hometown paper no man is an island (only the editor swear he is) I read everybody’s news paper like the US State Department from the Haitian Times right down this rag so as to keep educated informed and well rounded so when I post something I don’t look like an ass. Trust me when I tell you what’s affecting one is affecting all it’s one Caribbean every body has Flow and Digicel and smart phones and is connected to social medias these days it unconscionable to be so dam illiterate. I guess you feel the same about Guyana ? You better go and read they will be the ones bailing out the Caribbean countries just now maybe even Trinidad.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Suspected Suicide At MonchyRead
+ +