Caribbean Community

History

The establishment of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) was the result of a 15-year effort to fulfil the hope of regional integration which was born with the establishment of the British West Indies Federation in 1958. The West Indies Federation came to an end in 1962 but its end, may be regarded as the real beginning of what is now the Caribbean Community. 

With the end of the Federation, political leaders in the Caribbean made more serious efforts to strengthen the ties between the islands and mainland by providing for the continuance and strengthening of the areas of cooperation that existed during the Federation. Further, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago both attained independence in August that year and with it the power to control their own domestic and external affairs. 

In announcing its intention to withdraw from the Federation, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago proposed the creation of a Caribbean Community, consisting not only of the 10 members of the Federation, but also of the three Guianas and all the islands of the Caribbean Sea - both independent and non-independent. 

Objective

The Community has the following objectives: 

(a) improved standards of living and work;

(b) full employment of labour and other factors of production;

(c) accelerated, co-ordinated and sustained economic development and convergence;

(d) expansion of trade and economic relations with third States;

(e) enhanced levels of international competitiveness;

(f) organisation for increased production and productivity;

(g) the achievement of a greater measure of economic leverage and effectiveness of Member States in dealing with third States, groups of States and entities of any description;

(h) enhanced co-ordination of Member States' foreign and [foreign] economic policies; and 

(i) enhanced functional co-operation, including -

  • (i) more efficient operation of common services and activities for the benefit of its peoples; 
  • (ii) accelerated promotion of greater understanding among its peoples and the advancement of their social, cultural and technological development;
  • (iii) intensified activities in areas such as health, education, transportation, telecommunications.
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