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Opposition urges caution in impending CARICOM review

Published:Monday | May 30, 2016 | 9:35 AM

The Opposition is warning the Government to be cautious in undertaking the impending review of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Prime Minister Andrew Holness last week announced that former head of Government Bruce Golding has been appointed to chair a committee to examine Jamaica's future in the regional body.

In a statement this morning, the Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Dr Maurice Guy said the idea of the review is welcome, but said the exercise should result in sustainable benefit and the development of Jamaica.

‎"The proposed CARICOM Review Commission should not begin with any preconceived or settled view of a CARICOM partner being 'an ATM' or of regional partners being 'mendicants'," he said.‎

Guy also said ‎dated concepts such as CARICOM as an attempt to reintroduce the failed Federation should be  shelved.

He said the private sector should be encouraged to conduct its own frank introspection as to whether it has made proper use of the institutions of CARICOM and  allow its findings to flow into the discussions of the Review Commission.

"We also believe that the academic fraternity should make itself readily available to provide discrete assistance to the deliberations of the Commission," he said.

The Opposition also noted that it would support any call for the findings and recommendations of the Review Commission to be presented to the Parliament for full consideration and debate.

"With the caveats outlined, there is every reason to embrace such a review, bearing in mind the history and the cultural underpinnings that are shared by these territories that are washed by the Caribbean Sea," Guy said.