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CARICOM discusses review of community relations council

Published:Thursday | May 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM

ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC:

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) foreign ministers yesterday began a two-day meeting with the host country calling for a review of the effectiveness of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR).

"All organisations from time to time need to review their effectiveness in carrying out their mission in an environment that is constantly in change," Dr Colin McIntyre, minister of CARICOM affairs, said, adding that the review would also involve "the wider question of the effectiveness and functioning of the Caribbean Community".

"Some of the questions which we have identified for treatment under this heading include the frequency of COFCOR meetings ... and the need for greater sharing of information among member states, a process that should be well facilitated by the CARICOM Secretariat."

McIntyre said that a "critical item" to be discussed at the meeting is the need to improve the arrangements "that we have in place for greater inclusion and input from member states ... of documents required for our meetings".

He said the timely research of documents that form the basis of the decision making at the COFCOR meeting "continues to be of nagging concern".

strengthening role

The meeting will discuss, among other issues, ways of strengthening of the region's role in Haiti's reconstruction and a CARICOM Secretariat statement said that the foreign ministers will discuss CARICOM's participation on the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Committee that was established following the international donors' conference on Haiti in March.

A powerful earthquake on January 12 devastated the French-speaking CARICOM country, killing an estimated 300,000 people and leaving more than a million others homeless.

Apart from Haiti, the foreign ministers will also discuss the "changing geopolitical trends" and the region's relations with other countries.

The meeting will discuss, among other issues, ways of strengthening of the region's role in Haiti's reconstruction.