caribbeannetnews.com | 12/15/2008
Dominican Republic no longer interested in joining CARICOM
The Dominican Republic is no longer interested in becoming a part of CARICOM, according to the country’s ambassador to the European Union (EU). The Barbados Nation carried a report from Brussels which quoted a statement from the Dominican Republic Ambassador to the EU, Federico Cuello Camilo, in which he stated that his country has no faith in CARICOM’s ability to either address pending agreements or to be the implementing authority for the CARIFORUM/EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)
"Nobody wants to belong to an institution where they are not wanted," the Ambassador told journalists. He added, "The CARICOM/Dominican Republic agreement has been on the table since 1998 and the implementation record is abysmal. Quite frankly, we can live very well with the mechanisms we have, and whatever we have can be improved on."
Camilo, who also served as Lead Negotiator on Investment and Trade in Services for CARIFORUM (CARICOM plus the Dominican Republic) in the recently concluded EPA negotiations, called the conference to publicly present his country’s Statement on Matters Related to Institutional Arrangements. The Statement was tabled at the recently concluded 26th meeting of CARICOM’s Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in Guyana. It proposes options for an EPA implementing institution for CARIFORUM as mandated under article 234 of the EPA.
The four options suggested by the Dominican Republic were to create a brand new institution or to utilise the already existing CARICOM Secretariat, the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM), the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) as the EPA implementing institution.
But as he delivered four options, saying the Dominican Republic was "not married to any of them", Camilo poured cold water on two: that of creating a new institution and that of using the Secretariat. Creating a new institution, he said would cost time, money and resources that none of the countries involved wanted to spend, and the CARICOM Secretariat was just not ready, he concluded.