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"We could not leave Trinidad and Tobago without discussing the core of the integration movement, which is the ability of people to move freely," Dominica's PM Skerrit said.
On Wednesday, Dominica's Prime Minister and incoming President of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Roosevelt Skerrit, announced that the Caribbean community will allow the free movement of all people by early 2024.
"We have made the decision for the free movement of all categories of people to live and work," he said in his closing speech at the Trinidad and Tobago summit, which was carried out to commemorate the 50th anniversary of CARICOM.
Next year, the free movement of people will be permitted between the 13 member countries of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), and essential services will be provided. This regional policy, however, will not cover the Bahamas and Montserrat because these countries are not CSME members.
Legal experts must present a report to the regional leaders before March 30, 2024, in order to adopt a "definitive position" on the matter.
His Excellency President Dr Irfaan Ali held discussions with China's Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying on Monday evening on the sidelines of the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain... pic.twitter.com/hniumJ8Buf
"We believe this is a fundamental part of the integration architecture, and at 50 years, we could not leave Trinidad and Tobago without discussing the core of the integration movement, which is the ability of people to move freely," Skerrit said.
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley explained that intraregional mobility of people will require amending the Treaty of Chaguaramas to ensure access to primary healthcare, emergency healthcare, and primary and secondary education.
On July 4, 1973, CARICOM was created with the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas to accelerate sustainable economic development, expand trade relations with other countries, achieve international competitiveness, and strengthen educational and cultural ties.
CARICOM leaders are scheduled to hold a retreat in Dominica from August 18 to 19 to review a series of reports, including regional governance and cooperation strengthening, ahead of their next summit in Guyana.
During the final session of the CARICOM summit, Skerrit also urged the United States to lift the blockade against Cuba and sanctions on Venezuela.
— Primature de la République d’Haïti (@PrimatureHT)
July 5, 2023
The tweet reads, "During the CARICOM 50th anniversary summit, Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry held a bilateral meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame."
He also expressed gratitude for the presence of Chinese and U.S. leaders at the summit, as well as the attendance of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Nations, Patricia Scotland, the South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, and the Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
"Looking forward to working more closely with CARICOM to build a stronger relationship between China and the Caribbean," tweeted Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying after a meeting with CARICOM Secretary Carla Barnett.
Currently, CARICOM encompasses Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.