Prepared by Patrick Njoroge (WHD)
These include the University of the West Indies (UWI), a regional shipping services, and a regional meteorological service.
Thus, the OECS comprises the eight member countries and territories of the ECCU and the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The BVI and Anguilla were admitted in 1984 and 1995 respectively. Unlike a “full member,” the rights and obligations of an “associate member” do not extend to all aspects of the Treaty and these are specified when the member is admitted.
Both these members were anxious that their acceptance of such an agreement may exacerbate labor conditions in their territories or might interfere with their existing special relations with some non-OECS countries and territories.
The agreed medium-term targets were: sustained annual real growth of 6 percent; high quality employment with unemployment of less than 6 percent; poverty levels below 6 percent; Human Development Index (HDI) targets that are consistent with international standards, and the establishment of diversified and competitive economies.
The financial institutions include the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (whose older predecessor, the British Caribbean Currency Board, was established in 1950), the Eastern Caribbean Home Mortgage Bank (established in 1994), the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange (established in 2001), and the Eastern Caribbean Regional Government Securities Market (established in 2002). Efforts are underway to establish two new institutions; the Eastern Caribbean Unit Trust and the Eastern Caribbean Enterprise Fund.
The highest court in the region, however, is the British Privy Council. It is expected that this will be replaced by the Caribbean Court of Justice, once this is established, following an agreement reached in the February 2001 meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government.
The current 15 members of CARICOM are: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. Haiti is the newest member, as from July 2002. Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos are associate members.
In 1992, a Bureau was created comprising the current, incoming and outgoing chairmen of the Conference, and CARICOM’s Secretary-General, to deal with some of matters of the Conference. The Bureau meets as needed and reports to the Conference.
It has been suggested that the need to protect individual country sovereignty and the risk that the CSME process may eventually lead to a process of political unification, has been at the core of the delays in implementing the CSME.
The maximum of 70 percent in St. Lucia applies to arms and munitions, otherwise the maximum is 45 percent.
All ECCU members except Montserrat and Anguil1a are members of the WTO. Their membership’s dates are: January 1, 1995 for Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines; February 21, 1996 for St. Kitts and Nevis; and February 21, 1996 for Grenada.