CARICOM Chairman, Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the closing press conference of the 39th Conference of Heads of Government for the Caribbean Community, that These procedures, which all Member States must have in place no later than 1 August, 2018, will guide border officials on how they should treat nationals who are refused entry.
"This, he said, "will safeguard the rights of all Community nationals moving across the region, a matter we note is of great importance to many."
"We promised our peoples free movement and this conference has recommitted to the free movement of skills, and has agreed that by 31 December 2018 all Member States who have not facilitated all ten approved categories will have the relevant legislative framework in place," Holness said.
"We promised that we would ensure family unification through the granting of important rights to spouses and dependents of citizens that move across the region to work, provide their services and establish companies."
The CARICOM Chairman said "We have guaranteed these rights through the Protocol on Contingent Rights that we signed today. This is a matter that has been long outstanding and is a major step that should encourage greater use of free movement regimes as it ensures greater levels of comfort and peace of mind for families. This is crucial to making CARICOM functional and relevant."
"We have also placed a great focus on advancing those areas which would help to create enabling support measures for a competitive Single Market. These include:
- an Investment Policy and Investment Code,
- an Incentives Regime,
- an Integrated Capital Market and;
- Securities Legislation.
The CARICOM Chairman said the heads of government had also simplified administrative procedures for the issuance of Skills Certificates and Police Certificates of Character.
On the matter of security, Regional Security Agencies were mandated to work closely with National Security Heads to address the various challenges emphasising the need to strengthen the network of security heads in the Region to promote further information and intelligence sharing.
Member States were also encouraged to urgently update all legal instruments required to combat crime and enhance regional security.
The Jamaican Prime Minister said the Heads of Government also endorsed six priorities related to non-communicable diseases for the Region to advocate for during the negotiation of the Outcome Political Document.
"These are: establishing and maintaining a smoke-free status for the Region; implementing policies geared to preventing childhood obesity, including for health-promoting school environments and Front of Package (FOP) labelling; promoting the elimination of cancer of the cervix; support for mitigation of post-disaster vulnerabilities related to NCDs in particular: nutrition, treatment and care; increasing international financing and technical support; and strengthening accountability through national coordinating mechanisms."
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