June 21, 2011

NATION EDITORIAL: Non-functioning of Caricom’s quasi-cabinet?

TUE, JUNE 21, 2011 - 12:00 AM

When leaders of the Caribbean Community meet next weekend in Basseterre for this year’s annual summit, we hope they would review the relevance and functioning of the quasi-cabinet mechanism through which lead portfolio responsibilities are allocated.

The quasi-cabinet and the CARICOM Bureau (comprising current, immediate past and and incoming Heads of Government, along with the secretary general), are part of the governance system instituted in accordance with the “Consensus of Chaguaramas” in October 1999.

Its aim was to “spearhead action in sectors critical to the region’s integration and its vision of development into the 21st century”.

We today recall this development of almost 11 years because of recurring lapses and dissatisfaction over adherence to the letter and spirit of the functioning of the quasi-cabinet across the 14 independent member states (Montserrat is the exception).

The distribution of portfolios is done on the basis of country and responsibility held by whoever is that state’s Head of Government. All of the leaders are collectively responsible to the Heads of Government conference which is the primary organ of the Community.

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