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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

                                                                            Copyright © 2003 International Development Options

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Volume Three                                                                        Winter 2002-Spring 2003                                       Numbers 1-2.

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  Theme: THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WEST INDIAN COMISSION REPORT: ASSESSING THE

  PROGRESS OF CARICOM NATIONS IN IMPLEMENTING THE COMMISSION'S RECOMMENDATIONS

                                                                                                                                                                                                 

  A Collaborative Approach to Foreign Policy CARICOM and the Regional Negotiating Mechanism

  Debbie Ann Mohammed

  Solange Eryl Cross

  Institute of International Relations

  The University of the West Indies

  St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad

 

  Published online: February 10, 2017 

 

   ABSTRACT

The West Indian Commission (WIC) Report published in 1992 1 underscored the need for a coordinated, regional approach to foreign policy articulation and implementation, building on such a recognition as early as 1973 when the Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the Com­munity was signed.

This prescription is even more pertinent to the region thirty years later. Changing patterns of economic relationships, compounded by the inability of such small states to deal effectively with a range of transnational issues, render Caribbean governments largely powerless and threaten the stability and development capacity of the region.

In the current international climate dominated by trade liberal­ization and the formation of regional trading blocs, it is imperative that mechanisms be established to support the effective coordination and implementation of a regional foreign policy. In this regard, CARICOM governments, in 1997, established the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (RNM) as the principal mechanism for devising and imple­menting an overall negotiating strategy for the region in a number of trade-related negotiations.  However, some observers regard its forma­tion “more as a hurried response to such external influences, particu­larly the three crucial negotiations that were underway or imminent, rather than a facilitator of the growth of the internal dynamics of integra­tion” (Grant, 2000). As a result, the significance of formulating and main­taining truly “regional” positions on issues such as trade, tourism, and security is often not fully appreciated and tends to be at variance with national policies or left to the discretion of domestic policy makers.  Clearly these are important considerations that affect the RNM’s ability to effectively execute its mandate.

  

 

 

IDO        ISSN: 1093-8281                 Copyright © 2017 International Development Options

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