Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 September 2014, 09:44 GMT

Treaty Establishing the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

Publisher Regional Treaties, Agreements, Declarations and Related
Publication Date 1 August 1973
Cite as Regional Treaties, Agreements, Declarations and Related, Treaty Establishing the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) , 1 August 1973, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b38323.html [accessed 23 September 2014]
Comments Adopted at Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago. Date of entry into force: 1 August 1973, in accordance with article 24 of the Treaty. Depository: Caribbean community secretariat.
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Preamble

The Governments of the Contracting States,

Determined to consolidate and strengthen the bonds which have historically existed among their peoples;

Sharing a common determination to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of their peoples for full employment and improved standards of work and living;

Conscious that these objectives can most rapidly be attained by the optimum utilisation of available human and natural resources of the Region; by accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development, particularly through the exercise of permanent sovereignty over their natural resources; by the efficient operation of common services and functional cooperation in the social, cultural, educational and technological fields; and by a common front in relation to the external world;

Convinced of the need to elaborate an effective regime by establishing and utilising institutions designed to enhance the economic, social and cultural development of their peoples;

Have agreed as follows:

CHAPTER ONE: PRINCIPLES

Article 1

Establishment of the Caribbean Community

By this Treaty the Contracting Parties establish among themselves a Caribbean Community (hereinafter referred to as "the Community" having the membership, powers and functions hereinafter specified.

Article 2

Membership

1.Membership of the Community shall be open to:

(a)

(i) Antigua

(ii) Bahamas

(iii) Barbados

(iv) Belize

(v) Dominica

(vi) Grenada

(vii) Guyana

(viii) Jamaica

(ix) Montserrat

(x) St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla

(xi) St. Lucia

(xii) St. Vincent

(xiii) Trinidad and Tobago

(b)any other State of the Caribbean Region that is in the opinion of the Conference able and willing to exercise the rights and assume the obligations of membership in accordance with Article 29 of this Treaty.

2.States listed in paragraph 1(a) of this article the Governments of which sign this Treaty in accordance with Article 22 and ratify it in accordance with Article 23 shall become Member States of the Community.

Article 3

Definition of Less Developed Countries and More Developed Countries

For the purposes of this Treaty the States specified in paragraph 1(a)(iii), (vii), (viii) and (xiii) of Article 2 shall be designated More Developed Countries and the remainder listed in the said paragraph 1(a), other than the Bahamas, shall be designated Less Developed Countries until such time as the Conference otherwise determine by majority decision.

Article 4

Objectives of the Community

The Community shall have as its objectives:

(a)the economic integration of the Member States by the establishment of a common market regime (hereinafter referred to as "the Common Market") in accordance with the provisions of the Annex to this Treaty with the following aims:

(i) the strengthening, coordination and regulation of the economic and trade relations among Member States in order to promote their accelerated harmonious and balanced development;

(ii) the sustained expansion and continuing integration of economic activities, the benefits of which shall be equitably shared taking into account the need to provide special opportunities for the Less Developed Countries;

(iii) the achievement of a greater measure of economic independence and effectiveness of its Member States in dealing with states, groups of states and entities of whatever description;

(b)the coordination of the foreign policies of Member States; and

(c)functional cooperation, including:

(i) the efficient operation of certain common services and activities for the benefit of its peoples;

(ii) the promotion of greater understanding among its peoples and the advancement of their social, cultural and technological development;

(iii) activities in the fields specified in the Schedule and referred to in Article 18 of this Treaty.

Article 5

General Undertaking as to Implementation

Member States shall take all appropriate measures, whether general or particular, to ensure the carrying out of obligations arising out of this Treaty or resulting from decisions taken by the Organs of the Common Market. They shall facilitate the achievement of the objectives of the Common Market. They shall abstain from any measures which could jeopardise the attainment of the objectives of this Treaty.

CHAPTER TWO: ORGANS OF THE COMMUNITY

Article 6

Principal Organs

The principal organs of the Community shall be:

(a) the Conference of Heads of Government (hereinafter referred to as "the Conference");

(b) the Common Market Council established under the annex (hereinafter referred to as "the Council").

Article 7

The Conference-Composition

The Conference shall consist of the Heads of Government of Member States.

Any member of the Conference may, as appropriate, designate an alternate to represent him at any meeting of the Conference.

Article 8

Functions and Powers

1.The primary responsibility of the Conference shall be to determine the policy of the Community.

2.The Conference may establish, and designate as such, institutions of the Community in addition to those specified in paragraphs (a) to (g) of Article 10 of this Treaty, as it deems fit for the achievement of the objectives of the Community.

3.The Conference may issue directions of a general or special character as to the policy to be pursued by the Council and the Institutions of the Community for the achievement of the objectives of the Community, and effect shall be given to any such directions.

4.Subject to the relevant provisions of this Treaty, the Conference shall be the final authority for the conclusion of treaties on behalf of the Community and for entering into relationships between the Community and International Organisations and States.

5.The Conference shall take decisions for the purpose of establishing the financial arrangements necessary for meeting the expenses of the Community and shall be the final authority on questions arising in relation to the financial affairs of the Community.

6.The Conference may regulate its own procedure and may decide to admit to its deliberations observers, representatives of non-Member States or other entities.

7.The Conference may consult with entities and other organisations within the region and for this purpose may establish such machinery as it deems necessary.

Article 9

Voting in the Conference

1.Each member of the Conference shall have one vote.

2.The Conference shall make decisions and recommendations by the affirmative vote of all its members.

3.A decision shall be binding upon each Member State to which it is directed. A recommendation shall have no binding force. Where, however, a Member State fails to observe a recommendation of the Conference, it shall submit a report to the Conference as early as practicable and in any event not later than six months thereafter, giving reasons for its non-compliance.

4.For the purposes for this article, abstentions shall not be construed as impairing the validity of decisions or recommendations of the Conference provided that not less than three-quarters of its members including at least two of the More Developed Countries vote in favour of any decision or recommendation.

Article 10

Institutions of the Community

Institutions of the Community shall be:

(a) the Conference of Ministers responsible for Health;

(b) the Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Education;

(c) the Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Labour;

(d) the Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs;

(e) the Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Finance;

(f) the Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Agriculture;

(g) the Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Mines;

(h) any other institution that may be established and designated as such by the Conference in accordance with Article 8.

Article 11

Composition of Institutions of the Community

1.Each Institution of the Community as set out in paragraphs (a) to (h) of Article 10 of this Treaty shall consist of representatives of Member States. Each Member State shall designate a Minister of Government as its representative on each such Institution.

2.Where the Minister designated under paragraph 1 of this article is unable to attend a meeting of the Institutions the Member State may designate any other person as an alternate to attend such meeting in his stead.

3.Where the Conference establishes any other Institution in the exercise of the power conferred on it by paragraph 2 of Article 8 of this Treaty, the composition of such Institution shall be determined by the Conference.

Article 12

Functions and Powers

1.Subject to the relevant provisions of Article 8 of this Treaty, the Institutions of the Community shall formulate such policies and perform such functions as are necessary for the achievement of the objectives of the Community within their respective spheres of competence.

2.The Institutions of the Community may regulate their own procedure and:

(a) may establish such subsidiary committees, agencies and other bodies as they consider necessary for the efficient performance of their functions; and

(b) may decide to admit at their deliberations observers, representatives of non-Member States or other entities.

Article 13

Voting in Institutions

1.Each Member State represented on an Institution shall have one vote.

2.Unless otherwise provided for, decisions of an Institution shall be made by an affirmative vote of all its members. For the purposes of this paragraph, abstentions shall not be construed as impairing the validity of decisions of an Institution provided that not less than three-quarters of its members including at least two of the More Developed Countries vote in favour of such decisions.

3.Recommendations shall be made by a two-thirds majority vote of all its members including at least two of the More Developed Countries and shall have no binding force. Where a Member State fails to observe a recommendation of an Institution in whole or in part, it shall submit a report to the Institution making the recommendation as early as practicable and in any event not later than six months after receiving notice of such recommendation giving reasons for its non-compliance.

4.Observers at meeting of Institutions shall not have the right to vote.

Article 14

Associate Institutions

1.The following institutions shall be recognised as Associate Institutions of the Community:

(a) the Caribbean Development Bank;

(b) the Caribbean Investment Corporation;

(c) the West Indies Associated States Council of Ministers;

(d) the East Caribbean Common Market Council of Ministers;

(e) the Caribbean Examinations Council;

(f) the Council of Legal Education;

(g) the University of Guyana;

(h) the University of the West Indies;

(i) the Caribbean Meteorological Council;

(j) the Regional Shipping Council;

(k) any other institutions designated as such by the Conference.

2.The Community shall seek to establish such relationships with its Associate Institutions as will promote the achievement of its objectives.

Article 15

The Community Secretariat

1.The Commonwealth Caribbean Regional Secretariat shall be recognised as the Community Secretariat. The Community Secretariat (hereinafter referred to as "the Secretariat") shall be the principal administrative organ of the Community. The headquarters of the Secretariat shall be located in Georgetown, Guyana.

2.The Secretariat shall comprise a Secretary-General and such staff as the Community may require. The Secretary-General shall be appointed by the Conference (on the recommendation of the Council) for a term not exceeding five years and may be reappointed by the Conference. He shall be the chief administrative officer of the Community.

3.The Secretary-General shall act in that capacity in all meetings of the Conference, the Council and of the institutions of the Community. The Secretary-General shall make an annual report to the Conference on the work of the Community.

4.In the performance of their duties the Secretary-General and his staff shall neither seek nor receive instructions from any government whether of Member States of otherwise or from any other authority. They shall refrain from any action which might reflect on their position as officials of the Community and shall be responsible only to the Community.

5.Each Member State undertakes to respect the exclusively international character of the responsibilities of the Secretary-General and his staff and shall not seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities.

6.The Conference shall approve the Staff Regulations governing the operation of the Secretariat.

7.The Secretary-General shall approve Staff Rules for the operation of the Secretariat.

Article 16

Functions of the Secretariat

The functions of the Secretariat shall be as follows:

(a) to service meetings of the Community and any of its Institutions or Committees as may from time to time be determined by the Conference;

(b) to take appropriate follow-up action on decisions made at such meetings;

(c) to initiate, arrange and carry out studies on questions of economic and functional cooperation relating to the region as a whole;

(d) to provide services to Member States at their request in respect of matters relating to the achievement of the objectives of the Community;

(e) to undertake any other duties which may be assigned to it by the Conference or any of the Institutions of the Community.

CHAPTER THREE: COORDINATION AND FUNCTIONAL COOPERATION

Article 17

Coordination of Foreign Policies

1.To the end that Member States aim at the fullest possible coordination of their foreign policies within their respective competences and seek to adopt as far as possible common positions in major international issues, there is hereby established a Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs.

2.The Committee shall have the power to make recommendations to the Governments of Member States represented on the Committee.

3.Only Member States possessing the necessary competence with respect to the matters under consideration from time to time may take part in the deliberations of the Committee.

4.Where after the coming into force of the Treaty a Member State achieves full sovereign status such State shall elect whether it wishes to be bound by the provisions of this article.

5.The recommendations of the Committee shall be made by an affirmative vote of all Member States competent and participating in the deliberations.

6.The provisions of Article 13 shall not apply to this article.

Article 18

Functional Cooperation

Without prejudice to the requirements of any other provision of this Treaty, Member States, in furtherance of the objectives set out in Article 4 of this Treaty, undertake to make every effort to cooperate in the areas set out in the Schedule to this Treaty.

Article 19

Settlement of Disputes

Any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of this Treaty, unless otherwise provided for and particularly in Articles 11 and 12 of the annex, shall be determined by the Conference.

CHAPTER FOUR: GENERAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Legal Capacity

1.The Community shall have full juridical personality.

2.Each Member State shall in its territory accord to the Community the most extensive legal capacity accorded to legal persons under its municipal laws including the capacity to acquire and transfer movable and immovable property and to sue and be sued in its own name. In any legal proceedings the Community shall be represented by the Secretary-General of the Secretariat.

3.The Community may enter into agreements with Member States, nonMember States and International Organisations.

4.Each Member State hereby agrees to take such action as is necessary to make effective in its territory the provisions of this article and shall promptly inform the Secretariat of such action.

Article 21

Privileges and Immunities

1.The privileges and immunities to be recognised and granted by the Member States in connection with the Community shall be laid down in a Protocol to this Treaty.

2.The Community shall conclude with the Government of the Member State in which the Headquarters of the Secretariat is situated an agreement relating to the privileges and immunities to be recognised and granted in connection with the Secretariat.

Article 22

Signature

This Treaty shall be open for signature on the 4th July 1973 by any State mentioned in paragraph 1(a) of Article 2 of this Treaty.

Article 23

Ratification

This Treaty and any amendments thereto shall be subject to ratification by the Contracting States in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretariat which shall transmit certified copies to the Government of each Member State.

Article 24

Entry into Force

This Treaty shall enter into force on the 1st August 1973, if instruments of ratification have been previously deposited in accordance with Article 23 of this Treaty by the States mentioned in Article 2, paragraph 1(a)(iii), (vii), (viii) and (xiii), and if not, then on such later date on which the fourth such instrument has been so deposited.

Article 25

Registration

This Treaty and any amendments thereto shall be registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations.

Article 26

Amendments

1.Save as otherwise provided for in Article 66 of the Annex, upon a decision of the Conference for this purpose, this Treaty may be amended by the Contracting Parties.

2.Any such amendment shall enter into force one month after the date on which the last of the instruments of Ratification is deposited.

3.Notwithstanding paragraph 1 hereof no amendments may be made to the Treaty prior to May 1, 1974.

Article 27

Withdrawal

1.A Member State may withdraw from the Community by giving notice in writing to the Secretariat and the Secretariat shall promptly notify the other Member States. Such withdrawal shall take effect 12 months after the notice is received by the Secretariat.

2.A Member State so withdrawing undertakes to honour any financial obligations duly assumed during its membership of the Community.

Article 28

Negotiation and Conclusion of Agreements

1.For the purpose of negotiating agreements, the Conference may designate any institution of the Community to carry out negotiations.

2.Unless otherwise determined by the Conference in any particular case, the conclusion of agreements by the Community shall be undertaken by the Conference.

Article 29

Accession to the Treaty

1.Any State or Territory of the Caribbean Region may apply to the Conference to become a member of the Community and may, if the Conference so decides, be admitted to membership in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article.

2.Admission to membership shall be upon such terms and conditions as the Conference may decide and shall take effect from the date on which an appropriate instrument of accession is deposited with the Secretariat.

Article 30

Associate Membership

1.Any State which in the opinion of the Heads of Government Conference is qualified for membership of the Community in accordance with paragraph 1(b) of Article 2 of this Treaty may, upon application to the Conference for associate membership of the Community, be admitted as an associate member of the Community in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article.

2.On an application made under paragraph 1 of this article the Conference shall determine the conditions under which the applicant State may be associated with the Community.

Article 31

Saving

1.Member States that are not also members of the Common Market shall not be entitled to participate in the decisions taken under the Treaty relating to the Common Market.

2.Decisions taken under this Treaty requiring such action shall be subject to the relevant constitutional procedures of the respective Member States.

3.Where necessary, Member States undertake to take steps as expeditiously as possible to give full effect in law to all decisions of the organs and institutions of the Community which are binding on them.

4.Member States shall not participate in decisions with respect to the subject of which they do not possess the necessary competence.

Article 32

Status of the Annex and Schedule

The Annex and Schedule to this Treaty shall form an integral part of this Treaty.

Article 33

General Provisions of the Common Market

The provisions of the Annex shall govern the establishment, membership and operation of the Common Market. 

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