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CARIFORUM - The Context

The Context

CARIFORUM refers to the Body comprising Caribbean ACP States which are signatories of the Georgetown Agreement. This Agreement was signed in 1975, and it created the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). The grouping is composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states.

All Participating States in CARIFORUM, with the exception of Cuba, are signatories to the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement or “Cotonou Agreement” and the EPA, respectively.

The Caribbean Forum of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (CARIFORUM) or Forum of Caribbean States are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

CARIFORUM was established in the early 1990s, and its functions are to –

(a)        Manage and coordinate policy dialogue between its Participating States and the EU;

(b)        Promote integration and cooperation in the Caribbean;

(c)        Coordinate the allocation of resources and manage the implementation of Regional Indicative Programmes financed by the EDF and regional programmes financed by Member States of the EU and any other source as may be approved by the Council of Ministers from time to time;

(d)        Provide technical guidance and assistance to Participating States in meeting the commitments and securing the benefits provided for in the CARIFORUM-EU EPA; and

(e)        Provide support for the effective participation of CARIFORUM in the Institutions provided for in the CARIFORUM-EU EPA.


Policy-making and Operations

The Council of Ministers of CARIFORUM is the decision-making body of the grouping. It provides policy guidance and mandates.

Furthermore, CARIFORUM has a rotating chairmanship, in the alphabetical order of the names of the Participating States and is held for a period of twelve (12) calendar months commencing, with effect, from 1 July.

The Secretary-General of CARIFORUM is assisted by the Director-General, who also serves as CARIFORUM Regional Coordinator in order to facilitate communication with the EU to ensure the effective implementation of the EPA. Of note, the Director-General, inter alia, coordinates and supervises the technical operation of the CARIFORUM Directorate, a technical and administrative body. Based in the CARICOM Secretariat, the Directorate comprises the Development Cooperation Unit and EPA Implementation Unit, respectively.

The programme goal of the Development Cooperation Unit is fivefold: (i) to implement the CARIFORUM Regional Development Strategy (RIDS) and EPA through sound development programmes financed by the European Development Fund (EDF) and/or resources in pursuance of the CARIFORUM mandate; (ii) to support the Joint Caribbean-EU Partnership Strategy; (iii) to support the achievement of the development objectives of CARIFORUM through planning and implementation of the EDF, EPA and other financed and supported activities; (iv) fostering political dialogue between CARIFORUM and the EU; and (v) deepening intra-CARIFORUM cooperation and widened Caribbean cooperation.

Key results set out are:

•  Approved 11th EDF Regional Indicative Programme 2014/2020;
•  10th EDF resources of regional indicative programmes programmed/disbursed;
•  Other resources programmed and disbursed;
•  Monitoring;
•  Strengthened CARIFORUM-EU Relations; and
•  Deepened Intra-CARIFORUM Cooperation and widened Caribbean cooperation.

The programme goal of the EPA Implementation Unit is twofold: (i) to build the capacity of CARIFORUM States to implement commitments made under the EPA through sound technical assistance and support; and (ii) to assist CARIFORUM States to comply with commitments in respect of EPA provisions and to be on-track to benefit from the provisions of the EPA.

Key results set out are:

•  Trade in Goods provisions implemented; 
•  Trade in Services and Investment provisions implemented; 
•  Trade Related Matters in the EPA addressed;
•  Institutions and other provisions of the EPA established and functioning;
• Other direct technical assistance to CARIFORUM States to facilitate EPA implementation provided; 
•  Information and public education programming implemented; and
•  Monitoring of the EPA.