BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, February 28, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, highlighted the gains made towards the regional integration movement, particularly through the signing of the Protocol of Contingent Rights by all CARICOM Member States, as one of the success stories coming out of the 30th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government, held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, Frigate Bay, from February 26-27.
The Protocol of Contingent Rights is viewed as a key aspect of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). It refers to the rights granted to a CARICOM national and his or her spouse and immediate dependent family members if he or she moves to another country under the free movement of skills regime. These rights include access to social services.
The official communiqué issued at the conclusion of this week’s Inter-Sessional Meeting stated that, “Eight countries have decided to apply the measures that would allow their nationals to benefit in those countries from the provisions of that agreement on contingent rights which allow for spouses and dependents of skilled workers who move to another country to access services such as education and health on the same basis as nationals. The countries involved are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.”
Furthermore, the CARICOM Heads reached an agreement on a protocol to deal with public procurement that would open the regional market for goods and services procured by public entities.
“All in all, we have had a very successful two days which would redound to the benefit of the citizens and to our international image,” Prime Minister Harris stated.