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Belize Chairs 30th Special Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development

Posted: Thursday, June 1, 2023. 9:58 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On May 24, 2023, Oscar Requena, Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour, and Local Government, chaired the 30th Special Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD), an organ of CARICOM, in Georgetown, Guyana.

Present at the meeting were Ministers of Labour and heads of delegations from CARICOM member states.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a single agenda item related to advancing the Free Movement of Skilled Nationals in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The CSME economic regime enables citizens of participating member states to travel and work within the region.

This regime intends to increase the pool of skills accessible throughout the region, facilitate economic integration, and foster a sense of community and solidarity among member states. The free movement of persons is a crucial element of regional integration.

Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, led the discussion, having requested for member states to evaluate proposals on the freedom of movement, which includes a gradualist approach and the full free movement approach with accommodations for certain expectations and limitations.

“These options will appropriately consider the sensitivities of member states and provide for exceptions and flexibilities, including the phased implementation of specific categories or exclusions when necessary,” a statement from the Government noted.

Member countries shared their position on the options and concluded with a commitment to continue working on this important matter for CARICOM.


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