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|Sujet: A Caribbean wish list for the Obama administration Jeu 22 Jan 2009 - 20:20|| |
A Caribbean wish list for the Obama administration
Published on: 1/21/09.
by PROFESSOR NORMAN GIRVAN
There has been much media discussion about what the Caribbean should expect, or hope to secure, from the Obama Administration.
My own wish list of priorities for the new Administration falls under five headings: Gaza, Transnational Crime, Economic Development, Haiti, and Cuba.
* Sponsor an initiative for an independent international investigation into the allegations that Israel committed serious war crimes in Gaza.
These allegations have come from several credible sources including United Nations officials, the International Red Cross, and Human Rights organizations within Israel itself.
An independent investigation backed by the U.S. would send a clear signal that those who commit such crimes cannot expect comfort and succour from the U.S. and would be a significant step towards the restoration of the U.S. moral authority in the world.
It should not be necessary to explain to anyone why we in the Caribbean should care about what has been happening in Gaza. One only has to watch the news.
2. Security and transnational crime – the region's number one problem
* Suspend the programme of deportation of criminal aliens from the United States to the Caribbean; and initiate discussions with the region on a mutually agreed method of handling such deportations that is consistent with the monitoring and absorptive capabilities of the receiving countries.
* Take effective action against the flow of illegal arms and ammunition into Caribbean jurisdictions.
* Provide substantial technical, material and logistical support for the effort to establish an integrated Caricom security system to combat the incursion of transnational criminal networks into the region.
3. Economic development
* Support for a regional economic development programme to be undertaken by Caricom and the CDB, focusing on physical infrasructure and energy.
*Commit to trade arrangements with the USA that are supportive of regional economic development.
In the first instance this means maintaining existing non-reciprocal trade preferences extended to the Caribbean region under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (the CBI) and the Caribbean Basin Trade Promotion Act (CBTPA).
*Support a challenge from Caricom countries to the Most Favoured Nation clause and other anti-development features of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union; imposed under threat of trade sanctions in 2008.
* Undertake full and unconditional cancellation of Haiti's bilateral debt to the US; and use US influence with other bilateral and multilateral donors, including the World Bank, to do the same.
* Restore Temporary Protected Persons status to undocumented Haitians in the United States, which provides them with the opportunity to make a case against forcible repatriation.
* Initiate an international partnership for Haitan reconstruction and development to be agreed jointly with the Haitan Government and civil society; based on Haiti's circumstances, needs and priorities as defined and articulated by Haitians themselves.
* Lift the US trade and economic embargo against Cuba and initiate a dialogue with the Government of Cuba on the normalization of relations between the two countries.
Haitian Lawyer Lays Out Haiti Policy Agenda For Obama Team