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Caribbean citizens react to Jagdeo's remarks, petition for full disclosure of EPA agreement

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A document has been circulated and signed by leading caribbean intellectuals in response to statements made by Guyana's President Barhat Jagdeo about the recently concluded Economic Partnership Agreement between Caribbean territories and the European Union. Following the meetings, Jagdeo said that the Caribbean had won nothing from the agreements. Now, in response to these statements, leaders have asked for more time and opportunity for a full and public review of the EPA. The letter, publicized in regional press, thanks President Jagdeo for his candour and statedIt is our understanding that the EPA is due to be signed by Cariforum Ministers on March 15 and to be provisionally applied from April 1. After that, Caribbean countries will be locked in for all time to the provisions of this legally binding instrument. It will be very difficult, and in all likelihood very costly, to amend the EPA after it comes into force. We are urgently proposing that more time and opportunity be provided for a full and public review of the EPA in order that all its aspects are explained and understood and relevant objections taken into account." Signatories include several professors from the various campuses of the University of the West Indies as well as other regional and International institutions.

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