Our Readers' Opinions
February 9, 2016
Caribbean governments not paying dues to regional organizations

Editor: Guyana and other Caribbean countries have united in many institutions established for the well-being of the region. I refer to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), The University of the West Indies (UWI), the Council of Legal Education (CLE), Organization of American States (OAS), Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), to name a few.{{more}}

Member countries are required to pay annual fees for the smooth running and administration of these bodies, but unfortunately most of these countries are not honouring their obligations to pay in due and proper time and as a result, these bodies find themselves in serious economic problems, which pose problems for their well-being. I know that because of financial constraints the ECSC was unable to pay the judges and had to seek assistance from a member country. Most institutions encounter setbacks because of the failure of member countries to pay their dues.

I attended a CLE meeting a few years ago in Jamaica and the poor economic state was discussed at length. Most Caricom member states do not pay their dues in a timely manner and as a matter of fact, a few owe millions. This is a sad state of affairs and countries should ensure that priority is given to these regional institutions.

The 34-member state OAS is suffering a deficit of more than $US 19 million, which prompted the Permanent Council chair, Sir Ronald Sanders, to set up three committees to remedy the situation. Failure of member states to pay their dues is the main reason for the deficit. Sanders said he was “deeply concerned about the financial health of the Organization and profoundly anxious about its capacity to continue to operate.”

Regional and international organizations are necessary for all countries, and governments must understand that funds are needed to operate them and allocation of dues must be given top priority.

Oscar Ramjeet