April 24, 2014

Caricom stands with Antigua on gaming dispute with U.S.

Antigua and Barbuda has been reassured of the region’s full support in its fight to obtain the U.S.’s compliance with the ruling of the World Trade Organisation’s dispute settlement body on Internet gaming services.

Caricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocque

Caricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocque

The assurance came from Caricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocque last Tuesday during the accreditation ceremony of Clarence Henry, as the new plenipotentiary representative of Antigua and Barbuda to Caricom. According to a Caricom Secretariat release, the community’s stance, the secretary general said, was fully reflective of Caricom’s belief that all sovereign member states should be regarded as equals, and respected accordingly within the WTO.

“Excellency, the Caricom family will accompany Antigua and Barbuda on this challenging journey and looks forward to being kept abreast of its developments,” Secretary General LaRocque said.

Henry, in remarks at the ceremony, also made reference to the WTO matter, pointing out that his country expected all countries to follow the rules governing the international best practices, and that nation states must determine their destiny through determined sound economic policies. He said he welcomed the “valuable support” of the conference of Caricom heads of government, the statement of the delegation of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, in conjunction with the Caricom Caucus in Geneva, to the WTO dispute settlement body in February 2013, as well as the efforts of The Bahamas.

“Antigua and Barbuda is hopeful that a mutually acceptable resolution will eventually be reached by both sides. I believe that it is still attainable,” he told the gathering which included Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, BK International Managing Director Brian Tiwarie, Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) retired Judge Duke Pollard and delegates to the meeting of officials of the 36th meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) and Caricom Secretariat staff members.

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