PPP, PNC must make dialogue work
- Carrington

Stabroek News
March 10, 2000

CARICOM Secretary-General, Edwin Carrington believes that it is up to the PPP/Civic and PNC to make the Herdmanston Accord dialogue process work.

He expressed concern that there was a widely-held perception that the CARICOM-brokered dialogue process had produced no real results.

Responding to a report that People's National Congress (PNC) leader Desmond Hoyte had said that there was little to show from the process, Carrington told a press conference at the CARICOM Secretariat on Wednesday that he was concerned that the dialogue was being perceived as not particularly fruitful. "I am concerned that the dialogue does not seem to be, at least from the view of one party and I think it may be wider, as not particularly fruitful. That is a concern."

However, the PPP/Civic considers the process useful if only because it has brought the two sides to the negotiating table ending months of self-imposed isolation from each other. This was the sentiment expressed by People's Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Donald Ramotar at a press conference last year.

When the CARICOM Heads meet next week, they are expected to confirm the continuation of the process and try to conclude arrangements for the continued involvement of the facilitator, Maurice King QC, a former attorney general of Barbados.

CARICOM Deputy Secretary-General, Dr Carla Barnett, who was present at the press conference, said that both parties had indicated their desire for King to continue in his role as facilitator and that it was now for the CARICOM Heads to finalise the arrangements for his involvement depending on his availability.

King left Guyana in mid-December and the agreement for his involvement in the process ended on December 31. The Bureau of the Heads had agreed that he should continue but deferred the decision to the full meeting of the CARICOM Heads.

CARICOM's continued involvement in helping to return political stability to Guyana is one of the issues on next week's two-day meeting of the Heads in St Kitts. Other agenda items include the Caribbean Court of Justice and the signing of protocols on Conflict Resolution and Competition Policy.