Samoa Agreement divides Caribbean

The recently-penned Samoa Agreement, which will govern trade and aid arrangements between Europe and its former colonies in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific (ACP) for the next 20 years, has divided the Caribbean with some countries either signing on to it or showing willingness to sign on, while others have not.

The agreement has raised concerns, especially in the Roman Catholic Church, that it will be used by the European Union (EU) to impose values and ideologies that are contrary to Caribbean culture and traditions.

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Port of Spain, Jason Gordon, has criticized it saying that while it is “written as a trade agreement, anyone who signs the agreement will have abortion legislation in their countries. They will have to impose abortion legislation, transgender, LBGTQ, comprehensive sex education, and a whole range of values because of the signing of that document.”

St Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados have already signed, while Dominica and Jamaica have said they will be doing so. Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, The Bahamas and Grenada have not signed. Grenada has made it clear that it is no rush to subscribe to the agreement.

“Grenada for sure we are not willing to surrender our sovereignty to any international organisation and if there is any part and proposed agreement inconsistent with our constitution and with our values, we will think very long and hard before entering into any such agreement,” that country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Export Development, Joseph Andall, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell believes that whether or not international accords exist, morality and values are shaped by the culture of every given country or region and the morality of countries should not be imposed on others.
“As a result, we must be cautious not to blur the line between private morality and law,’ he stated. ‘And I firmly believe that, from our perspective, the morality of other countries should not be forced on the morals of countries, nor should it be linked to help.”

He pointed out that this would imply that countries are attempting to impose their own moral or public policy on countries by attaching it to assistance or aid.

“That is not something we support philosophically,” he stated. “Our stance is that if countries choose to engage in grant financing, aid funding, or loans with us, those are business matters that should be governed by commercial conditions. If you attempt to impose what I would call morality issues into them, then I think certainly from our perspective…it is not likely that this government would simply sign because we need to get some grant funding or aid funding.”

The Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, has a different opinion on the accord, saying it is very comprehensive and won’t require the changing of laws in his country, or any country for that matter.

“The European Union has its agenda with several things as we know,” Gonsalves told a news conference this week. “This agreement is a very comprehensive agreement, and it is intended in its salient aspects, which touch and concern us, to advance inclusiveness but inclusiveness within the parameters of issues of human rights, general equality, special considerations for women and girls and the young people and the elderly and so on. I assure everybody that St. Vincent and the Grenadines, that we have our own determinations on particular matters, and any alteration in our existing law has to be done by our Parliament, and there is no intention for the Parliament to alter any of our positions as they are laid out in our laws in relation to the controversial questions touching on and concerning same-sex marriages and the like.”

He called on the citizens of his country to calm down.

“I just want everybody to calm down and not take some position out of Trinidad, out of the United States, or somewhere else in a general condemnation of an agreement,” Gonsalves stated. “Unless somebody can point to me these specific provisions, they’re making the claim that they were somehow subversive of what we know traditionally as Christian morality.”

Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, described the agreement as a good document overall, although it could be more refined.

“It is a framework document that is not necessarily imposing any particular ideals or views on us in the African and Caribbean Pacific region,” he stated at a press conference on Wednesday. He said many of the concerns being raised are not even in the document.

“And people are looking at those sections and articles and indicating that there may be an opportunity for some of the things that we have concerns with may find themselves being implemented in our countries,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, Jamaica, which had previously said it needed more time for consultation on the agreement, has now indicated it is ready to sign up but did not give a specific date.

“I can’t give you a date,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Jonson Smith, told the Jamaica Observer on Tuesday. “I have a meeting with my PS (permanent secretary) today (Tuesday) to set the schedule for the consultations to take place as promised.”

She said the agreement does not require Jamaica to change any of its current laws.

“There is no need to fear,” she said. “The Jamaica Labour Party Government is a government that can be trusted to ensure that any agreement that we enter into with a third party state, third party organisation, will never infringe upon our laws. We are a listening government, we are a caring government and we do ensure that this important developmental agreement, it is undertaken within a spirit of understanding.”

Countries that have not signed the agreement have until the end of this year to do so or risk losing access to loans from the European Investment Bank, which relies on the agreement for its legal operating mandate outside the EU.

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  1. Noc
    November 30, 2023

    you really called that man uneducated? shows that you are uneducated.

  2. dissident
    November 25, 2023

    personally…….Skerrit has squandered our CBI money
    Looking to the future he wants grants
    Loans bring debt
    How many 5 and 6 star hotels have CBI brought to our shores again…….i forget
    It’s a pity Skerrit will not consider if there’s anything in the agreement that will disagree with our constitution………he hasn’t gone through the entire document.
    wreck less mind

  3. Waiting For Airport
    November 25, 2023

    Look Skerrit ready to sell all you to LGBT. He done test all you with the DOMLEC /NBD ting, so he know now how far he can push all you! He know all you doh have balls and all you will never stand up and fight back so he ready to really start the real f**kery now!

  4. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    November 24, 2023

    “Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, described the agreement as a good document overall, although it could be more refined.”
    Roosevelt is either a fool, or is the smartest human alive!
    We are all aware that he is a liar, one without any significant or in mediocre education, he was unable to graduate a simple English in a college he attended, he never finish college, though he may have finished a secondary school in Portsmouth. That type of mediocre education has left him handicap, and so he is unable to comprehend any real challenging issues.
    Re: His boy Bishop, Malzarie, no longer in Dominica, along with another Roman Catholic Bishop, spoke about the dangers of this Samoa Agreement, yet this piece of crap dunce Dominican Roosevelt Skerrit believe it is a good thing ans “Dominica will sign the agreement!
    Well, the land, the earth, the mountains trees, and water can’t read, nor write so it must be an idiot from Dominica who will sign to impose immoralities on our…

  5. Mel Houston
    November 24, 2023

    That figures as homosexuals, gays, lgqt and abortion are less than 1% of our problems to be an issue for us.

  6. smh
    November 24, 2023

    well of course all the socialist type leaders are all for this. Socialism is right up there with these other subversive global agendas.

    On another note it’s pretty hilarious that with all this talk about “reparations” we are being asked to sign away our values in exchange for a few chips from former colonizers.

  7. Vwais den
    November 23, 2023

    it could be everything, and it could be nothing at all. but the key point of this article can be understood as: “unless you sign this agreement before the end of this year, you shall not receive any assistance, or loans from the European Union”. think uncle Skerr gonna let that pass by? nope. at least Grenada, the land of Maurice Bishop, seems resolute enough about the idea of signing, and not giving in to (sinister) European ideals.

  8. Ibo France
    November 23, 2023

    Most countries of the Caribbean are massively indebted mostly due to massive CORRUPTION. The European Union and other developed countries and international organizations are acutely aware of this fact. Therefore, they impose all sorts of stringent and ridiculous conditions for access to loans and grants. The beggarly Caribbean rulers happily sign on the dotted lines because of the present precarious economic conditions of their countries.

    Some Caribbean governments have serious misgivings about signing this deceptive agreement. But, Starboy of Stupidity, invariably has no hesitation about signing and reshaping our traditional values and God-fearing lifestyle.

    The combination o power and money has brought to the fore the total absence of sensibilities, respect and appreciation in Roosevelt for our dignity, traditions values, ethics and ideals.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  9. If we knew better
    November 23, 2023

    Skerrit like money!!! CBI drying up.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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