Even as CARICOM continues to examine the issue of an enlargement policy, heads of government have mandated the secretary-general to begin negotiations for associate membership by the Dutch territories of Curacao and St Maarten.
During their 29th inter-sessional meeting in Haiti, last week, the heads of government agreed that the Community will proceed, in the first instance, with those two applications.
They said further consideration would be given to the applications from the French Overseas territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana.
The mandate to Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque is to start talks with Curacao and St. Maarten to better determine their expectations of associate membership as well as what benefits this relationship could yield for the Community.
Their decisions were recorded in the communiqué issued following the conclusion of the two-day meeting in Port-au-Prince.