[www.inewsguyana.com] – Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at their 25th Inter-Sessional Meeting in Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines have issued a call for Guyana to pass the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill currently in a Special Select Committee of the National Assembly.
According to the Government Information Agency, the Heads discussed the impasse in Guyana in caucus on Tuesday (March 11) and agreed that the non-passage of this piece of legislation will have devastating economic impacts, not only for Guyana, but the rest of the region, if Guyana is blacklisted internationally.
The meeting is expected to issue a statement calling for a resolution to the issue.
“The meeting noted with dismay, the fact that Guyana has been unable to pass the bill which incorporates the recommendations of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF). The meeting noted the implications it will have for Guyana, the Guyanese economy, the people of Guyana, and more importantly regional integration and the complications that will arise in the region should Guyana be blacklisted. The meeting decided to issue a statement calling on the relevant parties to pass the legislation with dispatch because of the complexity and the problems that will arise in the region and economic and financial activity,” Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, who participated in the meeting told the Agency.
On March 7, Barbados’ Prime Minister Freundel Stuart wrote to President Donald Ramotar, expressing concerns over the non-passage of the bill and its implications to the Caribbean.
“Without any doubt, this situation and the threatened action by CFATF will affect Guyana and the entire Caribbean region, and will negatively impact the well-being of our people. I trust that during our inter-sessional meeting we will be able to discuss this matter in caucus, and see what other action we can take as a group to assist Guyana at this juncture,” Prime Minister Stuart had said in his letter to President Ramotar.
Guyana on February 28 last, missed a second CFATF deadline to pass the legislation. In November, it failed to meet the first time limit after the opposition used their one-seat majority in the National Assembly to vote down the bill, which led to the country being blacklisted at the regional level.