It is time Caribbean islands take a case to the International Court of Justice against impositions foisted upon them by international organisations like the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
During Friday’s debate on the Companies (Economic Substance) (Amendment) Bill 2021, Deputy Speaker of the Upper House [of the Barbados Parliament], Senator Rudolph Greenidge, asserted the time has come for Barbados and the rest of the region to join together to urge the International Court of Justice “to rule and to declare that certain rules and regulations, certain practices which are being imposed on us by these organisations are unlawful and unfair.
“And let them be aware of the fact that these impositions cause tremendous injury, financial injury and injustice to small developing states.
I would not say many, I have to say 100 per cent of those restrictions and regulations, which have been inflicted on us, now choke our ability to make meaningful profit in the area of international business and Barbados cannot continue to take these harsh impositions like an obedient child,” he stressed.
He told other senators that offshore businesses established here contributed millions of dollars to the economy and due to the impositions imposed by the EU, less money now heads into the island’s coffers.
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“The point is, Mr. President, that we must let those organisations such as the European Union and the OECD, you must let them know how their impositions are affecting us and we cannot let them get away by saying, ‘We did not know the pain we were causing you.’ We just have to let them know,” he continued.
Admitting there was a reluctance to protest because smaller countries believed that their voices will be unheard, Greenidge nevertheless said it was imperative that a strong message was sent.
“We should speak in one voice, and I think that if we do that, it will send a much stronger message to the European Union and to the OECD, to let them know that we as a region are serious, very serious about the stance we are taking in these matters. It would also too significantly reduce … the legal costs of going to places like the International Court of Justice, as costs will be shared amongst the islands,” the Senator noted.