About the OTN<br />Structure, Functions & Governance<br />www.otn.crnm.org<br />
Background<br />Established in 1997 by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Governments as the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM) and the principal regional intergovernmental organization mediating the Caribbean’s encounter with the global trading system. The CRNM was accorded primary responsibility for coordinating and spearheading a cohesive, coherent regional trade policy, both strategically and on technical issues under negotiation.<br />1<br />
From CRNM to OTN<br /><ul><li>The CRNM by decision of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) taken on 13 March 2009 has been incorporated into the CARICOM Secretariat as a Specialised Department recognising and providing for the special nature of its role and functions.
The newly constituted OTN (formerly CRNM) will have responsibility for all CARICOM Trade Negotiations.
As a Directorate of the CARICOM Secretariat, OTN will report to the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) and the Conference of the Heads of Government through the CARICOM Secretary General.</li></ul>2<br />
Governance<br />The governance structure established by the Heads provides for the OTN(formerly CRNM) to report to the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) through the Secretary General of CARICOM. The COTED and the Conference of Heads of Government will provide policy guidance and approve the work programme and budget of the OTN.<br />4<br />
Mandate<br /> The Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN) of the CARICOM Secretariat will maintain the original (CRNM) mandate to develop and maintain a cohesive and effective framework for the coordination and management of the Caribbean’s external trade negotiating resources and expertise. <br /> The mission is to help Member States maximize the benefits of participating in global trade negotiations by:<br /><ul><li>Facilitating the generation of national and regional positions
Coordinating the formulation of a cohesive negotiating strategy
Providing advice as necessary</li></ul>5<br />
Strategic Framework, <br />Programme Activities & Focus<br />The CRNM Strategic Plan 2003/4 - 2007/8 provided for six (6) programme areas detailed below which it is proposed to retain under a new OTN Strategic Plan 2008/9-20013/14.<br />The new OTN Strategic Plan which is still under development envisions an expansion of the original 6 programme areas to better reflect the OTN’s scope of activities.<br />6<br />
Strategic Framework, <br />Programme Activities & Focus<br /><ul><li>Consultations and formulation of regional negotiating positions:Ensuring maximum effectiveness obtained from presence at negotiating arenas by facilitating the involvement of national and regional resource groups/individuals in the development of strategies through the use of Information Technology, convening of Reflection and Technical Working Groups and preparation of technical papers.
Representation in negotiating forums:Ensure that the region is present at the negotiating table so that its interests are reflected in the content of agreements.</li></ul>7<br />
Strategic Framework, <br />Programme Activities & Focus<br /><ul><li>Building of regional negotiating capacity: Ensure technical capacity and trade negotiation skills are developed and sustained in the region.
Research and studies: Provision of advice on strategies to negotiating teams by identifying and addressing knowledge gaps and needs through technical research and analysis.
Resource mobilization and project management: Strengthen technical and professional capacity of the both OTN and member states to effectively support the negotiating teams by identifying needs and mobilizing human and financial resources to achieve the region’s goals.</li></ul>8<br />
Strategic Framework, <br />Programme Activities & Focus<br /><ul><li>General services and administration: Strengthen OTN administrative arrangements and financial management
The strategic plan provides a framework for preparation for annual technical work plans in the execution of which OTN works closely with regional agencies and organizations both public and private especially with the CARICOM Secretariat.</li></ul>9<br />
Negotiating Theatres<br />The main negotiating theatres in which the Region is simultaneously involved are: (i) World Trade Organization (WTO); and (ii) bilateral negotiations.<br />Heads of Government at their 30th Meeting in July 2009 decided to accord priority to negotiations with Canada. It is anticipated that thereafter the focus will be on engaging MERCOSUR with a view to concluding functional agreements as a precursory step towards the negotiation of a trade agreement with MERCOSUR.<br />10<br />
Financing<br />The OTN receives its financing from two principal sources:<br /><ul><li>Member State contributions which are considered as core financing.
Donor contributions which fund programme activities and some staff.</li></ul>Payment of member state contributions is unscheduled and irregular and invariably amounts to less than that projected. Donors contributions while dependable tend to be subject to bureaucratic delays in processing.<br />11<br />
OTN Team<br /><ul><li>The OTN is comprised of a Director-General and a senior management team, technical officers and support personnel.
The technical team comprises Caribbean Nationals who are experts in the various issues which are the subject of the negotiations .
The OTN maintains principal offices in Jamaica and Barbados as well a presence in a number of other locations.</li></ul>12<br />
International Development <br />Partnerships - Donors<br /><ul><li>Canada – Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Federal Republic of Germany - Deutsche GesellschaftfürTechnischeZusammenarbeit (GTZ)
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – Department for International Development and Cooperation (Caribbean) (DFIDC)
United States of America – Agency for International Development (USAID)
International Development <br />Partnerships - Institutions<br />The OTN(formerly CRNM) also has working relationships inter-alia with the following institutions:<br /><ul><li>Association of Caribbean States (ACS)
Caribbean Export Development Agency (CaribExport)
Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)