In an effort to increase the transparency and accountability of diplomatic appointments’ work with the country’s Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP), Antigua & Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has confirmed that more thorough due diligence, stricter appointment procedures and tighter controls are to be implemented.
The Antigua & Barbuda cabinet has approved a new policy on diplomatic representation and accreditation based in part on the Global Investor Immigration Council’s (GIIC) regulatory recommendations.
The GIIC made the regulatory recommendations to increase the transparency and accountability of diplomatic appointments’ work with the country’s Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP). The recommendations are part of the GIIC’s collaboration with Professor Craig Barker, Dean of the School of International Law and Social Sciences, London South Bank University, and included proposals for more thorough due diligence, stricter appointment procedures and tighter controls.
“In order to manage the risks associated with these appointments, the appointment shall be for a maximum of two years, subject to renewal upon satisfactory performance.” shared the Hon. Gaston Browne. Further he shared “To ensure appropriate representation by non-national ambassadors-at-large, special envoys and honorary consuls, thorough background and other due diligence checks shall be conducted on persons under consideration and prior to their appointment.”
Mykolas Rambus, Chairman of the GIIC shared “For countries with citizenship by investment programs, diplomatic figures are of even greater importance. Conscious of preserving the integrity and standing of diplomatic and other passports of Antigua and Barbuda, the government has implemented even more rigorous appointment procedures including expanded due diligence and monitoring practices. Antigua and Barbuda have clearly taken steps to advance the reputation of the country and improve the performance of its citizenship by investment program.”
This further strengthens and supports Antigua & Barbuda’s commitment to adhering to the highest worldwide standards, and for the economic citizenship program to be the most respected in the Caribbean region by international partners and the broader international political, legal and immigrant investor stakeholder community.
This announcement comes shortly after the Antigua Prime Minister’s pledge that Antigua & Barbuda is to be a member of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) developed in response to the G20 request and approved by the OECD Council on 15 July 2014. The CRS calls on jurisdictions to obtain information from their financial institutions and automatically exchange that information with other jurisdictions on an annual basis. It sets out the financial account information to be exchanged, the financial institutions required to report, the different types of accounts and taxpayers covered, as well as common due diligence procedures to be followed by financial institutions. Antigua & Barbuda’s first reporting year is to be 2018.