GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Prime Minister Hon. Silveria Jacobs, would like to congratulate the new Secretary General (SG) of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) organization Dr. Carla Barnett who was installed on Monday in a ceremony, becoming the eighth SG of CARICOM and its predecessor the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA), and the first woman to head the regional institution of Caribbean integration.
“I would like to congratulate Dr. Carla Barnett as she takes on the leadership of this regional organization, on behalf of the people and Government of Sint Maarten.
“The Caribbean integration process is an on-going transformation with various challenges. All the islands in the Caribbean region are experiencing the same situation and we look forward to future collaborations as associate member states in the Caribbean Basin.
“Dr. Barnett is well skilled and versed in regional matters to move the region closer together during her tenure,” Prime Minister Hon. Silveria Jacobs said on Tuesday.
Sint Maarten along with Curacao and Aruba have applied for CARICOM Associate Membership which would allow the islands to have access to the majority of meetings and open the door to regional organizations. CARICOM has been looking at the membership process in the context of CARICOM’s expansion plans.
Barnett, an economist by profession, was appointed as Deputy-Secretary General of CARICOM and was the first woman to serve in that position for the period 1997 – 2002.
Barnett was also the first woman appointed as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, and as Financial Secretary, in Belize, and worked at the Caribbean Development Bank as Country Economist and Vice President of Operations.
Barnett takes over from Ambassador Irwin LaRocque who served from 2011-2021.
CARICOM is a grouping of 20 countries: 15 Member States and five Associate Members. It is home to approximately sixteen million citizens, 60% of whom are under the age of 30, and from the main ethnic groups of Indigenous Peoples, Africans, Indians, Europeans, Chinese, Portuguese and Javanese.
The Community is multi-lingual; with English as the major language complemented by French and Dutch and variations of these, as well as African and Asian expressions.