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Brief History of CARICOM

At the Eighth Heads of Government Conference of CARIFTA held in April 1973 in Georgetown, Guyana, the decision to establish the Caribbean Community was brought to fruition.  The process through which it was established is set out in the Georgetown Accord.

Original signatories to the Treaty were Prime Ministers Errol Barrow for Barbados; Forbes Burnham for Guyana; Michael Manley for Jamaica; Eric Williams for Trinidad and Tobago.  By May 1, 1974 all other members of CARIFTA had signed the Agreement to become full members of CARICOM, except Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis.  They both signed the Agreement in July 1974.

In July 1983, The Bahamas became the 13th member of the Caribbean Community but not of the Common Market. 

Suriname became the 14th Member State to join the Community in July 1995 and the Common Market in January 1996. 

Haiti was formally admitted as the 15th Member State at the Twenty-Third Heads of Government Meeting, Georgetown on 2nd July 2002.

In July 1991, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands became the first Associate Members followed by Anguilla in July 1999.  The Cayman Islands became the fourth Associate Member of the regional grouping on 16 May 2002; Bermuda became the fifth on 2 July 2003.

The three objectives of the Community at its inception were, economic integration, co-ordination of foreign policy and functional co-operation in areas such as health, education and culture and other areas related to human and social development.

CARICOM Member States

There are 15 CARICOM Member States:

Member State Date of joining
Learn more about country Antigua and Barbuda
4 July 1974
Learn more about country The Commonwealth of The Bahamas
4 July 1983 (of the community only)
Learn more about country Barbados
1 August 1973
Learn more about country Belize 1 May 1974
Learn more about country The Commonwealth Dominica
1 May 1974
Learn more about country Grenada 1 May 1974
Learn more about country The Cooperative Republic of Guyana 1 August 1973
Learn more about country The Republic of Haiti 3 July 2002
Learn more about country Jamaica 1 August 1973
Learn more about country Montserrat 1 May 1974
Learn more about country The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis
26 July 1974
Learn more about country Saint Lucia
1 May 1974
Learn more about country St. Vincent and the Grenadines
1 May 1974
Learn more about country The Republic Suriname
4 July 1995
Learn more about country The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 1 August 1973
There are also five Associate Members of CARICOM:
Associate Member Date of joining
Learn more about country Anguilla 4 July 1999
Learn more about country Bermuda 2 July 2003
Learn more about country British Virgin Islands 2 July 1991
Learn more about country Cayman Islands 15 May 2002
Learn more about country Turks and Caicos Islands 2 July 1991

Secretaries General of CARICOM

CARICOM is headed by a Secretary General (SG). The sixth and current Secretary General is Ambassador H.E. Irwin LaRocque.

Name Beginning of Term End of Term Country
William DEMAS 1973 1974 Trinidad and Tobago
Sir Alister McINTYRE 1974 August 1977 Grenada
Joseph TYNDALL (Acting) August 1977 August 1978 Guyana
Kurleigh KING November 1978 September 1983 Barbados
Roderick RAINFORD September 1983 August 1992 Jamaica
Edwin W. CARRINGTON August 1992 December 2010 Trinidad and Tobago
Lolita APPLEWHAITE (Acting) January 2011 August 2011 Barbados
Irwin LaROCQUE August 2011 present Dominica

Institutions of the Community

The Community in responding to the need to prioritise certain social and economic issues has established a number of institutions and linked with several partners.

Institutions of the Community
Access resource Assembly of Caribbean Community Parliamentarians (ACCP)
Access resource Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI)
Access resource Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD)
Access resource Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)
Access resource Caribbean Environment Health Institute (CEHI)
Access resource Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI)
Access resource Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI)
Access resource Caribbean Meteorological Organisation (CMO)
Institutions within the Community
Access resource Caribbean Aviation Safety and Securing Oversight System (CASSOS)
Access resource Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC)
Access resource Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)
Access resource CARICOM Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS)
Access resource Caribbean Food Corporation (CFC)
Access resource Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC)
Access resource Caribbean Organisation of Tax Administrators (COTA)
Access resource Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM)
Access resource Caribbean Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) 
Access resource Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU)
Access resource CARICOM Competition Commission
Access resource Council of Legal Education (CLE)
Associate Institutions
Access resource Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)
Access resource Caribbean Law Institute/Caribbean Law Institute Centre (CLI/CLIC)
Access resource Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)
Access resource University of Guyana (UG)
Access resource University of the West Indies (UWI)

Regional Portfolios of CARICOM Heads of Government

A quasi-cabinet of individual Heads of Government has been constituted to spearhead action in sectors critical to the Region's integration.

Portfolio Country
Services Antigua and Barbuda
Tourism (including Land, Cruise, ACP/EU Partnership Agreement provisions etc) The Bahamas
Single Market and Economy (including Monetary Union) Barbados
Justice and Governance Belize
Labour (Including intra-Community Movement of Skills) Dominica
Science and Technology (including Information and Communications) Grenada
Agriculture, Agricultural Diversification and Food Security (including the Regional Transformation Programme (RTP) and Bananas) Guyana
External Trade Negotiations Jamaica
Human Resource Development, Health and HIV/AIDS St. Kitts and Nevis
Sustainable Development (including Environment and Disaster Management and Water) Saint Lucia
Transport (Maritime and Aviation) St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Community Development and Cultural Cooperation (including Culture, Gender, Youth and Sport) Suriname
Energy & Security (Drugs and Illicit Arms) Trinidad and Tobago

Related Resources

Access resource Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas
Access resource Commnuniques of the Conference of Head of Government of the Caribbean Community
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