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News > Belize

Caribbean Leaders Congratulate New CARICOM Secretary-General

  • Dr. Carla Natalie Barnett becomes the first woman and the first Belizean to assume the role of Caricom Secretary-General.

    Dr. Carla Natalie Barnett becomes the first woman and the first Belizean to assume the role of Caricom Secretary-General. | Photo: Twitter/@AndrewHolnessJM

Published 12 May 2021

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez congratulated Belizean Carla Barnett as the new Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

On his Twitter account, the Cuban foreign minister extended his congratulations to the "community with which Cuba maintains relations of brotherhood and solidarity."

Venezuela's foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, followed suit and said via Twitter: "Venezuela celebrates the historic election of the new CARICOM Secretary-General, Dr. Carla Barnett, the first woman to hold such an important position. We hope to continue working hand in hand to consolidate the union of Latin America and the Caribbean. Venezuela is the Caribbean!"

Barnett was Deputy Secretary-General of CARICOM from 1997 to 2002 and will assume office on August 15 to become the first woman and the first Belizean to be elected for that post.


Cuba-Caricom Summit To Strengthen Pan-Caribbean Cooperation

CARICOM is an international organization established in 1973 to achieve economic integration, promoting cooperation, and coordinating foreign policy among its members.

Based in Guyana, this organization currently consists of 15 Caribbean nations and five British dependencies.

According to Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, the election of Carla Barnett (Belize) as secretary-general of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) represents an inspiration for all women in the region.

The Bajan leader said that the role of Carla Barnett, the first woman at the head of Caricom, means that girls throughout the region can be inspired and begin their own journey into the future.

At the same time, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) from its Twitter account congratulated the first woman elected as Caricom secretary. "ECLAC salutes the first woman to occupy this position and wishes her the greatest success in her administration," the organization said.

Similarly, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in the Caribbean (FAO Caribbean) recognized "the first woman and the first Belizean to be selected for the position of Secretary-General of Caricom."

Former UN Secretary-General Edward Greene, from his Twitter account, said that it was a well-deserved appointment and wished her a successful term.

Carla Barnett will replace Dominican secretary Irwin La Rocque, completing his second term, and will take office on August 15, 2021. Barnett was previously vice president of the Belize Senate.

Barnett's selection was unanimous at the Special Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government held virtually on May 11, 2021, under the chairmanship of Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley. 

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