[Linked Image]Belize has nominated Dr. Carla Barnett, former CARICOM Deputy Secretary General, for the post of Secretary General of CARICOM.

In addition to her previous work at the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Barnett has also worked across the CARICOM region during her roles as an economist, later as vice president (operations) at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and as a consultant to development agencies working in the Caribbean. In Belize, Dr. Barnett has been deputy governor of the Central Bank of Belize and was the financial secretary during Belize’s first successful debt restructuring in 2007. Under the previous administration, Dr. Barnett was vice president of the Senate and a minister of state in the Ministry of Finance.

Commenting on her vision for CARICOM, Dr. Barnett said that she sees “a CARICOM that the ordinary woman and man will defend because they feel the impact in their daily lives through economic and social advancement that comes from Community action.”

Dr. Barnett also stated that the Community should never be afraid to re-strategize, as it is now doing, when the needs are so great, and the resources are so scarce. She said, “The pandemic is forcing us to recalibrate and set new priorities for regional development. ‘Do more with less’ has new meaning for all of us. This does not mean less effective work. Indeed, increased incorporation of information and communication technology into our work provides opportunities for greater productivity and for CARICOM citizens to be much more involved in the strengthening of Regional integration well into the future, beyond COVID.”

The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which establishes the Caribbean Community and the CARICOM Single Market, provides that “the Secretary-General shall be appointed by the Conference of Heads of Government, on the recommendation of the Community Council of Ministers, for a term not exceeding five years and may be reappointed by the Conference.”

A Special Meeting of the Community Council of Ministers, to consider nominations and determine its recommendations to the Conference, is to be convened by mid- April. A Special Meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government is to be scheduled for the end of April or early May 2021 to decide on the appointment of the next Secretary General of CARICOM.