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[Linked Image] Today, CARICOM Heads of Government met at their 21st Special Meeting to conclude the process for the recruitment of a new secretary general of CARICOM, a Belizean national, Dr. Carla Barnett.

CARICOM heads received a report from the Community Council, which was mandated in February 2021 to manage the process of recruitment. Based on the consensus recommendation resulting from the transparent and rigorous process carried out by the Community Council, CARICOM heads unanimously agreed to appoint Dr. Barnett.

All CARICOM heads acknowledged the historic nature of the appointment of Dr. Barnett as the first woman to be appointed secretary general, though her selection was based on her qualifications, experience and skills. All heads pledged their support to working with Dr. Barnett for advancing the agenda of the region.

Prime Minister Brice�o, who led the Belize delegation at the meeting, thanked his CARICOM colleagues for the confidence entrusted to Dr. Barnett. He noted that Dr. Barnett will take up the post of secretary general at a most critical time for the region. The Prime Minister also highlighted that in addition to her unimpeachable qualifications, Dr. Barnett's professional career has precisely equipped her with the skills, experience and network to lead the CARICOM Secretariat.

In addressing the Conference of CARICOM Heads, Prime Minister Brice�o said, "It is not lost on us that Belize is geographically on the western rim of our shared Caribbean space. However, CARICOM's centrality to Belize's identity, culture, aspirations and development has never been in doubt. Belize's commitment to our integration, Community and Secretariat is unshakeable. And is now well exemplified by our provision of the next Secretary General."

Dr. Barnett will assume her post in August 2021 for a five-year term. She has expressed her vision as one for a Caribbean Community where all citizens want to contribute to building a sense of "one Caribbean people with one common experience and destiny."

Prime Minister Brice�o has conveyed the congratulations of the Government and people of Belize to Dr. Barnett.

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Dr. Carla Barnett today assumes the post of Secretary General of CARICOM


Belizean is New CARICOM Secretary-General

It's official; Belize's Dr. Carla Barnett is the new Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community or CARICOM for short.

Belizeans know her very well as a part of the former Barrow Government, in which she served as a UDP Senator and as Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour, Local Government, and Rural Development. Last year, her ministry was responsible for several COVID relief programs that were rolled out by the Barrow Administration, including Unemployment Relief and a loans program for micro, small and medium business enterprises, to ease some of the economic suffering brought by the pandemic.

But, apart from being the former Prime Minister's pick for an economic czar, Dr. Barnett is a trained economist who has served in Belize as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank and Financial Secretary. She also has experience in the operations of CARICOM, where she served as Deputy Secretary-General from 1997 to 2002. And now, she will hold the top post in that regional organization for a 5-year term from 2021 to 2026.

She formally took over the office today at an installation ceremony which was broadcasted virtually from CARICOM's headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana. 7News tuned in, and here's what she and the current CARICOM Chairman had to say today's event:

Dr. Barnett takes over from the Dominican Economist, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, who served from 2011-2021. Both main speakers of today's installation ceremony took the time out to thank Ambassador LaRocque for his service to the Caribbean Community:

Channel 7

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