CARICOM Chairman Gaston Browne welcomes new Secretary-General Dr Carla Barnett


Belize’s Dr Carla Barnett made history in Georgetown, Guyana, on Monday.

She is now the highest-ranking Belizean in the region after ascending to the post of Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) – and also the first woman to hold the role.

The economist originally from Sarteneja, Corozal District was welcomed by nominal boss, Chairman of CARICOM and Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne.

Browne promised to be at her disposal as much as possible and formally invited her and her team to St. John’s for a first meeting.

He acknowledged that she will have to “hit the ground running” to address current crises – the ongoing situation in Haiti which has been hit by an earthquake, a political crisis and now Tropical Depression Grace which has battered the same area hit by the temblor; the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the issue of vaccine hesitancy; financial crises brought on by the loss of jobs to the pandemic, and other issues.

He also paid tribute to predecessor Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, who provided a firm and steady hand especially during the pandemic.

He reminded in closing that the goal of regional integration may be hard, but the rewards are worth it for our people and that we are always better off working together and advancing integration.

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  1. One thought or two.
    Congratulation and welcome Dr Carla Barnett on behalf of Caribbean people. Our welcome placard reads:
    -Economic development must be the priority in the Caricom+OECS region. -Social programs require MONEY that must come from economic strategies of business investments by Caribbean people.
    -Economics Is the ‘engine in the room’ (calypso Engine Room by David Rudder) that will cause growth and development.
    -As an experienced economist, you know there is no ‘free lunch’.
    -In your role, persuade, nudge, push the regional representatives to commit daily to economic development as the priority.
    -Always remember and act on this:
    “From the nigger yard of yesterday, I come with my burden.
    To the world of to-morrow I turn with my strength”. Martin Carter.
    Also, “I walk with The Glory of Kings”. Brother Resistance.


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