A year that will have a lasting impact – CARICOM Secretary-General

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End of Year Message

by the Secretary-General

of the

Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

Ambassador Irwin LaRocque


There is no doubt that the events of 2017 will have a lasting impact on our Community.  The ravaging effects of this year’s hurricane season will cast a long shadow over our Community for some time yet.

Six of our Members and several of our Caribbean neighbours experienced the wrath of unprecedented back-to-back Category 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The heavy toll of lives, property and infrastructure had an effect wider than the affected countries.  Our Community has bonded together, as its governments, people and institutions render yeoman support to the stricken countries.  The international community has been at our side in the relief undertaking in a highly appreciated show of solidarity.

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, (CDEMA) the Community’s specialised institution, performed magnificently as it coordinated the relief efforts and helped to set the stage for recovery.  I must extend the Region’s gratitude to the Agency for a job well done.  The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) was also prompt in meeting its commitments to the affected countries with the appropriate policies.

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CARICOM-Mexico Summit: Secretary-General invites international support for hurricane recovery

CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (l) and Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations Ambassador Colin Granderson at the Opening Ceremony for the CARICOM-Mexico Summit in Belize, Wednesday

Resilience is the cornerstone of our recovery and rebuilding process.  These disasters provide an opportunity for our Region to build back better and smarter.  It offers the prospect of the affected states becoming the first climate change resilient countries in the world.

But CARICOM cannot achieve that goal alone.  Cooperation with partners like Mexico is necessary for us to fulfil them, and continue our path to sustainable development for our people.  As we seek to rebuild, CARICOM, with the support of the United Nations is convening a High-Level Donors Conference in New York, next month, on 21 November.  Mr. President, we will be most pleased if Mexico accepted our invitation to participate.

Read Secretary-General’s full address to the Opening Ceremony of the CARICOM Mexico Summit in Belize, Wednesday 25 October 2017 (more…)

CARICOM and Commonwealth SGs hold talks



CARICOM engagement with the Commonwealth Secretariat on the margins of the annual World Bank IMF meetings in Washington, Friday.

Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (2nd left) is leading the CARICOM delegation and Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Patricia Scotland (directly opposite) is leading her team. Also on the CARICOM delegation are Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration Mr. Joseph Cox (left) and Director, Economic Policy and Development, Ms Evelyn Wayne (3rd left)

Message by the CARICOM Secretary-General on Caribbean Statistics Day







15 OCTOBER 2017



CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

This year’s observance takes place against the background of another significant achievement for Regional Statistics. CARICOM Heads of Government at their Thirty-Eighth Regular Meeting (July 2017) endorsed the preparation of a Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics (RSDS) in CARICOM.  The endorsement of the RSDS initiative is in addition to their endorsement of the Action Plan for Statistics at their Thirty-Seventh Regular Meeting in 2016.

 These decisions on Statistics at the highest level of the Community reaffirm the recognition of the vital role of statistics in the development of the Region.   It is in this spirit that the National Statistical Offices of Member States agreed that the 2016 theme – “Improving the Lives of People – Advancing the Action Plan for Statistics in CARICOM”   should remain as the theme for this year’s observance of Caribbean Statistics Day.

CARICOM countries continue to face increasing demands for statistics that must be timely and reliable.  Evidenced-based decision-making is important in enabling the socio-economic development of countries and for the efficient management and use of resources. In particular, given the environmental concerns faced by CARICOM countries as Small Island and low lying coastal Developing States (SIDS), the timely dissemination of high quality statistics facilitates national policy development, planning and the monitoring and evaluation required for the achievement of successful outcomes. The importance of access to reliable data is a key factor in the recovery and rehabilitation efforts following natural disasters such as the recent Hurricanes Irma and Maria. (more…)

CARICOM Secretary-General gets Guyana national award

President of Guyana, His Excellency David Granger bestows the Cacique's Crown of Honour on CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque at the National Cultural Centre, Georgetown, Guyana, 6 October, 2017.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, on Friday received Guyana’s Cacique’s Crown of Honour (CCH). President of Guyana, His Excellency David Granger, bestowed the award on the Secretary-General at an investiture ceremony held at the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown, Guyana.

Ambassador LaRocque was named among 69 persons honoured under the Order of Roraima of Guyana and the Order of  Service of Guyana, on the occasion of Guyana’s 51st Anniversary of Independence.  President David Granger announced the appointments during the national flag raising ceremony in May. The Secretary-General was awarded for his commitment to regional integration and his untiring efforts towards its achievement.

“For me personally it was a significant and tremendous honour to hear the announcement that I have been selected for recognition of the work that is being done on behalf of the Community, here in Guyana. I’ve been in Guyana now for many years so it is a distinct honour”, the Secretary-General said following the announcement in May.