#PressForProgress – International Women’s Day

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




8 MARCH, 2018

It is a distinct honour and pleasure for me to celebrate our women and girls across the Caribbean Community on the occasion of the 107th Anniversary of International Women’s Day.  International Women’s Day affords us the opportunity to reflect on gender equality and the advancement of women and to continue to #PressForProgress as this year’s theme and call to action suggests.

This year’s celebration is being observed in the wider context of significant global movements for women’s rights, justice, equality, development and peace, as well as movements against domestic abuse, sexual harassment and femicide.

These movements for change provide opportunities to combat sexual harassment, and gender-based violence and when linked with the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, additional gains such as good health and well-being, quality education and increased political participation may be realised.  The global community is on a mission to close the gaps that hinder such achievement and leave some behind.

According to the World Economic Forum which measures gender equality on a global scale, “2017 was the first time in more than 10 years that the gender gap began to widen again.”  The Report indicates that it could still take “another 100 years before the Global Equality Gap between men and women disappears entirely.  A gender pay gap persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics.”

International Women’s Day (IWD)
International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first March 8 IWD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women equality. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific.

CARICOM SG lauds Dominican heading PAHO for second term

Dr. Carissa Etienne, PAHO Director 2018-2023
Dr. Carissa Etienne, PAHO Director

Dominican Dr Carissa Etienne was sworn in for a second term as Director of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) on Thursday and was commended for the achievement by CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

Delivering an address at the inauguration ceremony at PAHO Headquarters in Washington D.C   the CARICOM Secretary-General credited Dr. Etienne’s re-election to her achievements over her first five years in office.

“Reward for good work is more hard work,” he stated lauding her leadership of administrative and management changes to improve the efficiency of PAHO. He commended its successful response to public health emergencies such as Zika, Chikungunya, and cholera in the Americas which saw a dramatic decline in the number of reported cases of those diseases. (more…)

CARICOM SG to speak today at PAHO Director’s Inauguration

Dr. Carissa Etienne, PAHO Director 2018-2023
Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque will speak at today’s inauguration of Dominican Dr. Carissa F. Etienne as the Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Dr.  Etienne was first elected Director of PAHO by the countries of the Americas in 2012 and was re-elected for a second term in September 2017 that will begin today February 1 2018.

Other speakers at today’s ceremony will be Eric D. Hargan, U.S. Deputy Secretary for Health and Human Services; Luis Almagro Lemes, Secretary General, Organization of American States and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization.

You can follow the Ceremony live from 12:00 noon Eastern Caribbean Time here on CARICOM Today


Happy 214th Haiti!

Haiti_flagCongratulatory Message to the President of Haiti HE Jovenel Moïse from CARICOM Chairman Ambassador Irwin LaRocque  to mark the country’s 214th Independence Anniversary, 1 January 2018.


The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) extends warmest congratulations to the Government and People of the Republic of Haiti on the occasion of the Two Hundred and Fourteenth Anniversary of Independence.

As a nation and also as a member of the Caribbean Community, this occasion is, indeed, cause for celebration since history has proven that the success of the Haitian Revolution extended into the success of the Region both socially and politically.

President of Haiti, His Excellency Jovenel Moise welcomes SG LaRocque to Haiti in December
President of Haiti, His Excellency Jovenel Moise welcomes Secretary-General LaRocque to Haiti

The Republic of Haiti has demonstrated its resilience to the world on numerous occasions.  The courage and fortitude of the Haitian people have served as an inspiration to the people of the Region.  The contribution of the country to the world of art, music, literature and academia has gained Haiti international renown.

Haiti has also made its mark on the Caribbean Community particularly through its commitment to the welfare of people with disabilities. CARICOM welcomes the chairmanship of Haiti from 1 January 2018 and looks forward to the leadership providing an enabling environment for the advancement of our integration efforts. 

The Caribbean Community salutes Haiti as it continues its journey of self determination.

CARICOM Secretary-General, Haiti President hold talks

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque met on Thursday with Haiti’s President H.E. Jovenel Moise at the President’s Office in Port-au-Prince.

President Moise assumes the Chairmanship of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) from 1 January 2018 and the Secretary-General LaRocque used his meeting to provid his usual Briefing to the Incoming Chairman.

Haiti will also host the Twenty-ninth Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government in February and representatives of the Government of Haiti and the CARICOM Secretariat have started joint preparations for the Meeting which is expected to further advance a number of critical issues for the Community.