I wish to warmly congratulate Dr. Carla Natalie Barnett, on her appointment as the 8th Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Dr Barnett’s appointment is historic, as she is both the first woman and the first Belizean to be selected for the post.
It is noteworthy that the CARICOM Heads of Government unanimously agreed to the appointment, which is a clear expression of their confidence in Dr. Barnett.
Dr. Barnett has a long and distinguished career, having served as a former Deputy Secretary-General of CARICOM, vice president of the Belize Senate, as well as in various ministerial positions in her country’s government.
She has also served as Financial Secretary of Belize, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, as well as Vice-President (Operations) of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
I wish to also commend and thank Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, who served two terms as Secretary-General, and made significant contributions to the organisation and the region.
The Caribbean region is facing unprecedented challenges at this time, and CARICOM continues to play a critical role in addressing these challenges.
CARICOM remains the vehicle by which all our nations can unite in a common purpose to achieve the common goal of sustainable development throughout our region.
Over the years, CARICOM has evolved to more than just an organisation, it encapsulates the collective aspirations of the people of the Caribbean, and works towards realising the true potential of our region.
Dr. Barnett’s appointment is not only a watershed moment for the organisation, but one which will guarantee the growth of CARICOM, given her track record.
The United National Congress wishes Dr. Barnett every success in her new role.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition