CARICOM Secretary General to step down

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday August 4, 2010 - Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Edwin Carrington will give up the position in another few months, after 18 years on the job. His replacement has not yet been announced.

The CARICOM Secretariat confirmed in a statement today that the Trinidad and Tobago national, who was appointed the sixth CARICOM Secretary-General in 1992, will step down on December 31st. 

“It has been my privilege and honour to have been given the opportunity to serve the Region and its people in this capacity” he said in a statement issued by the Secretariat.

“These last 18 years as Secretary-General have been the pinnacle of my public service career. I have, despite the odds, done all I could to help create a viable and secure Community for All. It has been a period of important achievements as well as significant disappointments. I leave satisfied and confident however, that the Caribbean Community now has a solid platform on which to continue to build the integration movement.”

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to deal with some pressing family issues and to enjoy much more time with them. I pay them the highest tribute for their patience, understanding and tremendous support during this long and arduous journey”, Carrington added.

During his tenure, Carrington oversaw the revision of the Treaty of Chaguaramas and the consequent transition of the Community from a Common Market to a Single Market in 2006. Under his Secretary-Generalship, the platform is also being set for eventual evolution of the Community to include a Single Economy – the framework for which Heads of Government have undertaken to create by 2015. 

His term has also seen the establishment of a number of key institutions designed to put the integration process on a sound base, including the Caribbean Court of Justice (2005); as well as the Caribbean Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (2002); the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (2005); the CARICOM Competition Commission (2008); and the CARICOM Development Fund (2008). 

“I have, despite the odds, done all I could to help create a viable and secure Community for All”.  –CARICOM Secretary General Edwin Carrington

Carrington, an economist by profession, first joined the then Commonwealth Caribbean Secretariat in 1970 as Chief of Economics and Statistics, rising to Director of Trade and Integration before being appointed as Deputy Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States in 1976. He was subsequently elected Secretary-General of the ACP in 1985, the only Caribbean national, to date, to have held that position. In acknowledgement of his outstanding service to the ACP, Carrington Hall at the ACP Secretariat (Brussels) is named in his honour. 

On returning from Brussels in 1991, Carrington served as his country’s High Commissioner to Guyana before his appointment to his current position. Carrington is the longest serving Secretary-General of the Community in the service of which he has been the recipient of national awards from Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago as well as from the Dominican Republic, Italy and Spain.  

As Secretary-General of CARICOM, Carrington also served as Secretary-General of CARIFORUM (comprising all the Member States of CARICOM except Montserrat and comprising the Dominican Republic).