GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Dominican Irwin LaRocque will be the seventh Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), according to an official announcement on Thursday.
LaRocque, who has served as Assistant Secretary-General for Trade and Economic Integration at the CARICOM Secretariat since September 2005, replaces Trinidadian Sir Edwin Carrington, who stepped down at the start of the year after 18 years in the post.
He was selected after CARICOM Chairman and St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Douglas, along with Suriname President Desi Bouterse, Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, and Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart this week interviewed the candidates, which also included Vincentian diplomat Ellsworth John.
LaRocque was educated at Queen’s College, and the New School for Social Research, both in New York and New York University, majored in Political Philosophy, Political Economics and Economics respectively.
Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary-General, he served as Permanent Secretary in various Ministries in Dominica for more than 14 years and as principal advisor to the Dominican on economic integration and regional and international trade issues.
He was also Dominica’s senior policy adviser on the revision of the original Treaty of Chaguaramas and served on the CARICOM Inter-Governmental Task Force, which drafted the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
As Assistant Secretary-General, he has provided strategic leadership for the continuing implementation and further development of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), as well as the Sectoral Programmes of the Community including agriculture, services, industry and energy.
He is currently the Co-Chair of the US-CARICOM Trade and Investment Council and is leading the negotiations with the United States Trade Representative Office for a new Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.
He has gained considerable experience with the European arrangements through his involvement in developing and negotiating with the Commission of the European Union, development assistance under the European Development Fund.
“My colleague Heads of Government and I believe that Ambassador LaRocque possesses the requisite skills of visionary leadership, courage and commitment required to guide the Community at this time of change and uncertainty,” said CARICOM Chairman Prime Minister Douglas of St. Kitts and Nevis in announcing the selection.
Secretary-General-designate LaRocque in his reaction expressed his deep appreciation for the confidence reposed in him by the Heads of Government.
“I am humbled and privileged for this opportunity to continue my service to the Governments and people of the Caribbean Community. As we strive towards the goal of a Community For All, the confidence of the Heads of Government, the support of the people of the Community and the committed staff of the CARICOM Secretariat are vital in achieving that objective.”