|Anthem: Celebrating CARICOM|
Dark green: Full CARICOM members.
Lime green: Associate CARICOM members.
|Seat of Secretariat||Georgetown, Guyana|
|Official languages||English, French, Dutch|
|•||Treaty of Chaguaramas||4 July 1973|
|•||Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas||2001|
177,020 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2012 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2010 estimate|
|•||Total||$64,771 billion (65)|
|•||Per capita||$8,116 (67)|
|HDI (2012)|| 0.719
Established in 1973, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is an organization of fifteen Caribbean nations and dependencies. CARICOM's main purposes are to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy. Its major activities involve coordinating economic policies and development planning; devising and instituting special projects for the less-developed countries within its jurisdiction; operating as a regional single market for many of its members (Caricom Single Market); and handling regional trade disputes. The secretariat headquarters is based in Georgetown, Guyana.
Established mainly by the English-speaking parts of the Caribbean, CARICOM has become multilingual in practice with the addition of Dutch-speaking Suriname on 4 July 1995 and French- (and Haitian Kreyòl-) speaking Haiti on 2 July 2002. Furthermore, it was suggested that Spanish should also become a working language. In July 2012, CARICOM announced that they were considering making French and Dutch official languages.
In 2001, the heads of government signed a revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that cleared the way to transform the idea of a common market CARICOM into a Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy. Part of the revised treaty establishes and implements the Caribbean Court of Justice. Since 2013, the CARICOM-bloc and the Dominican Republic have been tied to the European Commission via an Economic Partnership Agreements known as CARIFORUM signed in 2008. The treaty grants all members of the European Union and CARIFORUM equal rights in terms of trade and investment. Within the agreement under Article 234, the European Court of Justice also carries dispute resolution mechanisms between CARIFORUM and the European Union states.
Currently CARICOM has 15 full members, 5 associate members and 8 observers. All of the associate members are British overseas territories, and it is currently not established what the role of the associate members will be. The observers are states which engage in at least one of CARICOM's technical committees.
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Commonwealth of Dominica
- Republic of Haiti
- Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent & the Grenadines
- Commonwealth of the Bahamas
- Co-operative Republic of Guyana
- Republic of Suriname
- Republic of Trinidad & Tobago
The post of Chairman (Head of CARICOM) is held in rotation by the regional Heads of State (for the republics) and Heads of Government (for the realms) of CARICOM's 15 member states.
Heads of government
CARICOM contains a quasi-Cabinet of the individual Heads of Government. These heads are given specific specialised portfolios of responsibility for overall regional development and integration.
- Secretariat of the Caribbean Community, The term of office of the Secretary-General is five years, which may be renewed. (Chief Administrative Organ)
- Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, the CARICOM Secretary General (Chief Executive) handles foreign and community relations.
- Deputy Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, handles human and social Development.
- General Counsel of the Caribbean Community, handles trade and economic integration.
The goal statement of the CARICOM Secretariat is:
To provide dynamic leadership and service, in partnership with Community institutions and Groups, toward the attainment of a viable, internationally competitive and sustainable Community, with improved quality of life for all.
Organs and bodies
|CARICOM Heads of Government||Consisting of the various heads of Government from each member state|
|Standing Committee of Ministers||Ministerial responsibilities for specific areas, for example the Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Health will consist of Ministers of Health from each member state|
The Community Council consists of ministers responsible for community affairs and any other Minister designated by the member states in their absolute discretion. It is one of the community's principal organs; the other is the Conference of the Heads of Government. It is supported by four other organs and three bodies.
|Council for Finance and Planning||COFAP|
|Council for Foreign and Community Relations||COFCOR|
|Council for Human and Social Development||COHSOD|
|Council for Trade and Economic Development||COTED|
|Legal Affairs Committee||provides legal advice|
|Budget Committee||examines the draft budget and work programme of the Secretariat and submits recommendations to the Community Council.|
|Committee of the Central Bank Governors||provides recommendations to the COFAP on monetary and financial matters.|
The 23 designated institutions of CARICOM are as follows:
|Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency||CDERA|
|Caribbean Meteorological Institute||CMI|
|Caribbean Meteorological Organisation||CMO|
|Caribbean Food Corporation||CFC|
|Caribbean Environment Health Institute||CEHI|
|Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute||CARDI|
|Caribbean Regional Centre for the Education and training of Animal Health and Veterinary Public Health Assistants||REPAHA|
|Assembly of Caribbean Community Parliamentarians||ACCP|
|Caribbean Centre for Development Administration||CARICAD|
|Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute||CFNI|
|CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security||IMPACS|
|Caribbean Examinations Council||CXC|
|CARICOM Single Market and Economy||CSME|
|Caribbean Court of Justice||CCJ|
|CARICOM Competition Commission||CCC|
|Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism||CRFM|
|Caribbean Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality||CROSQ|
|Caribbean Telecommunications Union||CTU|
|Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre||CCCCC|
|Caribbean Organisation of Tax Administrators||COTA|
|Council of Legal Education||CLE|
|Caribbean Aviation Safety and Securing Oversight System||CASSOS|
|Caribbean Regional Information and Translation Institute||CRITI|
The Caribbean Court of Justice will act in its "original jurisdiction", as settlement unit for disputes on the functioning of the Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME). Additionally the states of CARICOM voted to supplement original jurisdiction with "appellate jurisdiction" under this the former colonies of the United Kingdom will have effectively replaced the Privy Council in London, United Kingdom with the CCJ.
The CCJ is based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The majority of member states however, continue to utilize the Privy Council as their final appellate court and three member states do not use the CCJ for either its original jurisdiction or its appellate jurisdiction because they have either not signed the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (the Bahamas and Haiti) or are a current British colony (Montserrat).
The five designated associate institutions of CARICOM are as follows:
|Caribbean Development Bank||CDB|
|University of Guyana||UG|
|University of the West Indies||UWI|
|Caribbean Law Institute / Caribbean Law Institute Centre||CLI / CLIC|
|Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States||OECS|
|West Indies Cricket Board||WICB|
The CARICOM Standard and CARICOM Song
The flag of the Caribbean Community was chosen and approved in November 1983 at the Conference of Heads of Government Meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The original design by the firm of WINART Studies in Georgetown, Guyana was substantially modified at the July 1983 Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government. The flag was first flown on 4 July 1984 in Nassau, Bahamas at the fifth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government.
The flag features a blue background, but the upper part is a light blue representing sky and the lower, a darker blue representing the Caribbean Sea. The yellow circle in the centre represents the sun on which is printed in black the logo of the Caribbean Community, two interlocking Cs. The two Cs are in the form of broken links in a chain, symbolising both unity and a break with the colonial past. The narrow ring of green around the sun represents the vegetation of the region.
For CARICOM's 40th anniversary, a competition to compose an official song or anthem for CARICOM was launched in April 2013 to promote choosing a song that promoted unity and inspired CARICOM identity and pride. A regional panel of judges comprising independent experts in music was nominated by member states and the CARICOM Secretariat. Three rounds of competition condensed 63 entries to a final three, from which judges chose Celebrating CARICOM by Michele Henderson of Dominica in March 2014. Henderson won a US$10,000 prize. Her song was produced by her husband, Roland Delsol Jr., and arranged by Earlson Matthew. It also featured Michael Ferrol on drums and choral input from the St. Alphonsus Choir. It was re-produced for CARICOM by Carl Beaver Henderson of Trinidad and Tobago.
A second-place entry titled My CARICOM came from Jamaican Adiel Thomas who won US$5,000, and a third-place song titled One CARICOM by Carmella Lawrence of St. Kitts and Nevis, won US$2,500. The other songs from the top-ten finalists (in no particular order) were:
- One Region one Caribbean from Anguilla,
- One Caribbean Family from Jamaica,
- CARICOM’s Light from St. Vincent & the Grenadines,
- We Are CARICOM from Dominica,
- Together As one from Dominica,
- Blessed CARICOM from Jamaica,
- Together We Rise from Jamaica.
The first official performance of Celebrating CARICOM by Henderson took place on Tuesday 1 July 2014 at the opening ceremony for the Thirty-Fifth Regional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in Antigua and Barbuda.
CARICOM, originally the Caribbean Community and Common Market, was established by the Treaty of Chaguaramas which took effect on 1 August 1973. The first four signatories were Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago.
CARICOM superseded the 1965–1972 Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) organised to provide a continued economic linkage between the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean after the dissolution of the West Indies Federation, which lasted from 3 January 1958 to 31 May 1962.
A revised Treaty of Chaguaramas established the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and was signed by the CARICOM Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community on 5 July 2001 at their Twenty-Second Meeting of the Conference in Nassau, The Bahamas. The revised treaty cleared the way to transform the idea of a common market CARICOM into the Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy. Part of the revised treaty includes the establishing and implementing the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Since 2013 the CARICOM-bloc and with the Dominican Republic have been tied to the European Union via an Economic Partnership Agreements signed in 2008 known as CARIFORUM. The treaty grants all members of the European Union and CARIFORUM equal rights in terms of trade and investment. Under Article 234 of the agreement, the European Court of Justice handles dispute resolution between CARIFORUM and European Union states.
In March 2004, tensions became strained between member-state Haiti and the rest of the Caribbean Community bloc. Democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide phoned other CARICOM heads of government and stated that he had been kidnapped by France and the United States and taken out of the country. CARICOM announced that no democratically elected government in CARICOM should have its leader deposed. The fourteen other heads of government sought to have Aristide visit Jamaica and share his account of events with them. The move to fly Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Jamaica from where he was in Africa infuriated the unelected interim Haitian prime minister, Gérard Latortue. Latortue announced he would take steps to take Haiti out of CARICOM.
CARICOM announced it would vote on suspending recognition of Latortue's régime before he could do so. They did; Haitian officials were suspended from the councils of CARICOM. This did not stop Latortue, who announced that he would continue a part of his plan to suspend Haiti from CARICOM. Haiti's membership remained effectively suspended from 29 February 2004 through early June 2006. Following the democratic election of René Préval as President of Haiti, he gave the opening address at the Council of Ministers meeting in July.
|Member||Membership||Land area (km2)||Population||GDP (PPP) Millions USD||GDP Per Capita (PPP) USD (2014)||Human Development Index (2014)|
|Antigua & Barbuda||full member||442.6||89,018||1,920||22,998||0.783|
|British Virgin Islands||associate||151||24,000||-|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||full member||261||50,726||1,160||21,474||0.752|
|Saint Lucia||full member||606||162,178||1,880||11,644||0.729|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||full member||389||103,537||1,160||10,684||0.720|
|Trinidad & Tobago||full member||5,128||1,226,383||40,600||32,170||0.772|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||associate||948||36,600||0.845||-|
|Full members||members only||432,510||16,743,693||107,815||6,439||0.719|
Thousands of Caricom nationals live within other member states of the Community.
An estimated 30,000 Jamaicans legally reside in other CARICOM member states, mainly in the Bahamas (5,600), Antigua & Barbuda (estimated 12,000), Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago). Also, an estimated 150 Jamaicans live and work in Montserrat. A November 21, 2013 estimated put 16,958 Jamaicans residing illegally in Trinidad & Tobago, as according to the records of the Office of the Chief Immigration Officer, their entry certificates would have since expired. By October 2014, the estimated Jamaicans residing illegally in Trinidad and Tobago was 19,000 along with an estimated 7,169 Barbadians and 25,884 Guyanese residing illegally. An estimated 8,000 Trinidadians and Tobagonians live in Jamaica.
Barbados hosts a large diaspora population of Guyanese, of whom (in 2005) 5,032 lived there permanently as citizens, permanent residents, immigrants (with immigrant status) and Caricom skilled nationals; 3,200 were residing in Barbados temporarily under work permits, as students, or with "reside and work" status. A further 2,000-3,000 Guyanese were estimated to be living illegally in Barbados at the time. Migration between Barbados and Guyana has deep roots, going back over 150 years, with the most intense period of Barbadian migration to then-British Guiana occurring between 1863 and 1886, although as late as the 1920s and 1930s Barbadians were still leaving Barbados for British Guiana.
Migration between Guyana and Suriname also goes back a number of years. An estimated 50,000 Guyanese had migrated to Suriname by 1986 In 1987 an estimated 30-40,000 Guyanese were in Suriname. Many Guyanese left Suriname in the 1970s and 1980s, either voluntarily by expulsion. Over 5,000 were expelled in January 1985 alone. in the instability Suriname experienced following independence, both coups and civil war. In 2013 an estimated 11,530 Guyanese had emigrated to Suriname and 4,662 Surinamese to Guyana.
Relationship to other supranational Caribbean organisations
Association of Caribbean States
CARICOM was instrumental in the formation of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) on 24 July 1994. The original idea for the Association came from a recommendation of the West Indian Commission, established in 1989 by the CARICOM heads of state and government. The Commission advocated both deepening the integration process (through the CARICOM Single Market and Economy) and widening it through a separate regional organization encompassing all states in the Caribbean.
CARICOM accepted the commission's recommendations and opened dialogue with other Caribbean states, the Central American states and the Latin American nations of Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico which border the Caribbean, for consultation on the proposals of the West Indian Commission.
At an October 1993 summit the heads of state and government of CARICOM and the presidents of the then-Group of Three (Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela) formally decided to create an association grouping all states of the Caribbean basin. A work schedule for its formation was adopted. The aim was to create the association in less than a year, an objective which was achieved with the formal creation of the ACS.
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
CARICOM was also involved in the formation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) on 3 December 2010. The idea for CELAC originated at the Rio Group–Caribbean Community Unity Summit on 23 February 2010 in Mexico.
In May 2016, Caricom's court of original jurisdiction, the CCJ, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the ACP Legal Association based in Guadeloupe recognizing and supporting the goals of implementing a harmonized business law framework in the Caribbean through ACP Legal Association's OHADAC Project.
OHADAC is the acronym for the French "Organisation pour l'Harmonisation du Droit des Affaires en les Caraïbes", which translates into English as "Organisation for the Harmonization of Business Law in the Caribbean". The OHADAC Project takes inspiration from a similar organisation in Africa and aims to enhance economic integration across the entire Caribbean and facilitate increased trade and international investment through unified laws and alternative dispute resolution methods.
- Projects of the Caribbean Community
- Association of Caribbean States
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
- North American Union (NAU)
- Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)
- Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
- Commonwealth of Nations
- African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States
- OHADAC (Organisation for the Harmonization of Business Law in the Caribbean)
- Caribbean Financial Action Task Force
- Caribbean Initiative
- Languages of the Caribbean
- Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI)
- Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network
- List of regional organizations by population
- List of countries by HDI
- Ramjeet, Oscar (2009-04-16). "CARICOM countries will speak with one voice in meetings with US and Canadian leaders". Caribbean Net News. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- "Communiqué Issued at the Conclusion of the Thirty-Third Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, 4-6 July 2012, Gros Islet, Saint Lucia", "Heads of Government recognized that, although English was the official language of the Community, the facility to communicate in their languages could enhance the participation of Haiti and Suriname in the integration process. They therefore requested the conduct of a study to examine the possibilities and implications, including costs, of introducing French and Dutch."
- Caribbean moves afoot to restructure CARIFORUM, Peter Richards, Tuesday April 12th 2011
- "Letter: Privy Council and EPA", October 8, 2009, Jamaica Gleaner
- Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas
- Regional Portfolios of CARICOM Heads of Government
- CARICOM Standard
- Flag of the Caribbean Community and Common Market
- "History created as new CARICOM song is launched".
- WORD Version of CARICOM song competition Fact Sheet
- "CARICOM Song Competition: Terms of Reference" (PDF).
- Original Treaty of Chaguaramas Archived October 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Aristide accuses U.S. of coup d'état". Canadian Broadcast Corporation. 2004-03-02. Retrieved 2011-03-25.
- "Aristide launches kidnap lawsuit". BBC News. 2004-03-31. Retrieved 2011-03-25.
- "Haiti suspends ties with CARICOM". Trinidadandtobagonews.com. Retrieved 2011-03-25.
- CIA World Factbook: Land area rankings: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2147.html
- CIA World Factbook: Population rankings: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2119rank.html
- 30,000 Jamaicans residing in other CARICOM member states
- Jamaicans of the Bahamas
- Prime Minister Golding calls on Jamaicans in Antigua and Barbuda to cooperate with government and people there
- Close to 17,000 Jamaicans residing illegally in Trinidad
- 7,000 illegal Bajans in T&T
- Bissessar celebrates new Trinidad and Tobago High Commission
- Guyanese, British and Americans among illegal immigrants living in Barbados
- Mudheads in Barbados, a lived experience
- "Ethnologue Languages of Suriname".
- "Guyanese Creole Survey Report" (PDF).
- "Guyanese vital in Suriname".
- "Nervous Neighbours - Guyana and Suriname".
- "Guyana Migration Profiles" (PDF).
- "Evolution of the Association of Caribbean States" (PDF).
- "''Mexidata'' (English) March 1, 2010". Mexidata.info. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
- "Acuerdan crear Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños". Associated Press. February 23, 2010.
- "América Latina crea una OEA sin Estados Unidos". El País. February 23, 2010.
- US Embassy Cable - Mexico's Latin American Summit 22-23 February
- Rio Group approves its expansion at Unity Summit
- CCJ signs MOU on harmonising business law in Caribbean
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Caricom.|
- Official website
- Official Blog CARICOM Today
- CARICOM Representation Office in Haiti (CROH)
- CARICOM Statistics: Statistical information compiled through the CARICOM Secretariat
- Radio CARICOM: the voice of the Caribbean Community (Press Release)
- Caricom Law: Website and online database of the CARICOM Legislative Drafting Facility (CLDF)
- Caricom Trade Support Programme: Government of Trinidad and Tobago
- CARICOM Trade Support Programme Loan
- Rapid Exchange System for Dangerous Non-food Consumer Goods (CARREX): Front end for Consumer Product Incident Reporting
- PANCAP: Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS
- CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ)
- "CARICOM (Revised Treaty)" (PDF). (573 KB)
- EU Style Structure Evident in CARICOM
- Haiti suspends ties with CARICOM
- Jamaica Gleaner News - Haiti could return to CARICOM
- Haiti re-admitted?
- Caricom and Haiti: The raising of the Caribbean's 'Iron Curtain'
- How viable is a single Caribbean currency? Part II
- How viable is a single Caribbean currency? Part III
- The Dominican Republic in Caricom? Yes, we can
- Bureau recommends re-examination of Dominican Republic's proposed membership in CARICOM
- Guyana Journal (2007-07): Advancing Integration Between Caricom and Central America
- EDITORIAL: We may just have to dump CARICOM, July 4, 2010, Jamaica Gleaner
- Commentary: Gleaner newspaper suggests disbanding CARICOM, July 5, 2010, Caribbean Net News
- Does Caricom have a future? , 6 July 2010, BBC.co.uk
- That elusive governance structure, 7 July 2010, BBC.co.uk