Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, a national of Dominica, assumed the office of Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on 15 August 2011, following his selection by the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM on 21 July 2011. He is the seventh Secretary-General of CARICOM.
Ambassador LaRocque’s service at the CARICOM Secretariat began in September 2005, when he assumed the position of Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration. In that post Ambassador LaRocque provided strategic leadership for the continuing implementation and further development of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary-General, he served as Permanent Secretary in various Ministries in Dominica for more than fourteen years, including in the Ministries of Trade, Industry, Enterprise Development, Tourism, and Foreign Affairs where he headed the diplomatic service. He also served as the principal advisor to the Government of Dominica on all matters pertaining to economic integration and regional and international trade.
Ambassador LaRocque has a wealth of experience in management, public administration, economic development, trade, foreign affairs and diplomacy. During the period when Dominica underwent a structural adjustment programme, Ambassador LaRocque was a member of the Cabinet-appointed Public Sector Reform Task Force, which included the private sector, trade unions and non-governmental Organizations, with responsibility for the overall management, planning and performance review of the public sector reform process. He also served as the Chairman of the Consultative Working Group, a public/private sector consultative and advisory committee appointed by Cabinet, with focus on the enabling environment for private sector development and growth.
He has served on several Boards, including the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, Caribbean Export, the Dominica Agricultural, Industrial and Development Bank, and the Dominica National Development Corporation. Ambassador LaRocque also managed diplomatic negotiations with third countries and international development partners.
Ambassador LaRocque was educated at Queen’s College and the New School for Social Research, both in New York, and New York University and majored in Political Philosophy, Pure Economics and Political Economics.
Secretary-General’s Priorities for the 2016-2017 Work Programme
The CARICOM Heads of Government at their 35th Regular Meeting in July 2014, approved the Secretary-General’s top priorities for the years 2015 to 2019. These are set out in the Community Strategic Plan for 2015-2019 . Flowing from the Community Strategic Plan, the Secretary-General has identified the following as the Secretariat’s priorities for the 2016-2017 Work Programme:
- Reform of Organs, Bodies and governance arrangements to enhance decision making, implementation and accountability and enforcement
- Accelerate Implementation and Use of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME)
- Build Competitiveness and Unleash Key Economic Drivers to Transition to Growth and Generate Employment
- Advance Human Capital Development; key skills, education reform and youth development
- Advance Health and Wellness
- Enhance Citizen Security and Justice
- Advance Climate Adaptation and Mitigation; Advance Disaster Mitigation and Management
- Develop the Single ICT Space
- Coordinated Foreign and External Economic Relations
- Develop Governance Arrangements for Community Institutions
- Public Education, Public Information and Advocacy