The Caribbean Community works through a governance structure which includes Organs, Bodies, Institutions, and other Stakeholders.
The Organs are decision making councils of the Community, with responsibility for key policy areas as set out in the Treaty.
The Principal Organs are:
- The Conference of Heads of Government (and its Bureau which operates as a sub-committee as required; and a Quasi Cabinet through which individual Heads of Government have Lead Responsibility for specific areas)
- The Community Council of Ministers (Ministers of CARICOM Affairs in Member States)
The Principal Organs are assisted by several organs, bodies, and the CARICOM Secretariat, which is the Principal Administrative Organ.
The Organs are:
- Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED)
- Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR)
- Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD)
- Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP)
- Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE)
The Bodies are:
- Legal Affairs Committee (Attorneys General and Ministers of Legal Affairs) – which advises the Organs and Bodies
- Budget Committee – which reports to the Community Council
- The Committee of Central Bank Governors – which advises COFAP
- The Committee of Ambassadors – which reports to the Community Council
Institutions, formed under the umbrella of the Community, or, with its collaboration, serve the Community as specialist technical agencies.
Governments of Member States and Associate Members, working with various other stakeholders, are ultimately accountable to the peoples of the Community for achieving the goals of regional integration.
The CARICOM Youth Ambassadors, appointed by their respective Member States, lead the leveraging of youth views and perspectives for the regional development process.
The Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM), which groups the CARICOM Member States, and the Dominican Republic and Cuba, provides, among other things, a platform to manage and coordinate policy dialogue between its participating states and the European Union – a key development partner.
International Development Partners support a number of Community programmes and projects through technical cooperation and provision of human and/or financial resources.
See below for more information
The Conference of Heads of Government which consists of the Heads of Government of the Member States is the supreme Organ of the Caribbean Community and determines and provides its policy direction. In addition to this function, it is the final authority for the conclusion of Treaties on behalf of the Community and for entering into relationships between the Community and International Organisations and States. The Conference is also responsible for making the financial arrangements to meet the expenses of the Community, but has delegated this function to the Community Council. Decisions of the Conference are generally taken unanimously.
The Bureau is a Sub-Committee of the Conference comprising the Incoming, Incumbent and Outgoing Chairpersons of the Conference, identified in accordance with the approved Rotation Schedule for the Chairmanship of the Conference.
The Bureau is provided for in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. Its functions are set out in Article 12 entitled Functions and Powers of the Conference, specifically sub-paragraph 11 (page 6). Heads of Government customarily serve on the Bureau in their three capacities over an 18-month period. The Bureau is assisted by the Secretary-General. Learn more
Heads of Government have also established a Quasi-Cabinet arrangement with a view to further advancing specific issues/areas within the Community. The decision to establish the Quasi-Cabinet was taken at their Seventh Special Meeting (October 1999, Trinidad and Tobago), convened to deliberate on a Vision for the future of the Region. Within the Quasi-Cabinet, individual Heads of Government have responsibility for critical areas of Community Development.
The Community Council, which comprises Ministers responsible for CARICOM Affairs in Member States, is the second highest organ of the Community. In keeping with the provisions of Article 13 of the Revised Treaty, it has “…. primary responsibility for the development of Community strategic planning and coordination in the areas of economic integration, functional cooperation [Human and Social Development] and external relations” in accordance with the policy directions established by the Conference. Article 13 of the Revised Treaty defines the functions of the Community Council. Learn more
The Principal Organs of the Community, The Conference of Heads of Government (The Conference) and the Community Council of Ministers (The Council) are assisted by five Organs, three “Bodies” and the CARICOM Secretariat. Learn more
According to the Treaty of Chaguaramas of the Caribbean Community, membership of the Caribbean Community shall be open to any other State or Territory of the Caribbean Region that is, in the opinion of The Conference, able and willing to exercise the rights and assume the obligations of membership.
Twenty countries make up the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).Fifteen are full members and five are Associate Members.
The geographical boundaries of our Community stretch from The Bahama Islands in the north, southward to Guyana and Suriname – both on the north coast of the South American mainland. They also extend from Belize in the West on the Central American mainland to Barbados – the most easterly of the islands. Suriname defines the eastern boundary of the Community. Learn more
Heads of Government established the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors (CCA) as a Body of the Community. The CCA is headed by a Chair who is also the Chair of the Community Council of Ministers, one of two principal organs of the Community.The Secretary-General or his representative is an ex-officio member of the Committee.
The role of the CCA is to facilitate the implementation of the Community Strategic Plan. Learn more
The achievement of the Objectives of the Community as set out in Article 6 of the Revised Treaty, requires the collective participation of all Community Institutions and Associate Institutions, in addition to the CARICOM Secretariat.
The Community Institutions/Associate Institutions provide direct technical support to Member States in a range of areas. They are also critical implementing partners of the Community Strategic Plan. Learn more
The CARICOM Youth Ambassador Programme was launched in Saint Lucia in 1993 by the Heads of Government to mark the Twentieth Anniversary of CARICOM and was formally instituted in 1994. Since its inception, the Youth Ambassador Programme has contributed to increased youth knowledge and awareness of CARICOM issues and priorities; has raised the profile of young people at the national and regional levels; and has assisted in integrating the views and perspectives of young people from across the Region into national, regional and international policy and programmes.
CARIFORUM refers to the Body comprising Caribbean ACP States which are signatories of the Georgetown Agreement. This Agreement was signed in 1975, and it created the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). The grouping is composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states. Learn more
Several Community programmes and projects are implemented through technical cooperation with third countries and multilateral agencies (collectively referred to as international development partners – IDPs). The support from the IDP is through the provision of human and/or financial resources. Learn more