Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General, Dr. Carla Barnett, Tuesday announced the appointment of two Caribbean nationals to the executive management committee of the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat.
Barnett named the Barbadian diplomat Donna Forde as the Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations, and Jamaican, ambassador Wayne McCook as Director General of the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN).
McCook replaces ambassador Gail Mathurin and takes up duties on January 1 next year, while Forde replaces the Trinidad and Tobago diplomat, Colin Granderson and assumes her post on February 1 next year.
McCook is a widely experienced diplomat who at various times has served as his country’s Ambassador to China, Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva, and has had postings in Jamaica’s Missions in the United States and at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA. Most recently, he has been Senior Advisor to the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Ambassador Forde is currently the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. Previously, she was Ambassador to Cuba, and has served at her country’s Missions in the United States and at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Forde was attached to the joint Organisation of American States/United Nations International Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH) as a Human Rights Observer.
Mathurin had served as OTN Director-General from September 2009, after a distinguished career in her country’s foreign service. She has been at the forefront of the region’s external trade negotiations with third countries and at the WTO.
“it was a great honour to have worked in the Region for more than 10 years. While there were many challenges, high and low points, overall it was an extremely rewarding experience,” Mathurin said, in reflecting on her duties.
Granderson has been the Assistant Secretary-General from 2002, and heading UN Missions in Africa and with the OAS in Hait
He has been CARICOM’s principal foreign policy adviser and has overseen an expansion of the Community’s relations with Third Countries.
“it was a privilege to have been of service to the region and be part of a team which is committed to advancing the interests of the Community,” he said.
Barnett said she looked forward to working with these highly qualified and vastly experienced professionals, adding “our Community is fortunate to tap their skills and the energy they bring to pursue the goals of the integration movement”.
The Secretary-General praised the work and dedication of Ambassadors Mathurin and Granderson. “They are exemplary professionals whose intellect and skills have benefitted our member states immensely, and I thank them profusely for their service to CARICOM” she stated.