Commonwealth Caribbean leaders established Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on the 4th of July 1973 in Chaguramas, Trinidad by the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas. The aim was to create greater cooperation in the region through improved coordination of foreign policy, enhanced functional cooperation and establishment of a common market.

Based upon the decision to transform the Common Market into single economic market and economy the Treaty was revised to include new protocols to facilitate the free movement of the factors of production as the basis for internationally competitive production of goods and provision of services.  The  Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy was published in 2001.

The CARICOM Secretariat is the principal administrative organ of the Community. Its mission 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.”

The principle decision making organs of CARICOM are the Conference of Heads of Government (and its Bureau) and the Community Council of Ministers (The Community Council). They are assisted by

  • The Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP)
  • The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED)
  • The Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR)
  • The Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD)
  • The Council of Ministers responsible for National Security and Law Enforcement

Issues relating to sustainable development, natural resource management, water, energy, science and technology are addressed under COTED.  COTED consists of Ministers designated by the Member States based on the sectoral issues being discussed at the regular and special meetings of COTED.