What Are Some of the Primary Functions of CARICOM?

primary-functions-caricom Credit: Breezy Baldwin/CC-BY 2.0

Some of the primary functions of the Caribbean Community organization, or CARICOM, are to promote economic integration between its members, to coordinate foreign policy objectives and to ensure that the benefits derived through cooperation are shared in an equitable manner. Originally called the Caribbean Community and Common Market, the organization was officially established on August 1, 1973, through the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas by the first four signatories, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana. As of November of 2014, and as noted in the organization's website, CARICOM's current membership includes 15 member states and five associate members.

A 2001 revised Treaty of Chaguaramas helped pave the way for a Caribbean single market and economy compared to the previous concept of a common market. CARICOM also seeks to achieve a greater degree of economic leverage in its member nations' dealings with third-party nations and groups of states and works toward bringing about an overall increase in the level of international competitiveness.

In 2009, twelve member nations introduced CARICOM passports to help foster the idea that citizens of the member nations are also nationals of the CARICOM community. Although there is a great deal of popular support, complete acceptance of the concept of a common passport faces obstacles due to the differing travel requirements between the governments of member states.