For the first time in the 22-year history of the Association of Caribbean States, a woman will hold the position of Secretary General of the organization.
June Soomer, from Saint Lucia, was nominated by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at the meeting of ACS Senior Officials and approved during the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the organization’s member states during the bloc’s 7th Summit.
Speaking to the press, outgoing ACS Secretary General Alfonso Múnera stated that “We are all very pleased, I in particular because I believe that Dr. Soomer is a person with a wealth of experience and a long career as an ambassador to the Caribbean Community and Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and I think she will do an outstanding job.”
August 1, Soomer will assume the position held by Múnera since 2012, and serve through 2020.
The ambassador has a PhD in History, has lectured in various universities and received numerous distinctions, including the Elsa Goveia Prize for History, awarded by the University of the West Indies.
She previously worked in the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s Human Resources and Strategic Planning Department, where she furthered her professional development in these areas, and contributed to the growth of the organization.
Soomer is currently serving as Saint Lucia’s ambassador to CARICOM and the OECS, responsible for Diaspora Issues.
The Caribbean representative has a good understanding of the contemporary problems affecting development, and the impact of finance and education on human resources and the development of social capital.
Her work has been focused on regional integration with an emphasis on the OECS zone.
Soomer was congratulated by various heads of state and government, following her appointment as Secretary General, during the High Level Segment of the 7th ACS Summit on Saturday, June 4.
The President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, Army General Raúl Castro expressed his satisfaction on Soomer’s appointment, as the first woman to hold the position.
“I welcome the new Secretary General, June Soomer,” the Prime Minister of Granada, Keith Mitchell, stated.
The President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, David Granger, also congratulated Soomer on her appointment as Secretary General.
The ACS Secretary General is responsible for the development and maintenance of political relations and cooperation ties with member and associate member states; as well as strengthening the institution and cooperation efforts between the organization and third parties.
The ACS was founded on July 24, 1994, in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) with the aim of promoting dialogue, cooperation and coordinated efforts between all Caribbean countries.