At the Eighth Heads of Government Conference of CARIFTA held in April 1973 in Georgetown, Guyana, the decision to establish the Caribbean Community was brought to fruition. The process through which it was established is set out in the Georgetown Accord.
Original signatories to the Treaty were Prime Ministers Errol Barrow for Barbados; Forbes Burnham for Guyana; Michael Manley for Jamaica; Eric Williams for Trinidad and Tobago. By May 1, 1974 all other members of CARIFTA had signed the Agreement to become full members of CARICOM, except Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis. They both signed the Agreement in July 1974.
In July 1983, The Bahamas became the 13th member of the Caribbean Community but not of the Common Market.
Suriname became the 14th Member State to join the Community in July 1995 and the Common Market in January 1996.
Haiti was formally admitted as the 15th Member State at the Twenty-Third Heads of Government Meeting, Georgetown on 2nd July 2002.
In July 1991, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands became the first Associate Members followed by Anguilla in July 1999. The Cayman Islands became the fourth Associate Member of the regional grouping on 16 May 2002; Bermuda became the fifth on 2 July 2003.
The three objectives of the Community at its inception were, economic integration, co-ordination of foreign policy and functional co-operation in areas such as health, education and culture and other areas related to human and social development.