Reprinted from Caribbean Net News
|CARICOM, ACS to have 'strong voice' at Summit of the Americas|
|Published on Wednesday, January 21, 2009|
AGENDA:Three critical issues on the Region’s agenda for the Summit, he said, would be environmental policies related to its adaptation to1) climate change, issues related to the2) Region's economic development as it tackles the global financial crisis and 3)the lifting of the US economic blockade on Cuba.
|GEORGETOWN, Guyana: As Trinidad and Tobago accelerates plans in preparation for the Fifth Summit of the Americas in April 2009, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) are collaborating to shape the Region’s position on a range of issues which it will seek to articulate collectively, at the Summit.|
At a press briefing following their meeting, in underscoring the importance of Secretary-General Andrade’s visit to the CARICOM Secretariat, Carrington said that the discourse brought “new life” to cooperation between the Secretariats of CARICOM and the ACS, for which he was “extremely pleased”.
The CARICOM Secretary-General added that he was expecting “great things” to emerge from the discussion.
Describing the Region’s hosting of the Fifth Summit of the Americas as a “unique opportunity”, the ACS Secretary-General said that it was important for the Caribbean to have a “coherent” and “strong voice” to promote its positions.
Three critical issues on the Region’s agenda for the Summit, he said, would be environmental policies related to its adaptation to climate change, issues related to the Region's economic development as it tackles the global financial crisis and the lifting of the US economic blockade on Cuba.
He noted that the countries of the wider Caribbean were in the majority in the Organisation of American States (OAS) and mainly due to their size were the most vulnerable to global shocks such as climate change and the financial crisis.
Andrade said that his visit to the CARICOM Secretariat was not a courtesy call, but a “working session” to advance closer relations between the two zones of cooperation and to flesh out a set of parameters for collective representation of the Caribbean at the Summit of the Americas.
He noted that the new administration in the United States of America, under the leadership of President Elect Barack Obama, was of critical importance to the Region.
“This Summit of the Americas with a new US administration and a new approach is an opportunity,” Andrade said. He stated that the Region would seek to commit the Barack Obama administration to go beyond the Declaration which would emerge at the Summit.
“It is not a matter of a Declaration and that’s it; it has to go beyond that,” Andrade stated.
In acknowledging that the Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow was now the Chairman of CARICOM, the ACS Secretary-General said that he was expecting that Prime Minister Barrow would forge closer ties between CARICOM and other groupings within the wider Caribbean including the Latin American Economic System (SELA), Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Central American Economic Integration System (SIECA).
The Caribbean Community and the Association of Caribbean States signed a cooperation agreement on Thursday 13 November, 1997 at the CARICOM Headquarters in Georgetown. In broad terms the agreement engenders close cooperation between the two groupings for the social and economic development of the peoples of the Caribbean.
The Caribbean Community was accorded the status of Founding Observer in recognition of its efforts in the establishment of the ACS.
The ACS, which includes 25 countries of the Caribbean, Central and South America, was founded in 1994 and has its headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.