Caribbean Summit to Resume Common Dynamic

Havana -The Association of Caribbean States(ACS) will hold its 7th Summit from June 2 thru 4 in this capital to follow common paths for the region.

The president of the Chair of Caribbean Studies Norman Girvan of the University of Havana, Antonio Romero, said in an interview with Prensa Latina that in the Caribbean area converge multiple differences, but this Summit will make it a priority to work on agreements and projects that identify the countries of the zone.

According to Romero, this regional scheme experiments at present a revitalization process, reason why the meeting in Cuba will give an impulse to achieve agreements in common issues for the 25 member nations and those who are associated members.

The ACS, created in July, 1994, has as its main objective in its constitutive treaty to be a consulting and concertation organism of countries and territories that form the Great Caribbean, understood not only in its insular aception, but all those having this as common geographic zone.

The head of department explained that the group defined from its start the four prioritary work areas,

trade, tourism, transport and reduction of disaster risks.

He commented at the same time there is a dynamic and dialectic interrelation between those ACS four work areas, as is tourism a fundamental element of the economic structure of most of these nations, while being a highly vulnerable sector to climates change and many development strategies of that branch are not very friendly to the environment.

On the other hand, transportation is a great pending problem in the zone, both maritime and air, as it is fundamental to boost trade between these Caribbean couhtries, a limitation historically mentioned, he considered.

In general terms, he insisted, there is a low level of trade among Caribbean nations, even though there are significant dynamics of bilateral exchange and to that is associated, among other factors, the weakness in regional transportation.

Also, every strategy advanced to improve transportation and tourism will have in mind the effects of development on the environment, as well as the negative effects of climate change in the Caribbean, he stressed.

About the genesis of ACS, Romero recalled that the organization faced a period of difficulties that can be identified since the middle of the last decade, among them the heterogeneity from the structural point of view, the development model and political vision of the different member countries.

In the Caribbean coexist countries like Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia, big states, with micronations like Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which make notable the differences in terms of international insertion, said the specialist.

He added that coexist also different types of trade, of trading partners, there are differences from the perspective of development models, that has to do with that ideological diversity, emphasized the expert.

All that, adding the advances of neoliberalism, from the end of the 90s of the past century, beginnings of the 2000s in many of the countries of the region and that were reflected in the ACS, made that organization to face a period of low dynamism.

That is why governments started to give less priority to the commitments assumed by the ACS and important agreements approved which had to be ratified, some dig not get to be, he added.

In that way, the AEC has a loss of visibility and interest from the member countries in the future of this scheme, assured Romero and stated that today we have to recognize a perceptible change in that dynamic, reason why this 7th Summit will look to mark a difference to maintain the Latin American focus on the region.

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