6th ACS Summit Concluded in Mexico

imagesThe heads of State and Government, and top authorities from 31 countries signed the Merida Declaration that closed the 6th Summit of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS).

The document contains the conclusions of a meeting that had until Wednesday focused on key issues for the region, including the prevention of and preparation for the negative effect of climate change, the need to improve connectivity in the area and the importance of boosting trade and investment.

We will promote a vision that will allow managing the risks of disasters under a comprehensive approach in tune with our countries’ policies and, at the same time, it will make us sustainable territories, said the Declaration.

The document highlights four initiatives presented by Mexico, consisting of implementing a System of Information and Geospace Infrastructure and a Platform of Territorial Information of the Greater Caribbean to deal with disasters.

Mexico also proposed a project to work with the main ports in the region to develop short-distance maritime transportation, and another plan to harmonize customs procedures.

The Declaration also welcomed the implementation of the Agreement to establish a zone of sustainable tourism in the Greater Caribbean, and urged the member countries to respect and promote the framework of cooperation of that mechanism.

Regarding tourism, which is of vital importance for the region, ACS Secretary General Alfonso Munera announced a meeting in Guatemala in late May to analyze the sector’s prospects.

Likewise, all 25 ACS full-fledged member countries and six associate members acknowledged the importance of cooperating in the identification and design of studies on regulation and control of multimodal traffic in the Greater Caribbean to contribute to connectivity and the trade of goods.

The document approved on Wednesday night highlighted the process of consolidation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and underlined the important contribution of the ACS to greater integration among the insular and continental parts of the region.

It also welcomed Martinique, Guadeloupe and Saint Martin as ACS associate members, an action that strengthens the project to incorporate all countries and territories in the Greater Caribbean into the organization.

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