Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodriguez, assumed on Monday, on behalf of the island, the chairmanship of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS)
Rodriguez expressed his gratitude for the confidence placed in his country to chair the ACS this year, and said it is a great honor to hold this responsible position in a time of revitalization of the organization, Prensa Latina reported.
Speaking at the 21st Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), the Cuban Foreign Minister recalled that the situation has changed from the time when the ACS was created over 20 years ago.
But we must remember the historic significance of the first meeting at this level in Trinidad and Tobago in 1995, because the ACS was a precursor step on the road to what we have achieved today, he stressed.
“In the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) the Heads of State and Government signed the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace,” he recalled.
Furthermore, the AEC is composed of 25 of the 33 member countries of the CELAC. “Promoting the letter and spirit of this historic document is essential to move towards our goals,” he stated.
He underlined that cooperation has been a feature of the Caribbean and of the ACS, but “we need to define priorities and act in mobilizing collective resources to advance towards our objectives.”
Rodriguez warned that the effects of climate change are probably the biggest challenge for the region, including medium-term survival.
We reiterate our readiness to provide the scientific experience accumulated in dealing with the effects of climate change in terms of coastal erosion and other scourges that threaten the Caribbean Sea, and we favor the realization of projects, he asserted.
He said that Cuba advocates an integrated, inclusive and equitable regional development that ensures special, diverse and favorable treatment to small Caribbean states, considering their environmental and economic vulnerabilities.
The Cuban Foreign Minister thanked the position traditionally adopted by the Member States of the ACS to reject the unjust blockade imposed on Cuba by the U.S. government, particularly the texts adopted in the Declarations of Petion Ville and Merida.
He stated that the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the island has not meant the end of the blockade, which constitutes the greatest obstacle to development and that Cubans will continue fighting for its lifting, with the support of the international community and Latin American and Caribbean solidarity.
Upon assuming the chairmanship of the organization, I reiterate the confidence in the potential of the ACS to make an outstanding contribution to Latin American and Caribbean integration and successfully face the political, economic, social, environmental and cultural challenges of our time, emphasized the Cuban FM.