Prime Minister Harris leads St.Kitts-Nevis delegation to ACS Summit in Cuba

(SKNIS): Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, along with a delegation, is attending The VII Summit of the ACS (Association of Caribbean States) Heads of State and/or Government in Havana, Cuba, on June 04, 2016.

The prime minister’s delegation includes the Honourable Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Osbert DeSuza, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister; Mr. Duncan Wattley, Director in the Department of People’s Empowerment; Ms. Sonia Boddie, Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Mrs. Verna Morris-Mills, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Chargé d’affaires in Cuba.

The theme of this year’s summit is “Together for a Sustainable Caribbean”. The theme reflects the hard work, priority and dedication of the ACS in achieving sustainable development throughout the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Greater Caribbean Region. The Havana Summit is a continuation of the joint efforts to revitalize the vision of the ACS for a stronger and more united Greater Caribbean as well as to promote sustainability, as was expressed in the Declaration of Petion-Ville, Haiti, of April 13th, 2013.

The Summit will pay particular attention to the protection and preservation of the Region’s common heritage, the Caribbean Sea, which would use as its point of departure the Caribbean Sea Commission of the ACS, which was established in 2006 to promote and oversee the sustainable use of the Caribbean Sea. Some of the challenges with respect to the Caribbean Sea are the impacts of Sargassum Seaweed, Lionfish Invasion and Coastal Erosion.

The Summit will see the departure of Secretary General, His Excellency Alfonso David Múnera Cavadía, from Colombia, who served the Association from 2012 and whose four year tenure of office will end in June 2016. A new Secretary General, in the person of Dr. June Soomer, from St. Lucia, will head the ACS for the next four years; she will take up the position from August 1, 2016.

The Summit will also look at the Draft Declaration to continue the work of the ACS and the Plan of Action to enhance the organization for the next two years, 2016-2018.

All CARICOM Member States are represented at the Summit including St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Jamaica and Dominica. Associate Member States of the ACS in attendance include Aruba.

The Association of Caribbean States is the organization for consultation, cooperation and concerted action in trade, transport, sustainable tourism and natural disasters in the Greater Caribbean. Its Member States are Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. Its Associate Members are Aruba, Curacao, (France on behalf of French Guiana, Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin), Guadeloupe, Martinique, Sint Maarten, (The Netherlands on behalf of Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius), Turks and Caicos.