Caribbean states need to work harder on unity, says ACS secretary general
HAVANA - The secretary general of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) Alfonso Múnera said that, despite advances in unity by the member states of the bloc, they are not enough to overcome the great challenges the region faces today.
During his opening speech at the seventh ACS summit in Havana on Saturday, Múnera said the Greater Caribbean must deal with decisive moments in the face of huge challenges, since the island nations are at a disadvantage in world markets competing against international multinationals.
He pointed out that a new factor jeopardizes the fate of the region, climate change, because it has a terrible impact on all countries in the Caribbean Sea basin. He mentioned the growing ferocity of hurricanes that wreak havoc in the region, and the loss of useful land to the rising sea levels.
“Only together we will be able to face successfully the problems we have,” he said.
Achieving unity is hard, he acknowledged, and though we have made progress, it is not enough still. He said it was important to create a sense of unity amidst diversity and to build a Caribbean identity that doesn't exclude others, but encourages them.
He ascribed great importance to the ACS to reduce the rising disparity, to reaffirm commitments to peace and to achieve better societies.
Múnera thanked Cuba and especially President Raul Castro for organizing this summit, and the permanent support to the organization
The Colombian diplomat has led the ACS for four years, and will pass the job next August to St Lucia’s Ambassador June Soomer.
Photo: Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) Alfonso Múnera