His Excellency Mr. Mario Búcaro, President of the Council of Ministers of the Association of Caribbean States and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guatemala;
Her Excellency Ms. Adriana Bolaños, representative of Costa Rica, Chairman of the Special Committee on Cooperation and Resource Mobilisation;
His Excellency Mr. Rodolfo Sabonge, Secretary-General of the Association;
Distinguished Representatives of Member, Associate and Observer Countries;
Special Guests who accompany us;
The 6th International Cooperation Conference of the Association of Caribbean States concludes with positive exchanges and results. We thank you all for entrusting Cuba with the venue of such an important event for the wider Caribbean region.
It has been a special meeting, which has had as a priority the resumption of collective actions of cooperation and the reaffirmation of solidarity as an indispensable element to face the obstacles and challenges that not only persist but also increase in the current international scenario, with a considerable impact in our region.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a serious impact on our countries, which have become much more vulnerable.
The Latin American and Caribbean region faces a very complex economic and social scenario. Poverty and food insecurity grew. Economic growth slowed and foreign investment fell, while debt and informal and precarious employment increased. All this exacerbated the serious problems facing our region, the most unequal on the planet.
Our countries, to a greater or lesser extent, face major challenges resulting from precarious food security, natural disasters, inflationary pressures and, most especially, those associated with small island status.
Some of the ACS member States are affected by unilateral coercive measures that are contrary to international law and that undermine the development, stability, and prosperity of the wider Caribbean.
I wish to thank deeply all the representatives of the countries present here who voted in favour of the resolution calling for an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba, adopted on 3 November last at the UN General Assembly.
Dear Representatives and Guests,
It is seen as distant and very difficult to achieve the creation of a favourable and inclusive environment for the growth and development of our countries.
In the meeting that concludes today, the relevance of science, technology, and innovation in the integration processes around the Caribbean Sea has been ratified; a region that needs to become a special zone of sustainable development.
ACS member countries have actively participated in these two days of work, demonstrated their commitment to work in the key areas for the Partnership and confirmed their willingness to further foster the development of national and regional capacities, as well as to replicate experiences supported by satisfactory results.
Cuba makes available for the countries of the ACS its scientific and research potential and our experts' experience and is willing to actively participate in the projects that have been presented.
We firmly believe that, along with the solidarity and the cooperation of the international community, the South-south, even triangular cooperation or in other formats, will be essential in the efforts for the recovery of the systemic and devastating effects of the pandemic and in the multidimensional approach for the eradication of the poverty, the exclusion and the inequity.
In spite of the difficulties, we shared expectations in relation to the cooperation of the North-South in the key areas of the ACS, recognizing that, in addition, is mutually advantageous.
In this regard, we supported the reclamation of the brothers CARICOM countries to receive a right, special and differentiated treatment.
We are thankful to the observant countries, agencies of cooperation and potential donors who have attended these beneficial days and that express all the will to accompany the efforts by the Association of States of the Caribbean. Our gratitude to all of them.
The collective actions included in the projects presented during the conference will demand the joint of financial, regional, national, and local mechanisms, with an intense and fruitful diverse presence of cooperation counterparts.
Cuba recognizes the essential function of the ACS as an indispensable scope of consultation, agreement and cooperation.
The objectives and progress of the Association of States of the Caribbean are also a valuable contribution to the observance and application of the postulates of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by the Government and Heads of State, in the 2nd Summit of the CELAC, in 2014.
We thank the presence of the Chair of the Ministerial Council of the Association and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Mario Búcaro. We predict that the Summit of the Association, in Guatemala, in May of 2023, will state substantial progress in the issues raised in this Conference.
We acknowledge the significant contribution of the Presidency of Costa Rica to the Committee for Cooperation and Mobilisation of Resources, and we thank Adriana Bolaños.
The persistence and hard work of ACS Secretary General Rodolfo Sabonge have been decisive and deserve gratitude and appreciation.
We greet each and every one of you in the hope that your stay in Havana, in addition to being beneficial, has been pleasant.
We will continue to advocate for solidarity, cooperation and integration to strengthen fraternal ties among the nations of the Greater Caribbean Basin.