Association of Caribbean States (ACS)

The Convention Establishing the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) was signed on 24 July 1994 in Cartagena de Indias. The ACS is a regional consultation, consensus and cooperation mechanism that comprises the nations of the Greater Caribbean, including: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, Trinidad & Tobago, and Venezuela.

Its tasks revolve around the following focal points as set in the III Margarita Summit (2001): Trade, Transport, Sustainable Tourism and Natural Disasters. ACS’s current priority areas encompass: work on the Sustainable tourism Zone of the Caribbean; facilitate Training in Languages; Work on the Caribbean Sea initiative; Coordinate the annual Business Forum of the Greater Caribbean; Defend the interests and provide differential treatment for Small Economies; Update Construction Codes: Strengthen Disaster Agencies.

The Organization is currently chaired by Trinidad & Tobago in representation of CARICOM. To this purpose, an agreement was approved stating that the Non-Grouped Countries (Panamá, Dominican Republic and Cuba) will preside in 2012 and that in 2013 it shall be assumed by the Group of Three. The Vice-Presidency shall be appointed to Cuba and Venezuela and Jamaica will serve as Rapporteur.

Colombia has been elected to chair the Special Committee on Natural Disasters, as Rapporteur to the Special Committee on Trade Development and External Economic Relations, and as part of the Council of National Representatives of the Special Fund.