minrexHavana, Cuba.- The 1st Cooperation Conference of the Association of Caribbean States, from March 8th to 11th, will give the opportunity to broaden the joint cooperation, Cuban diplomat Rafael Zamora states.

‘This event is aimed at assessing the state of cooperation programs, but we fundamentally want to manage resources for those programs which are being executed and others to be proposed,’ Zamora said.

In this regard, the Interim Director General for Latin America and the Caribbean Cooperation, said that the ACS meeting will have -among its key issues- ‘The union of the Caribbean by air and land’, with aspects on connectivity and transportation, and the ‘Program for Combating Climate Change Impact in the Caribbean.’

Zamora added that other future plans could be presented for the cooperation and development of sustainable tourism or those ones related to natural disasters.

On the latter, he stated, ‘it is one of AEC´s challenges, because according to the Caribbean Development Bank in the period 1988-2012 many material losses increased over US$ 18 billion.’

Likewise, he pointed out that 2016 foreign debt amounted to 69.6 percent of subregional gross domestic product. The increase in vulnerabilities to regional security due to human and drug trafficking, arms smuggling and terrorism are currently threatening the Caribbean´s social stability. ‘The ACS, facing these challenges, must strengthen its economic integration, foreign policy coordination, functional cooperation and collaboration in security matters,’ he said.