Structure and Organisation

The Permanent Organs of the Association of Caribbean States are:

  • the Ministerial Council, and
  • the Secretariat.

The Ministerial Council
The Ministerial Council is made up of the Ministers and/or representatives of the Member States, and is the main organ for policy-making and direction of the Association. The Ministerial Council oversees the functioning of the Association and the Secretariat and holds its Ordinary Meeting during the last two weeks of January of every year.

The Executive Board
The Executive Board of the Ministerial Council consists of a Chairman, two Vice Chairman and a Rapporteur, who are appointed during the meeting of the Ministerial Council and perform their functions until the end of the next meeting of the Council. This appointment is carried out on the basis of geographic and linguistic rotation among the groups that make up the Association, with each of the groups deciding internally the country that will fill that post.

The Executive Board provides guidance and ensures follow-up of and coordination in the implementation of the Association's Work Programme. The Executive Board meets on a biannual basis in the periods between the Intersessional Meetings and the Ordinary Meetings of the Ministerial Council.

The Executive Board appointed for the year 2014 is as follows:
Chairman: Guatemala
Vice Chairmen: Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela
Rapporteur: Cuba

The Intersessional Meeting
In an effort to maintain communication and coordination between Member States and the Secretariat, the Association also convenes an annual Intersessional Meeting, which is chaired by the representatives of the countries on the Executive Board of the Ministerial Council, and is open to participation by all Members.

This Intersessional Meeting is held at least six months after the Ordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Council and among its numerous tasks, reviews the progress made in the Association's Work Programme; assesses the work of the Special Committees; and evaluates the operations of the Secretariat.

The Special Committees
The Ministerial Council has established the following Special Committees, to assist in the implementation of its objectives:

 

The Secretariat
The ACS Secretariat, headquartered in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, is supported by 32 full time members of staff, most of whom are bilingual, or trilingual.

Since the official languages of the Association are English, French and Spanish, all documents are prepared and distributed in the three official languages and interpretation is provided at all meetings of the organisation.

Led by the Secretary General, the Secretariat, assists the Ministerial Council and Special Committees in the development and implementation of their policies and programmes. In order to fulfil this role, it is called upon to:

  • maintain political relations with members and maintain contact with other sub-regional,   regional and international organisations;
  • mobilise funds for projects;
  • service the meetings of the Ministerial Council and the Special Committees and take   appropriate action issues arising at those meetings;
  • disseminate information to Member States, Associate Members and to other relevant   entities; and
  • Manage the finances and ensure the smooth running of the Association.