We, the Heads of State and/or Government of the Member States and Associate Members of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), have gathered in Panama City, Republic of Panama on July 29, 2005, to reaffirm our full commitment and support for the ACS and the validity of its principles and objectives outlined in the Convention Establishing the ACS, through which we will continue to promote the sustainable development of our peoples in economic, environmental, social and cultural aspects.
We recognise that the Tenth Anniversary is an appropriate occasion to reflect upon the evolution of the ACS, its achievements and challenges, and to focus on the future of our organisation. In this respect, we are committed to giving new political impetus to the Association.
We recognise that in light of the experience gathered over the past ten years, our Association has achieved a level of maturity that requires a New Vision to inspire its activities in the years ahead, and in that sense, the time is ripe for our Association to move more rapidly to achieve our principal objectives through promoting greater consultation and co-operation among our Member States, taking into account the dynamic of the international agendas, and by playing a more profound and effective role in the international community, particularly at the regional and sub-regional levels.
We recall the Guadalajara Declaration of the Latin America and Caribbean-European Union Summit, held in Mexico in May 2004, which recognised the ACS as an important regional partner for strengthening co-operation between the Greater Caribbean Area and the European Union. We will develop appropriate follow-up mechanisms to strengthen co-operation with the EU.
We reiterate our firm commitment to multilateralism and the fundamental principles of International Law. We recognise that in order to advance toward achieving peace and international security, sustainable development and social progress, it is necessary to effectively strengthen the multilateral system, with the United Nations organisation as the core. In that regard, we reiterate our willingness to contribute to the achievement of overall reform within the United Nations, which would strengthen the authority of the General Assembly, as the leading deliberative and representative body of the system, the coordinating role of the Economic and Social Council in activities for development, among others, and promote greater accountability, transparency, equitable representation and democratisation within the Security Council. In this regard, we underline the importance of ensuring that the developing countries have greater representation on a reformed Security Council.
We reaffirm our commitment to the objectives and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, in particular, respect for sovereignty and the legal equality of States, human rights, the principle of non-intervention, the prohibition of the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of States and respect for the right to free determination of the peoples.
We reiterate respect for the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-intervention, as well as the right of every people to construct in peace, stability and justice, their own political system. In this regard, we recall the Margarita Declaration, which rejected any type of unilateral coercive economic measures applied by any State and the extraterritorial application of internal laws, such as the Helms-Burton Law, which undermine the principles of international law and the United Nations Charter. Consequently, we are deeply concerned over measures that strengthen and expand the application of such legislation. We once again appeal to the Government of the United States of America to put an end to such measures, in accordance with the 13 resolutions (“Necessity o ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”) approved by the United Nations General Assembly.