I. Background.- The Association of Caribbean States was launched on July 24, 1994, with the objective of bringing together the States, Countries and Territories washed by the Caribbean Sea on the one other hand, and developing functional cooperation among the Member States and Associate Members of the organisation and the geographical sub-regions that make up the Greater Caribbean cultural space, on the other. Over time, the ACS therefore became the organisation of the Greater Caribbean that evolved on the basis of dialogue, consultation and concerted action.
Since its establishment, the ACS has organised four (4) Summits of Heads of State and Government. They met in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in August 1995; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in April 1999; Margarita Island, Venezuela, in December 2001; and Panama City, Republic of Panama, in July 2005. Since then, the need to organise a new Summit became evident and the Haitian authorities have given expression thereto. Indeed, the President of the Republic of Haiti, His Excellency Michel Joseph Martelly, on the very day of his oath of office, May 14, 2011, suggested to the then Secretary General the convening of the 5th Summit of the ACS in Haiti.
III. Objectives of the Summit.-
The Summit will enable the representatives of the 25 Member States and 4 Associate Members of the Association to discuss, inter alia, the measures to be taken to reform the ACS and strengthen regional cooperation, the integration process and relations among the States, Countries and Territories of the Greater Caribbean, in order to effectively tackle the social, economic and environmental problems faced by their respective countries.
IV. Summit Themes.- The decision-making will focus on public policies aimed at enhancing human dignity and ensuring sustainable development. This will enable the Heads of State of the Caribbean to claim their well-deserved place in the international governance of the States and nations. The main areas of work of the ACS, namely sustainable tourism, air and maritime transport within the region to unite the Caribbean by air and sea, trade and investment development, as well as disaster risk reduction will also be discussed based on a new vision. In addition, the symbolic issue of the management and protection of the Caribbean Sea will also be a key item on the agenda for discussions. Similarly, the administrative and financial structures of the Association as well as the operations of the Special Fund will also be discussed.
V. Summit Programme.- The 5th ACS Summit will be held at the Hotel Karibe, Pétion Ville, in the Republic of Haiti. The Summit will take place under the central theme: “REVITILIZING THE VISION OF THE ASSOCIATION OF CARIBBEAN STATES FOR A STRONGER AND MORE UNITED GREATER CARIBBEAN”. The Summit will occur over a period of four days, from April 23 to 26, 2013. The first two days will be devoted to preparatory meetings of the high level officials on the main themes of the programme. On the third day, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States and Associate Members of the Association will ratify the Summit documents, including the Haiti Declaration and the 2013 Plan of Action of the ACS. On the fourth and final day, the Heads of State and Government will engage in political dialogue on the founding and renewed vision of the ACS and the promotion of a strong and integrated Greater Caribbean, and will proceed to sign the above-mentioned documents. In addition, the Heads of State and Government will also consider the most adequate means of taking concerted political action in the economic, social and environmental spheres, which may have an impact on the lives of the people of the region.
VI. Expected results.- The Heads of State and Government who will participate in the 5th ACS Summit will sign the Haiti Declaration and adopt the strategic Plan of Action of the ACS. The latter will include effective guidelines, on the one hand, to facilitate the establishment of dialogue, consultation and functional cooperation among the Member States and Associate Members and, on the other hand, to bring together, through concrete actions, the different geographic sub-regions of the Greater Caribbean.