Solidarity - the cornerstone of transformative change

7th  September marks a historic and transformative moment in the history of the Caribbean: the signature of The Torrijos-Carter Treaty marked the end of the Buneau-Varilla Treaty of 1903 which had granted the United States perpetual ownership of the territory of the Canal Zone. The Torrijos-Carter Treaty established 31st December 1999 as the date on which Panama would recover its full sovereignty and governance over the Panama Canal. 

Amongst other noteworthy elements related to this significant event is the fact that the Torrijos-Carter Treaty was the result of the support and solidarity that Panama enjoyed from the international community, including Latin American and Caribbean countries – a clear  demonstration of the magnitude of what can be achieved when our countries act together in unity and solidarity 

45 years after the signing of that Treaty, Panamanians have demonstrated to the world their ability to manage the Canal as well as or better than the North Americans, engendering not only greater benefits to their population but also to international trade which has benefitted from the widening of this major marine route.  

In like manner, current stresses, the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation due to the Russia- Ukraine war and the impact of climate change are more than reason enough to recall that there is strength in unity and that this is a Region that, historically, has had to fight for its social and economic sovereignty. It behoves us to recognise that solidarity is the cornerstone of any transcendental change and to reaffirm the vision of the founding fathers of the ACS – that through concerted action, cooperation and dialogue, we can achieve the progress and development objectives that we have set ourselves. 

About the ACS

The Association of Caribbean States is the organization for consultation, cooperation and concerted action in trade, transport, sustainable tourism and natural disasters in the Greater Caribbean. Its Member States are Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. Its Associate Members are Aruba, Curacao, (France on behalf of French Guiana, Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin ), Guadeloupe, Martinique, Sint Maarten, (The Netherlands on behalf of Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius ), Turks and Caicos.