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Nov 29, 2002

A.C.S. concludes ministerial meeting

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The meeting took place without much fanfare, as befits a young organization that has yet to find a strong voice in the international arena. But the A.C.S., which includes CARICOM and its non-English speaking neighbours in the Caribbean and surrounding mainland, is a natural for multi-cultural Belize. News 5′s Janelle Chanona reports.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting

Delegations from member countries of the Association of Caribbean States met in Belize City today as part of the Eighth Ordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Council. The body approved eleven accords including one on air transport and another to establish a tourism zone in the region.

Norman Girvan, Secretary General, A.C.S.

“And very importantly, a resolution was passed providing political and moral support for the struggle of the Nicaraguan government against corruption. Several of the delegations mentioned corruption as a major issue to which they are committed to struggling against, and the need for a more collective position.”

Another topic on the table was the theme proposed by the Government of Belize on Human Security and Development in the Caribbean Sea.

Assad Shoman, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Belize

“The concept of security must be seen today in a much broader sense than it has been in the past. It’s not just a question of national security as it used to be known, or of countries safeguarding their borders or their national integrity, that it goes beyond that. We have to consider the concept of human security as what is it that makes our people secure. And we link that very much to the concept of development because it is felt that people cannot be secure until they have freedom from want for example, so that there is no poverty or there is a major attack on the endeavours of poverty that most of our countries now are experiencing.”

Norman Girvan

“I think we have to remember that building bridges and links, it takes time. It takes time especially among countries that have not previously had a tradition of cooperation. And we’re building slowly, but carefully a whole tradition of cooperation within the greater Caribbean region. We are seeing the benefits already, but we can’t also be too impatient and look for results that are too quick. We have to lay the foundations very carefully to make sure that it works.”

Reporting for News 5, I am Janelle Chanona.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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