Caribbean cooperation summit slated for Puerto Rico
In its effort to assure a greater regional cooperation, the 7th selection committee meeting of the INTERREG IV Caribbean program 2007/2013, will be held for the first time in Puerto Rico, Nov. 28-29 at the InterContinental San Juan Resort & Casino, organizers announced Tuesday.
The Regional Council of Guadeloupe, the entity that has been in charge of managing the INTERREG IV program that concerns all countries and territories of the Caribbean basin, will be represented at the meeting alongside the regional councils of Martinique and French Guiana, as well as representatives from St. Martin and St. Barths, that act as “Regional Contact Points.”
The summit’s priorities are to promote growth and employment through innovation and the knowledge economy; to reinforce attractiveness by improved accessibility and connectivity of the territories; to develop and protect the environmental capital through common and sustainable resource management and hazards prevention; and to stimulate the bringing together of the populations, the development of common services and synergies between governmental institutions and territories to reinforce social cohesion and integration in the Caribbean.
Also participating in this international summit — which will not be open to the public —are representatives of many regional organizations, such as ACS, CARICOM and the OESC, that are ‘extra-Regional Contact Points’ for the INTERREG IV Caribbean program.
The regional effort to bring the greater Caribbean closer together, and integrate the French territories, has an operating budget of more than $80 million, funded by the European Union’s Regional European Development Fund and the Regional Councils of French Guyana, Guadeloupe & Martinique, St. Barthelemy & St. Martin, the French central government, and the private sector.
The INTERREG IV Caribbean area of cooperation covers nearly all Caribbean countries, including: Anguilla, Aruba, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saba, St. Barthelemy, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos.
The footprint also blankets Belize, part of Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, French Guiana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, and Venezuela.