By Dialogo May 19, 2010 The European Union (EU) and the Caribbean countries will hold a conference on climate change in the second half of this year, after deciding to open “a specific dialogue” on this phenomenon at the EU-Cariforum summit, held Monday in Madrid. The Caribbean region “is one of those most affected by climate change, for which reason we have decided to open a specific EU-Cariforum dialogue” in this regard, the president of the European Council, Belgian Herman Van Rompuy, affirmed at a press conference. Within this framework, the EU and the Caribbean “will hold a conference in the second half of this year, before Cancún,” where a UN conference on climate change will take place between 29 November and 10 December, following the one held this past December in Copenhagen. Climate change was a central topic at Monday’s summit, which highlighted its significance in generating natural disasters like the earthquake that struck Haiti in January, causing 300,000 deaths and affecting more than a million survivors. “We have made particular reference to the challenge of natural disasters, and we have focused in depth on common action for Haitian reconstruction,” affirmed the Spanish head of government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, whose country occupies the EU’s rotating presidency for the first half of this year. President Van Rompuy recalled that “the EU is the first donor,” after Brussels’s commitment at the New York conference on Haiti to contribute 1.235 billion euros (1.523 billion dollars) over two years. The donor countries will meet again on 2 June in a summit on Haitian reconstruction to be held in the Dominican Republic.