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The conference will emphasized ongoing collaboration between Caribbean states to achieve communal sustainable development goals.


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Ileana Nuñez, Cuban vice minister of foreign trade and foreign investment, said at the First Cooperation Conference of the Association of Caribbean States that cooperation so far has led to more than 20,000 Caribbean students graduating from Cuba universities and over 30,000 Cubans supporting the countries in the region in various forms, mostly through medicine.

She reiterated Cuba’s dedication to the 25-member bloc and noted the need to further consolidate and integrate efforts, especially in climate change and transportation, to reach the ultimate goal of communal sustainable development.

The region is prone to several types of natural disasters and the association was formed in 1994, in part, to coordinate regional support and solidarity work.

Nuñez added that the presence of 71 delegations — from every Latin American country that touches the Caribbean and other guest states — was a sign of the importance of the event.

Secretary-General June Soomer said that collaboration must be even deeper and wider to continue each country’s path to development.

Over the course of the conference, the ACS will discuss its development goals, including trade and tourism. Cuba serves as the ministerial council chair for 2017.