18 Sep 2008

Cuba and Pacific strengthen co-operation

1:59 pm on 18 September 2008

Cuba and 10 Pacific countries have strengthened their cooperation at the end of the first Bilateral Ministerial Meeting in Havana.

The Cuban News agency reports that representatives from Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Samoa, Micronesia and Papua New Guinea attended the meeting.

Speaking on behalf of the visiting delegations, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Apisai Lelemia, noted that climate change and the world food crisis are the real threats today for both the host country and these small island-states.

He expressed satisfaction at the general consensus on the need to reform the United Nations.

Mr Lelemia thanked Cuba for its social and economic cooperation and mainly for the scholarships granted to youths from those countries who are being trained as doctors in Cuba.

The Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque stressed that, although all the countries of the South face similar threats and challenges, it is the small developing island-states that suffer the most when faced by negative phenomena such as climate change and the world food crisis.