HAVANA, Mar. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Association of Caribbean States (ACS) began its cooperation conference in Havana on Wednesday, to address a number of cooperation issues such as climate change, sea, air connections, and sustainable development.
According to Ileana Nunez, Cuba's Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, this was the bloc's first ever cooperation conference and hoped it would become a mainstay to coordinate efforts inside and outside the region.
The official pointed to how Cuba has paid great importance to such collaboration, including by receiving over 20,000 students from across the region.
Around 3,000 students from the Caribbean are currently studying in Cuba, while 31,000 Cuban specialists, including 27,000 health workers, are spread across the region.
Nunez stressed that it is essential for the ACS to improve their cooperation on infrastructure and technical regulations, which can be jointly promoted.
June Soomer, the ACS secretary-general from St. Lucia, also addressed the meeting, saying it was essential for relations to tighten between the 25 ACS member states, the associate members and the observers.
On Wednesday, the 110 delegates at the summit will analyze programs such as the preservation of sandy coasts and coral reefs, and controlling the arrival of sargasso algae and invasive alien species.
These sessions precede the 22nd regular meeting of the ACS Council of Ministers on Friday.
The ACS was founded on July 24, 1994 in Colombia, with the intention of promoting consultation, cooperation and concerted action among all Caribbean countries.