Cuba stressed the importance of having multilateral ties with South Pacific Island States and reasserted its commitment to friendship and cooperation at the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders Meeting, held in the Cook Islands.

“Our links with the Pacific Islands are based on deep feelings of friendship, solidarity and brotherhood,” said the deputy minister of Science, Technology and the Environment (CITMA) Adianez Taboada Zamora, leader of the Cuban delegation to the event, during the panel Development of the Peoples.

Taboada Zamora warned about the ever-increasing impacts of climate change as the actions to implement the Paris Agreement lag behind and remarked that the steps to tackle the loss of biological diversity and promote its sustainable use, as agreed at the Global Biodiversity Framework in Kunming, Montreal, are complex challenges facing the developing countries, which are forced to use their limited financial, human and technological resources to cope with multidimensional crises.

“Cuba is committed to the Pacific Resilience Initiative and supports brother island states in their struggle for adaptation and development through the Strategy 2050 for the Blue Continent, intended to promote Pacific regionalism over the next three decades by articulating the vision, values and key long-term priorities in the South Pacific,” she pointed out.

The Cuban delegation thanked the Pacific Islands for their usual endorsement of the resolution approved in the UN against the U.S blockade and some regional countries for their statements against such U.S Cuba policy.

Cuba has attended every PIF since 2010 and, in 2013, was admitted as Dialogue Partner—the highest category held by countries outside of the region—in recognition of Cuba’s active role in improving health care in and providing training to small island states in the South Pacific.