We thank the Delegation of Palestine, as Chair of the G77 and China, for convening this Interactive Dialogue and take this opportunity to welcome H.E. Mr. Mohammad Shtayyeh, Minister of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction.
Growing inequality hinders significant and lasting progress towards the goals we set ourselves in Copenhagen. We firmly believe that development will not be sustainable as long as it is not truly inclusive.
The international community, in particular the members of the G77, are confronted with enormous challenges: great inequalities between developed and developing countries persist and are widening; illegitimate sanctions, unilateral coercive measures and other economic measures contrary to international law continue to be applied, mainly against the countries of the South, which constrain and negatively impact their capacities to achieve economic and social development.
According to the Secretary-General’s report on the Priority Theme of the 57th Commission for Social Development, 82 per cent of the wealth generated in 2017 went to the richest 1 per cent, while the wealth of the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world's population saw no increase.
Environmental degradation and climate change exacerbate inequality by over-exposing the poorest and most vulnerable among them, as they tend to have fewer means to address and adapt to the situation.
We will not reverse the unjust map of global poverty and inequality if we do not provide our populations with access, without exception or inequality, to all levels of education. Nothing we set out to do will be possible without educated and cultivated peoples. In like manner, universal access to high-quality health services is imperative.
Let us give priority to developing social policies in order to achieve food security and poverty eradication. Let us make them an engine for the elimination of inequalities.
Despite the six decades of harsh economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba that has a direct impact on our social development, my country continues to make remarkable progress in social matters and has already fulfilled several targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Our principles include sharing our modest resources with other nations in need through international cooperation, thus contributing to their social development. Currently, more than 55,000 Cuban health professionals are working in 66 countries.
Achieving social justice and social equality must be a priority in the discussions on the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda, particularly for the members of the G77. We are deeply convinced that, in order for the human species to survive, the principles of social justice, equity and respect for the rights of peoples and of every human being must prevail.
Thank you very much