Statement by H.E. Mr. Oscar León González, Ambassador, Chargé d'affaires a.i., at the General Debate on Item 3 "Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development and the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly", at the 58th meeting of the Commission for Social Development. New York, 13 February 2020
Twenty-five years after the World Summit for Social Development held in Copenhagen, the commitments set out in its Programme of Action remain fully valid and applicable, both at the national and international levels.
The statement made by the distinguished delegation of Guyana on behalf of the G77 and China, with which my delegation associates itself, recognizes the significance of the work being carried out by this Committee; it states that in order to eliminate poverty, genuine cooperation and partnerships among all stakeholders is necessary, including the North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation. It also expresses its full support for the overall efforts made by the Government of China to contain the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
Cuba ratifies its solidarity with China, its people and government and praises the commendable, responsible and top priority work that the Chinese authorities have carried out to bring the virus under control and prevent its dissemination.
We thank the Secretary-General for the reports submitted for this meeting of the Commission; in particular, the one relative to the priority item: "Affordable housing and social protection systems for all to address homelessness". We agree with his view that homelessness is one of the crudest manifestations of poverty and inequality.
The eradication of poverty, the cornerstone of social development alongside full employment and social inclusion, can only be attained if the current international economic order, which is unjust and unsustainable by nature, is changed.
The international community faces enormous challenges: the huge inequalities between developed and developing countries linger and are deepened; unilateral coercive measures and other economic measures contrary to International Law continue to be applied, mainly against the countries of the South, which limit and negatively impact their capacities to achieve economic and social development.
At the same time, it is necessary that developed countries fulfill their commitments to official development assistance; that the application of protectionist and discriminatory policies regarding trade against countries of the South comes to a halt; that developed countries consciously assume their historical responsibility with respect to the serious environmental crisis, which continues to aggravate as a result of a global production and consumption model which is not sustainable; and that the billions of resources that are currently earmarked to war be allocated to development.
Cuba supports the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and carry out actions that strengthen comprehensive development, self-actualization and full social integration of all persons with disabilities.
Our policy towards youth also has a marked vocation of social benefit, giving priority to the professional training of young people, their labor integration, their participation in the discussion and decision-making processes at all levels and their representation in the main structures of the Government, Parliament and other decision-making organs.
With regard to aging, we are aware that, according to estimates, by 2030 there will be 3.3 million people in Cuba aged 60 or older. In this regard, Cuba has turned the care for the elderly into a priority, in order to ensure the quality of life of this sector of the population.
On the other hand, the construction of houses is a priority task for the Cuban State to which it allocates massive resources. By the end of 2019, 43,700 dwellings had been completed, 10,801 more than planned for that year.
Cuba continues to attain remarkable achievements in the social field and has already met several of the objectives outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals. This has been achieved in spite of the fierce economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on us and tightened by the irresponsible actions of the current US Administration. This criminal policy has a direct impact on all sectors in Cuba, being the main hindrance to our development.
Despite the implementation of this measure, whose aim is to suffocate the Cuban people and break their spirit of resistance, Cuba reaffirms the commitments of the World Summit for Social Development and expresses its firm commitment to the search for a just, equitable and inclusive world.
Thank you very much.