71 UNGA: Cuba at the general debate of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba endorses the statements by the distinguished delegations of Ecuador on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, by the delegation of El Salvador on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and of AOSIS, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States.

On October 12, 1979, at the 34th session of the UN General Assembly, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz, in his position as chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, said: "it is necessary to eliminate the abysmal inequality between developed and developing countries. We must therefore struggle to eliminate the poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy that hundreds of millions of human beings are still experiencing. We want a new world order based on justice, equity and peace to replace the unfair and unequal system that prevails today, under which, wealth continues to be concentrated in the hands of a few powers whose economies, based on squandering,are maintained thanks to the exploitation of workers and to the transfer and plundering of natural and other resources from countries in Africa, Latin American and other regions of the world.”

Thirty-eight years have passed since these prophetic words were said and the situation in the world continues to be alarming. It is clear that we need to change the prevailing development model; to change the culture of privileges for the culture of equality.

A truly global partnership for development is imperative. It is necessary to have new, additional and predictable resources for the implementation of this ambitious Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. Without these financial resources, the implementation of the Agenda will be a utopia. Resources exist; less than half of the annual military expenditure worldwide would be enough to reach most SDGs.

Mr. Chairman,

For almost sixty years, Cuba has been imposed an economic, commercial and financial blockade, which causes deprivations to the Cuban people and constitutes the main obstacle to the economic development of the country and, consequently, to the implementation of 2030 Agenda.

In spite of such circumstances, we have shared with other nations of the world the modest resources we have, through international cooperation. We have implemented several cooperation programs in 157 countries. Hundreds of thousands of Cuban doctors, health care workers, teachers, coaches and other Cuban specialists have worked in solidarity in many countries around the world.

Cuba is preparing to contribute to the overall implementation of the 2030 Agenda and for this purpose a national mechanism is in place to coordinate the work of national institutions, civil society and the non-state sector. The bases of a national plan for economic and social development until 2030 were recently approved by the National Assembly of the People's Power, it has been the most discussed document in the history of our country, more than one million six hundred thousand people have participated in this process, with a view to achieving a model of prosperous and sustainable socialist development.

Cuba is committed to working tirelessly to rise these new challenges and reiterates its commitment to the search for a more just, equitable and inclusive world that recognizes people as a central element of sustainable development.

Thank you very much.