71 UNGA: Statement by the Deputy Permanent Representative of Cuba to the UN at the High-Level Event on Climate Change and Sustainable Development

Mr. Chairman,

Allow me to take this opportunity to express my gratitude on behalf of my country for the convening of this High-Level Event on Climate Change and Sustainable Development.

Climate change is an obvious global threat that calls for urgent, fair and balanced solutions involving all countries in the world, in particular the Small Island Developing States, in a real and effective way.

The condition of Cuba as an archipelago and its geographical location in the Caribbean Sea makes us highly vulnerable to the events associated with climate variability. The trends of climate in Cuba, justify the need to act to adapt to climate change.

Studies conducted by the National Institute of Meteorology clearly indicate that the climate of Cuba has become warmer. Since the middle of last century the average annual temperature has increased about 0.9 °C. In addition to this, we can mention the significant increase of drought events and the recurrence of intense hurricanes.

The conduction of scientific research on a global phenomenon such as climate change has been possible thanks to the sensitivity and political willingness of the country's authorities. Particular attention has been paid to assessing the potential impacts of climate change and identifying possible options and adaptation measures.

In order to face up environmental problems due to the global, regional and local changes identified in Cuba's National Environmental Strategy, the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment (CITMA, Spanish acronym) structured throughout the country a Science and Technological Innovation System involving research institutions related to the environment, which provides an adequate and integrative framework for scientific research, as well as for environmental management.

Our scientific institutions are working to ensure that knowledge is used in solving environmental problems, as evidenced by the results of the Vulnerability and Risk Assessments (VRA) carried out in all the territories of the country on management and risk reduction. These are tools for decision-making in economic and social development areas of the country, facilitating likewise the setting of models for the use of natural resources.

As an evidence of Cuba's commitment to fight the negative effects of Climate Change, last year we ratified the Paris Agreement, whose implementation requires political willingness, international cooperation and solidarity, as well as full respect for the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

Thank you very much