73 UNGA: Statement by Ambassador Ana Silvia Rodríguez Abascal, Deputy Permanent Representative, Chargé d´ Affaires Of Cuba to the United Nations. 2019 Annual Session of the UNICEF Executive Bureau. New York, 11 June 2019.

Mr. President,

The achievements of UNICEF and its work over the past year in implementing the Strategic Plan 2018-2021 and the rest of the Organization's programme documents are commendable. These results continue to demonstrate UNICEF's commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the promotion of the well-being of the world's children, particularly those still living in extreme poverty.

We also wish to highlight UNICEF's commitment to supporting the implementation of the QCPR mandates and the System reform process. The support that the organization provides on the ground for the strengthening of the Resident Coordinator System is positive.

At the same time, we call for continued strengthening of bilateral relations and dialogue between the Fund and national governments.

Mr. President,

Despite the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba, now tightened with the application of Title III of the Helms Burton Act, Cuba continues to make progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and most importantly in the protection of the rights of our children and adolescents.

The promotion and protection of children in Cuba is one of the raisons d'être of the Cuban State. It constitutes a guarantee that is given continuity in the new Cuban Constitution, approved last 10 April 2019, which reaffirms that "The State, society and families offer special protection to children and adolescents and guarantee their harmonious and comprehensive development, taking into account their best interests in the decisions and actions involving them. Children and adolescents are considered full subjects of rights and enjoy those enshrined in the Constitution, apart from those that are inherent to their special status as persons in development. They are protected against all types of violence”

We appreciate and underline the positive results of the UNICEF Programme in Cuba, its activism in the mobilization of resources, its permanent coordination with the Cuban national authorities and its projections, in accordance with Cuba's National Economic and Social Development Plan until 2030. It should be highlighted that in 2018 UNICEF's cooperation programme in Cuba was 100 per cent implemented.

We are also grateful for the effective assistance provided by UNICEF in the aftermath of a tornado that hit Havana last 27 January.

With a view to UNICEF's new programme cycle in the country for 2020-2024, the aim is to consolidate the lines of action addressed in the current programme (health, nutrition, education and culture of rights, protection and participation) through the joint mobilization of resources and the diversification of funding sources. We will also maintain as a priority the development of South-South cooperation initiatives in areas of mutual interest, particularly in health, education and disaster risk reduction.

Mr. President,

Allow me to conclude by expressing Cuba´s support and commitment to UNICEF and stressing the importance of continuing to strengthen cooperation between UNICEF and middle-income countries that still face significant challenges in terms of development.

Thank you very much.