74 UNGA: Statement by Cuba on Item 25: Social development A) and B). Third Committee. New York, 1 October 2019.

Mr. President,

The commitments that the Heads of State and Government, meeting at the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen in 1995, had agreed upon, remain fully valid; in particular the fundamental objectives of eradicating poverty, reducing inequality, promoting productive employment, decent work for all and an inclusive society.

Today, Cuba affirms that for the human species to survive, social justice, solidarity, equality and respect for the rights of the peoples and of every human being, must prevail.

My delegation thanks the Secretary-General for presenting the report entitled "Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly" and agrees that it is necessary for States to increase social spending, ensure universal health coverage, universal access to high-quality education and strengthen social protection systems without discrimination of any kind.

To the above, Cuba adds, with firm conviction, that it is necessary for developed countries to comply with their official development aid commitments; that a just international economic order be promoted; that the application of protectionist and discriminatory trade policies against countries of the South be ceased; that developed countries consciously assume their historical responsibility with respect to the serious environmental crisis, which continues to worsen due to a model of global production and consumption which is not sustainable for the present and future generations; and that the multimillion-dollar resources currently earmarked to warfare, be allocated to development.

Mr. President,

Cuba supports the World Program of Action concerning Disabled Persons. In order to assist this sector of the population, our State has implemented a development strategy aimed at placing human beings at the center of attention, fostering their comprehensive development, self-actualization and full social integration.

Our policy towards youth also has a marked vocation of social benefit, prioritizing the professional training of youngsters, their labor integration, their participation in the discussion and decision-making processes at all levels and their representation in the main structures of Government, Parliament and other decision-making scenarios.

Cuba attaches great importance to the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and, in that regard, welcomes the report submitted relative to the Third Review and Appraisal.

It is estimated that by 2030, there will be 3.3 million people in Cuba aged 60 or over. That is why our country has turned the care for the elderly into a priority, in order to ensure the quality of life of this sector of the population.

Mr. President,

Cuba continues to achieve remarkable achievements in the social field and has already met several of the objectives set out in the Sustainable Development Goals. This has been achieved in spite of the harsh economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America and intensified by the irresponsible actions of the current Administration. This criminal policy, which my country has suffered for almost six decades, has a direct impact on our social development and is the main obstacle to our development.

Mr. President,

Based on the humanist vocation of the Cuban Revolution, we will continue to share our modest resources with other needy nations through international cooperation, thus contributing to their social development. In this regard, more than 29,000 Cuban health professionals work today in 66 countries.

Within this context, we strongly condemn the recent aggression against Cuba by the Government of the United States through a USAID program aimed at financing actions to discredit and sabotage the international cooperation that Cuba renders in the area of health in dozens of countries and for the benefit of millions of people. It is an effort that is added to the gross pressures exerted against various governments to hinder Cuba´s cooperation and to previous efforts of the same nature, such as the special parole program aimed at the theft of human resources trained in Cuba.

Mr. President,

In practice, Cuba expresses its firm commitment to the search for a just, equitable and inclusive world in which progress is made towards achieving social justice for all and individuals are recognized as the central element of the sustainable development.

Thank you