Statement by H.E. Mr. Oscar León González, Ambassador, Chargé d´Affaires a.i., at the High-Level Interactive Dialogue on the occasion of the International Day of Education, Session II: Matching the Imperative of Inclusiveness with the Quest for Quality Education: Policy Choices and Action Priorities. New York, 24 January 2020
My delegation wishes to thank you for convening this interactive dialogue and congratulates the speakers for their presentations.
The realization of the right to quality education for all is a moral imperative. It is also a necessity for promoting a culture of peace, understanding and non-discrimination of any kind.
In this respect, the States should take concrete actions in order to provide this right with material guarantees that would facilitate universal access to education at all levels and throughout life.
Approximately 260 million children do not attend primary or secondary school all over the world. There are 758 million people that do not know how to read or write and two thirds out of them are women.
Let the unjust prevailing international order, marked by the interest in maximizing the capital even at the expense of human life and the survival of the planet be changed, and we will be advancing towards the achievement of Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
Recognizing that only quality education would end the serious situation of poverty and underdevelopment, the Cuban Revolution turned education into one of its priorities. In 1961, after only two years of the triumph of the Revolution, we implemented the Literacy Campaign that declared Cuba an Illiteracy-Free Territory.
Today, our education system is universal, accessible and free at all levels, and open to all ages, with no discrimination of any kind. More than two thirds of the country budget is earmarked for improving the levels of education, health and social security and welfare, culture, sports, as well as scientific and technical research.
Cuba, a poor country under the blockade imposed by the United States of America, with limited resources and a huge solidary passion, has managed to teach to read and write to more than 10 million people in 32 countries through its literacy method “Yo, Sí Puedo”.
Cuba will continue working for a better world and is firmly convinced that the basis of that yearning is education.