Permanent Mission to UN

Press Release. Deputy Mariela Castro speaks at the UN Panel to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development.

New York, 8 April. Mariela Castro Espín, Head of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education, deputy to the Cuban Parliament and member of the High-Level Working Group for the International Conference on Population and Development, was one of the speakers to join the panel organized at the UN headquarters to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development.  Mr. Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique; Mrs. Naví Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, among other speakers, also participated.

As part of her speech, the Cuban deputy highlighted people’s basic rights to make decisions and assume self-control over their sexuality and body, without discrimination, manipulation, coercion or violence, which was acknowledged by the international community at Cairo and Beijing’s Conferences ten years before. Furthermore, she defended the fact that the full exercise of these human rights requires political will, in order to facilitate deep inclusive social transformation processes.

In this sense, she pointed out that comprehensive sexuality education has proved to be a resource for the full emancipation of human beings, in view of their development as individual subjects of law and their social involvement.

The parliament member affirmed that Cuba has practiced sexual education as a State policy since 1975. Its implementation is responsibility of the main social institutions: “family, education, healthcare, culture and civil society organizations”. 

Comrade Mariela Castro is now in New York, as part of the Cuban delegation to the 47th Session of the Commission on Population and Development, celebrated from 7-11 April and, which is analyzing the fulfillment of the agreements reached at the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo, Egypt in 1994.


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