Statement by Daylenis Moreno Guerra, Third Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations. Debate on Item 26: Social Development
a) Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly; (b) Social development, including questions relating to the world social situation and to youth, aging, disabled persons and the family; (c) follow-up to the International Year of Older Persons: Second World Assembly on Ageing. Third Committee, 69th Session UN General Assembly. New York, 7 October 2014.
Allow me to congratulate you and the other members of the Bureau on your election and express our support for the statements made by Bolivia and Costa Rica on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and CELAC respectively.
The current international economic and political order remains deeply unjust and unsustainable. South countries continue to suffer the distortion of a world economic order that excludes our legitimate interests.
In addition, the burden of the economic and financial crisis, the food and energy crisis, as well as the negative impact of the climate change and its consequences in the social and political sphere, are latent throughout the world.
The survival of the planet is in danger. The situation of poverty in which millions of people live is alarming. Those people come mainly from developing countries and marginalized areas of industrialized countries, where the gap in terms of inequalities is ever deeper.
Hunger, extreme poverty, illiteracy, insanitation and premature death remain a constant feature in an important number of countries. What is more ironic and alarming is that workers, unemployed people, immigrants and poor people from the countries that are the least responsible for the current crisis are the ones affected the most.
The 1.2 billion persons who live under extreme poverty, the 842 millions who suffer from chronic hunger; the 774 million illiterate adults and the 57 million out-of-school boys and girls are a confirmation that the Millennium Development Goals, which are questionable from a methodological point of view, were a mirage.
The facts speak for themselves: unequal exchange has deepen; Official Development Assistance has shrunk in real terms; technology transfer is still very limited and highly conditioned; markets of the most advanced economies remain restricted for exports coming from poor countries; the foreign debt has been paid several times, but continues to multiply; and the world is increasingly investing in military spending.
All the figures offered to us continue to be discouraging and show that the Millennium Development Goals are still far from being achieved in many countries.
Under these circumstances, the coordination of the Post-2015 Development Agenda could hardly be a hope. Nevertheless, the attempt to achieve it should become our most urgent task.
Cuba, a small developing country, has already met the Millennium Development Goals and has exceeded some of them. This result was achieved despite the unjust and criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba for more than 50 years, the damages caused by natural disasters and the world crises.
The infant mortality rate in Cuba is 4.2 per live birth, it is among the lowest in the world and life expectancy at birth is 78 years. In our country there are no illiterates. We have a universal, accessible and free health care system. We have a vaccination programme encompassing thirteen diseases with coverage of 100 percent of Cuban children. More than two thirds of the State budget is intended to raise standards of education, health, social security and welfare, culture, sport and, among other sectors, scientific and technical research.
The modest resources we Cubans possess have been shared with other nations in need through international cooperation. Along these five decades 325 000 Cuban health workers have provided assistance in 158 nations of the South, including 39 African countries, where 76 000 employees have worked. Cuba has also trained 38 000 doctors from 121 countries, 3 392 of them are from African nations. All aforementioned has been carried out without exclusions or conditions.
We have also taken the Cuban literacy program “Yes I can” to 28 countries and we have restored the eyesight to hundreds of thousands of patients suffering from eye conditions in several countries.
Much could be done for the right to development of billions of people with relatively few resources, should developed countries have true political will and meet at least their commitment to Official Development Assistance.
For our part, we reiterate our determination to continue sharing, to the best of our ability, human capital trained by the Revolution as well as our best experiences which are our only wealth.
Thank you very much.