Speech by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, at the Second Moment of the Sustainable Development Goals held during the General Debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, from the Palace of the Revolution, on September 20, 2021, “Year 63 of the Revolution.”
(Shorthand Versions – Office of the President of the Republic)
Mr. Secretary General;
Six years ago, convened by the United Nations, practically all the leaders of the world committed ourselves to “leave no one behind”, in the common purpose of complying by 2030 with the so-called Sustainable Development Goals.
The truth to tell: millions of human beings continue to be left behind. For a majority of nations, the Goals do not seem attainable in less than a decade.
An unjust and undemocratic international order is the cause of the inequalities and exclusion faced today by the vast majorities in a scenario aggravated by the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As long as this world order prevails, the noblest goals will remain a chimera.
I say this with full knowledge of the facts, from Cuba, which assumed the 17 commitments seriously and responsibly, but also aware of the great challenges imposed on us by our condition as a Small Island Developing State, and the impact of the iron economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States.
As we have denounced so many times before the General Assembly, that blockade policy, deliberately and opportunistically tightened in the context of the pandemic, constitutes the main obstacle to the country’s efforts to make progress in its economic and social development and in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The difficulties are enormous, but so is our will to build a sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable Nation; therefore, we reiterate here our commitment to the 2030 Agenda, as can be confirmed in the appreciable coherence between the objectives and goals of the National Economic and Social Development Plan until 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Last July 13, Cuba presented its National Voluntary Report on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda before the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. As can be seen in that document, our priorities are focused on promoting the integral and full development of human beings, achieving economic development with equity and higher standards and quality of life for the population.
We will continue to move forward with Step 2030 along the path of sustainable development, strengthening planning and coordination at different levels of government, promoting innovation, scientific research and the building of alliances among the various actors in society, as essential tools for recovery and progress.
Cuba will also continue sharing its experiences with other nations through South-South Cooperation, and betting on a renewed and strengthened multilateralism, solidarity cooperation and the search for global solutions to common problems.
We revolutionaries are incorrigible optimists and, in the worst of scenarios, we seek and find ways out because we believe in human beings and we believe in the future.
Building the world we dream of is a mammoth task, but it is possible if we renounce selfishness and work together to transform the current unjust international order into a more just, democratic and equitable one in which, at last, no one is left behind!
Thank you very much.
(Taken from Granma)
(Translated and edited by Jorge Luis Lora Moran)