The president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, in his speech on Tuesday during the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, stressed the urgency of «a new and fairer global contract.»
Díaz-Canel spoke on behalf of the G77 group and China, of which Cuba holds the Pro-Tempore presidency this year. He demanded a profound transformation of the current international financial architecture and an end to unilateral coercive measures.
The president referred to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda. In this regard, he said that «only seven years away from the deadline set for the fulfillment of the hopeful 2030 Agenda, the outlook is discouraging. This august institution has already acknowledged it: at the current pace, none of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will be achieved, and more than half of the 169 agreed goals will be missed.»
He referred to the results of the recently held Summit of Heads of State and Government of the G77 and China in Havana and the need for change that unite the nations of the South. «For two days, practically without rest, more than 100 representatives of the 134 nations that make up the Group raised their voices to demand changes that can no longer be postponed in the unjust, irrational and abusive international economic order, which has deepened, year after year, the enormous inequalities between a minority of highly developed nations, and a majority that cannot overcome the euphemism of «developing nations,» the president said.
H.E. Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba ���� @UN #GeneralDebate
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— Journal of the United Nations (@Journal_UN_ONU)
September 19, 2023
Díaz-Canel also denounced that the current international financial architecture «was designed to profit from the reserves of the South, perpetuate a system of domination that increases underdevelopment and reproduce a model of modern colonialism.»
The Cuban president warned that «in the 21st century, it offends the human condition that almost 800 million people suffer from hunger on a planet that produces enough to feed everyone; or that in the era of knowledge and the accelerated development of information and communications technologies, more than 760 million people, two thirds of them women, do not know how to read or write.»
Likewise, he stressed that the efforts of developing countries «must be backed by concrete actions for access to markets, financing under fair and preferential conditions, technology transfer and North-South cooperation.
He demanded a recapitalization of the Multilateral Development Banks and the necessary rationalization, review and change in the role of credit rating agencies. «While the richest countries fail to fulfill their commitment to allocate at least 0.7% of their Gross National Product to Official Development Assistance, the nations of the South have to spend up to 14% of their income to pay interest on foreign debt,» the president noted.
— Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez (@DiazCanelB)
September 18, 2023
The tweet reads, «In a meeting with Dennis Francis, president of UNGA78, we confirmed Cuba’s commitment to multilateralism and the UN Charter, as well as to the implementation of the SDG Agenda 2030. We also discussed results and proposals emanating from Cuba G77 Summit. Very pleasant dialogue.»
Díaz-Canel proposed to redesign debt instruments once and for all and include activation clauses to provide relief and restructuring as soon as a country is affected by natural catastrophes or macroeconomic shocks.
In this regard, the Cuban president said that «those who have the least influence on the climate crisis are those who suffer the most from its effects, particularly the Small Island Developing States.»
On the occasion, the president informed that the G-77 is calling for a Summit of Southern Leaders to be held on December 2 in the context of the COP28 in Dubai. He said it «will be a space to articulate our group’s positions at the highest level in the context of the climate negotiations.»
The Cuban president also condemned the imposition of unilateral punitive measures against sovereign states. He recalled that Cuba is the country that has endured for the longest time unilateral coercive measures with an economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. more than half a century ago.
He expressed his condemnation of unilateral punitive measures also imposed on nations such as Venezuela and Nicaragua, as well as Zimbabwe, Syria, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Iran, «among many others whose peoples suffer the negative impact of these.»