Cuba was elected almost simultaneously to the Vice-Chairmanship of the Executive Board of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee (CDCC), a body of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC/CEPAL), and the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
ECLAC is responsible for promoting and developing sustainable economic and social cooperation and integration among the countries in the Caribbean and Latin America region.
Deborah Rivas Saavedra, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX) participated in the 28th virtual session of the CDCC earlier this month. “This will be a strategic space for the exchange of experiences and dialogue on the most pressing problems facing our region,” the Vice-Minister said.
Vice-Minister Rivas added that “We try with special emphasis to prioritize our Caribbean brothers and sisters and put their needs at the forefront of the debates, accompanying ECLAC’s Caribbean First initiative,” presented during the Thirty-seventh Session in Havana in May 2018.”
ECLAC is a UN organization occupied with the challenges faced by Caribbean countries which include the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, scarcity of resources, lack of financing, and high debt levels, among other problems that hinder progress towards the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
For Cuba, its relationship with ECLAC has been fruitful and is highly appreciated by the government. Vice Minister Rivas reaffirmed Cuba’s commitment to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
A Business Forum recently held in Cuba, organized by the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, co-sponsored by the European Union and ECLAC, generated 4 million Euros in funding for the creation of a “one-stop shop”, digital platform with the objective to facilitate trade and investments in the island.
Today, VUINEX is in operation and used by both state and private business and the self-employed for their operations abroad.
According to Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, the Minister of Foreign Trade, between 2017 and 2018, businesses with investment commitments of more than 4.5 billion US dollars were approved. In 2019 that figure rises to more than 1.3 billion.
United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
Cuba’s election to ECOSOC represents an endorsement of the country’s continued work in various international forums including those of the UN.
The ECOSOC nomination allows the Caribbean island to occupy a seat in the following ECOSOC subsidiary bodies: Commission on Population and Development, Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS and the Committee for Programme and Coordination.
The vote for Cuba’s election, although not normally held, was put into place by the United States delegation that demanded it be held.
In the final tally, 52 of the 54 members of ECOSOC, voted in favor of the Cuban candidacy.
The thirty-eighth Session of ECLAC, is scheduled for October 26 to 28.
At that time, Cuba will pass the presidency of the Committee (2018-2020) to the government of Costa Rica.