The 20th session of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation began its meetings today. The session will run until June 4, to review the progress made in implementing the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, the new directions strategy for South-South cooperation, the Nairobi outcome document of the High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation and the Buenos Aires outcome document of the second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40).
The theme of the 20th session focuses on “Accelerating the achievement of the SDGs through effective implementation of the BAPA+40 outcome document while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and similar global crises.”
Representing Cuba, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment, Déborah Rivas Saavedra, gave statements to the conference on Cuba’s South-South cooperation.
During her statement, the Cuban Deputy Minister said that the COVID-19 pandemic is the most recent proof that current global challenges cannot be faced effectively in isolation; calling for respect for international law, multilateralism, partnerships and supportive cooperation among countries, including South-South cooperation.
Deputy Minister Rivas denounced unilateralism, interference and provocation of violence as intolerable, as is the case of the continuation of the blockade imposed by the government of the United States for decades; the application of the extraterritorial Helms Burton Act against Cuba and its unjustified inclusion on the list of State sponsors of terrorism.
Ms. Rivas further stated that despite the policy of economic and political harassment, from 2020 to 2021, 56 medical brigades from the Henry Reeve Contingent have provided services in 40 countries, as a sign of Cuba’s commitment to South-South cooperation.
Ms. Rivas affirmed that the world can continue to count on the cooperation of the Island to support progress towards implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Ms. Rivas stated that Cuba is advancing in the development of five vaccines against COVID-19 for the benefit of the Cuban population and of other countries.
Minister Rivas also stated that Cuba ratifies its commitment to the Buenos Aires Plan of Action and the Nairobi and Cuba PABA + 40 declarations, and the political will to continue strengthening the SSC and TC in pursuit of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Minister also stated that the Agenda 2030 establishes clear Objectives and Goals, which cannot be met in the agreed time if global alliance and a transformation of current development models are not promoted.