Cuba’s successful work led to the country’s election as ECLAC president pro tempore

The implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda was a key issue addressed during ECLAC’s 37th period of sessions. What is Cuba doing to fulfill these goals? Granma International takes a look

May 21 (Granma International) By the time the 193 member-states of the United Nations approved a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and despite the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States, Cuba had already made significant progress toward fulfilling these objectives.

Since then, comprehensive programs and concerted efforts to implement the objectives – according to the needs of each territory – and sustainability, are two of the elements which have characterized advances made by the island toward fulfilling the SDG. But how exactly has this been done this?

1. ENDING POVERTY AND HUNGER, PROMOTING HEALTH AND WELL-BEING, QUALITY EDUCATION, GENDER EQUALITY, THE RIGHT TO DECENT EMPLOYMENT AND REDUCING INEQUALITY

Every single one of the guiding documents for Cuba’s social and economic development – social policy guidelines, National Plan through 2030 and Conceptualization of the Cuban socio-economic model, as well as the policies which support them – are closely linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Cuba ranks 68th in the world and eighth in Latin America and the Caribbean among the 188 countries that submit a report on their human development index to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Although the island still faces challenges, relevant data supports Cuba’s noteworthy position. For example, the average years of schooling in the country is 11.5 and expected years of schooling, 13.8 (almost through the second year of university).
What is more, Cuba ended 2017 with the lowest infant mortality rate in its history, at 4.0 per 1,000 live births.

The island’s efforts to eradicate hunger have been recognized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), while its Labor Code stipulates the right of every citizen to employment, with noteworthy features such as equal access to jobs, training, professional development, breaks, paid vacations and social security.

Meanwhile, resolutions aimed at raising fertility rates, facilitating women’s incorporation and reincorporation into the workforce, and expanding childcare options, were recently approved. This is just one example of the importance of promoting women’s empowerment in Cuba, a country with the second highest percentage of female parliamentarians in the world.

Likewise, the Conceptualization of Cuba’s socio-economic model states that “Protection through Social Welfare Benefits is available to all who need them, in order to contribute to reducing inequality, under the principle of never abandoning anyone to their fate.”

2. PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT

Tarea vida or Project Life, the state plan to address climate change, is the guiding strategy in terms of the country’s efforts to protect the environment.
The initiative includes a study of the most vulnerable areas where efforts and resources must be directed, in order to replenish beaches for example, as well as measures to combat drought.

Cuba is also looking to increase the use of renewable energy sources. For example, there are currently over 30 solar parks in the country, which have contributed to reducing carbon monoxide emissions, and work is underway to update the island’s power systems.

3. PROMOTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONAL INDUSTRIES, INNOVATION & INFRASTRUCTURE

The National Development Plan through 2030 outlines efforts of the Cuban government to “promote scientific research, the application of science, technology and innovation, as well as their dissemination and use across all spheres of society.” It also acknowledges the need to “maximize the contribution of infrastructure to the development process.”

4. DEFENDING PEACE, JUSTICE & THE EXISTENCE OF STRONG INSTITUTIONS. WHAT IS CUBA DOING TO ESTABLISH ALLIANCES NECESSARY TO ACHIEVING THE 2030 AGENDA GOALS?

It was with good reason that the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Havana was chosen to approve the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.

Cuba defends every country’s right to peace and justice in all settings, as well as its solidarity with countries of the region and world. The island works to combat all forms of violence and discrimination, end hunger, poverty, an unjust international economic order, imperialist wars, and all threats to humanity.

Cuban civil society organizations work closely with national institutions and organizations in order to create a more just society, committed to the future of the nation, the development of international cooperation and fulfillment of the sustainable development objectives. Cuba is also an active member of regional integration mechanisms.

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