UN Secretary General Closes Visit to Cuba after ECLAC’s Session

He took advantage of the occasion to recognize the work of conservation and restoration, remembering the difficulties the Caribbean nation is facing and the persistence of the U.S. blockade.

Havana, May 8 (Prensa Latina) UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is concluding today his visit to Cuba after attending the opening day of the 37th session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) that will take place at Havana Convention Center until Friday.

Guterres delivered the keynote speech at the opening session of the event that will assess better ways for the region’s countries to implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, South-South cooperation and the fight against inequality in the region.

The 69-year-old Portuguese diplomat arrived in the island on an official visit and was received by newly elected President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

Both officials discussed issues of peace, international security, climate change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as Cuba’s role in multilateral institutions.

The UN secretary general also paid tribute to Cuban National Hero, Jose Marti, at the Memorial that bears the name of the independence leader, whose legacy and values he highlighted.

Jose Marti was a hero for all the progressive movements of the world, so this tribute has a very special meaning for me, he said.

Guterres also toured areas of the historic district of Old Havana, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. He took advantage of the occasion to recognize the work of conservation and restoration, remembering the difficulties the Caribbean nation is facing and the persistence of the U.S. blockade.

Guterres was accompanied by Havana Historian, Eusebio Leal, and ECLAC executive secretary, Alicia Barcena.

The former Portuguese prime minister (1995-2002) and the former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2005-2015) ends his first visit to Cuba since he took office in January 2017 of the multilateral body.

Upon his arrival yesterday at the Jose Marti International Airport, Guterres recalled that he visited Havana in 1999, when he was heading the Portuguese government, to participate in the Ninth Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government.

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