New York, Sep 18.- Every year the fourth week of September in this city, headquarters of the United Nations, has a very intense diplomatic rhythm, almost frenetic, you could say. The most important annual meeting of the 193 member states of the Organization is held here, in which multiple high-level segments that are a priority for nations come together.
This year, the Cuban delegation attending the event is headed by the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and president of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez.
To learn a little more detail about what will happen during these days and the purpose of some of the events that the representation of the Greater Antilles will attend, the team of the Presidency of the Republic interviewed Rodolfo Benítez Verson, General director of Multilateral Affairs and International Law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba.
According to the Cuban diplomat, “on this date the most relevant multilateral moment on the international diplomatic agenda takes place here,” which is attended by the top leaders of the States, who “deliver speeches before the General Assembly to express the vision, national positions and priorities of their respective countries on the most pressing current global problems, and identify their possible solutions.”
It is also, he highlighted, a key moment for “the leaders of the most diverse latitudes to hold bilateral meetings with their counterparts from other nations, in which various issues of mutual interest are addressed, and relations between the countries are strengthened.”
-As you have explained, a week marked by the number and diversity of meetings is foreseen. What will happen this time between September 18 and 26 in New York?
-The high-level segment of the UN General Assembly “will be particularly intense and relevant this year, both due to the large number of events planned, as well as the importance of the issues that will be debated and the decisions that will be adopted.
“This year the annual General Debate of the Assembly will take place between September 19 and 26, and will be attended, as usual, by presidents, prime ministers, vice presidents, ministers and other senior representatives of the 193 Member States of the Organization”.
Our President, commented the prominent diplomat, will be the sixth speaker to speak, on September 19, the same day as the opening of the debate. His speech will also reflect the positions of the Group of 77 and China, the broadest, most representative and diverse consultation group that exists, and which Cuba currently presides over.
“It is foreseeable that a large number of leaders from various parts of the world, when speaking in the General Debate, will express their countries' positions of rejection of the criminal blockade imposed by the United States government against Cuba, and will also demand the exclusion of our country from the arbitrary and unilateral list of nations that supposedly sponsor terrorism, prepared unilaterally by the State Department in Washington.
“In fact, we hope that the denunciation of the blockade against Cuba and solidarity with our country will be among the topics most mentioned in the speeches that will be delivered this year in the General Debate.”
We could identify, he detailed, three other components of the high-level segment that on this occasion will surely be the subject of prioritized monitoring by the delegations, including that of Cuba: compliance with the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals; confronting climate change, and international efforts in health.
“The Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), scheduled for September 18 and 19, will allow leaders to take stock of compliance with the UN 2030 Agenda, at a time when we are precisely at the half of the 15-year period planned for its implementation.
“Any honest evaluation regarding this issue would have to conclude that the outlook is discouraging. At the rate we are going, by 2030 none of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals agreed upon at the UN will be met, which include ending poverty, ending hunger, as well as guaranteeing healthy lives and education for children. quality for every human being.
“On September 20, the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development will take place, the results of which should contribute to accelerating the implementation of the 2015 Addis Ababa Agenda for Action, a United Nations instrument aimed at mobilizing financial resources. that are needed to achieve the SDGs. Cuba will participate in this meeting representing the interests of the Group of 77 and China.
“That same day the Climate Ambition Summit will be held, in which President Díaz-Canel will announce the commitments assumed by Cuba to confront climate change and will demand that developed countries assume their historical responsibility, taking into account that they have been the main causes of the current serious climate crisis.”
At the High Level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention and Response, he explained, also scheduled for September 20, Cuba's experience in confronting COVID-19 will be shared.
Also this week, he said, a Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Group of 77 and China will be held, in which positions of the countries of the South will be agreed upon to face common challenges. This meeting will be inaugurated by our President, in his capacity as Protémpore President of that Organization.
Likewise, the celebration of “other high-level events on various topics, such as universal health coverage, combating tuberculosis, and a Ministerial Preparatory Meeting for the Future Summit, which should pave the way towards the Future Summit, is planned. to be held at the United Nations in 2024.”
What significance does the presence of Cuba, represented by President Díaz-Canel, have in the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly?
“The firm voice of the Cuban people and their defense of the most just causes worldwide have earned our country an important space in global consensus forums.
“President Díaz-Canel will go to the United Nations as the highest representative of Cuban revolutionary diplomacy, heir to the rich traditions of struggle of our country, defender of a consistent foreign policy, based on principles and high ethical and humanist values, which do not They are negotiable.
“His agenda will be particularly intense, as part of which he will participate in the different meetings planned in the high-level segment of the Assembly. It will defend in the international arena principles enshrined in our Constitution, such as respect for International Law, the defense of sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, and the right to self-determination, which implies non-interference in the internal affairs of others. nations.
“All possible spaces will be taken advantage of in that international forum to condemn the criminal blockade against Cuba and the unilateral coercive measures against any country; as well as all colonialist, hegemonist, interfering and discriminatory practices in international relations.
“The UN will also be a space for Cuba's truth to be heard in the face of the media campaigns orchestrated against our country, supported by the hegemonist interests of the United States.
“The presence of a high-level Cuban delegation at the UN will also contribute to strengthening the ties of friendship and solidarity of the Antillean nation with other countries.
“The United States' attempts to isolate Cuba have failed miserably. Proof of this is that we currently have relations with 194 countries and are integrated into all the international agencies and organizations of the United Nations system.
“What has been totally isolated in the world is the policy of hostility and blockade, anchored in the Cold War, imposed by the United States against Cuba.”
As you have said, Díaz-Canel will not only attend as Cuban Head of State, he will also go for the first time as president of the G-77 plus China. What milestones have marked Cuba's leadership at the head of this group?
“Under the Cuban Presidency in the first nine months of 2023, the Group of 77 and China has achieved positive results that have been widely recognized both by the membership of the group and by different international actors with whom it interacts.
Despite its diversity, he considered, under “the leadership of Cuba, the Group has remained united in the different multilateral processes in which it has participated. This has not only allowed the voice of the G77 to be heard, but also to have been duly taken into account in decision-making.”
“One of the most relevant results of the Cuban presidency has been, without a doubt, the recently held Summit of Heads of State and/or Government on the challenges of development and the role of science, technology and innovation in that context. “This is an issue of high importance, which has been strongly promoted by our government and personally by President Díaz-Canel.”
It was very necessary to hold a G77 Summit, he reflected, after 18 years had already passed without a meeting at the highest level taking place. One of the results of the meeting in Havana has been, without a doubt, the strengthening of the unity of the Group and its capacity for coordination.
“I consider that the G77 is now in better conditions to effectively confront the main international processes underway, in which our Group is a main actor.
“It is essential to mention that under the Cuban presidency, important results have been achieved in different multilateral negotiation processes. That is the main role of the Group: to promote the legitimate interests and positions of the countries of the South in the consultations and negotiations that take place in the United Nations.
“Over the course of this year, Cuba has also represented the G77 and defended its positions in several relevant international events. In this sense, the Cuban president has personally represented and promoted the interests, positions and proposals of the Group in international meetings outside the framework of the United Nations and the traditional scope of action of the G77.
“Our management, so far, has been very active and innovative. We are fulfilling the commitments we made when the Group gave us the presidency.
“In the remainder of our presidency, until January 2024, when the sister African nation of Uganda will assume that position, Cuba will not rest in its efforts to promote the creative potential, influence and leadership of the G77 in the international sphere. "We will continue to defend the interests of the countries of the South and the unity of action of the G77."
Brief profile on the United Nations Organization
-Date of founding: October 24, 1945, in the United States.
-Members: There are currently 193 member states and each one occupies a seat in the General Assembly.
-What is the General Assembly?: It is the main deliberative body of the United Nations and is also the most representative and democratic. It is the only one of the six main UN bodies in which all member states are represented, on equal terms, since each country has one vote, regardless of its size, economic capacity or military power.
(Cuba Presidency) (Photo: Revolución Studies)