Cuba, World Summit of Governments, exchange, future, science, technology, innovation

Governments look at their future from now on

Havana, February 11.- We look to the future because that is where we are going to spend the rest of our lives. That is what the American actor Woody Allen maintained, when he expressed very seriously the fact that reflecting on the future is not a capricious or speculative exercise, but rather an inevitable requirement in any situation. And it is especially so in the face of the current challenges for the development and well-being of our people, who are subjected to the crossfire of the multidimensional crisis.

With that certainty, the World Government Summit emerged more than ten years ago, a platform for exchanging knowledge dedicated to projecting the governments of the future, based on the role of science, technology and innovation, and which from 12 to 14 February will have a new edition to contribute to the development of essential tools, policies and models in the face of the constant challenges facing humanity.

As explained by Jairo Rodríguez Hernández, coordinator of the Socio-Humanitarian Affairs group of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrex), this event was created in 2013 under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Dubai, so that nine editions have been held with a two-year interruption due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Summit also involves other actors such as international organizations and the private sector, civil society, academics... It is a multilateral event, although it is not a United Nations event, details the Minrex official, who added that the forum has established a platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing and socialization of good governance practices at local and global levels.

Therefore, the presence at this new event of a Cuban delegation, headed by the member of the Political Bureau and Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz, represents a valuable contribution when seeking to promote international cooperation and identify innovative solutions to inspire and train the next generation of governments.

Although the largest of the Antilles has participated in the last three editions of the Summit, as Rodríguez Hernández explained, for the first time it will do so with a high-level delegation, which reflects its commitment to the objectives and themes of the event. In 2019 it was our first assistance with a representation from the Ministry of Higher Education (MES in Spanish).

On that occasion, a dissertation was given on the advanced skills of university graduates to better respond to the labor market, which was widely welcomed by the delegations. In 2022, Cuba was represented by our Ambassador in the United Arab Emirates and last year the MES participated again to expose the Government system based on science and innovation.

Topics such as promoting citizen trust in government entities, social networks as a tool for civic participation, digital government, better jobs, the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change and food security, social reconciliation after conflicts, fiscal policy, as well as the well-being and happiness of citizens have found space for analysis in this important forum.

In this regard, Rodríguez Hernández detailed that the Summit this year will have six thematic axes of relevance to the international community related to the acceleration and transformation of Governments, the role of education in creating more resilient societies, artificial intelligence and the next frontiers, development and future economies, as well as sustainability and new global changes.

The integral approach to these phenomena constitutes a challenge for Cuba, since we are a nation that has faced the challenges of sustainable development from the position of a small island developing State, from the position of a net importing country of food and fuel, under the effects of a blockade imposed more than six decades ago and intensified in recent years.

Despite these challenges, we have been able to overcome the barriers that development imposes on any country, particularly those in the south, and we have not only done so by achieving social achievements that are unthinkable for other countries, but also by helping other peoples achieve sustainable development. and promote and defend the human rights of its population.

The experience of government management based on science and innovation, in order to solve the problems that delay development, detailed the Minrex official, will be another contribution of Cuban participation. This path has been greatly promoted by President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez and the Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz. In addition, of course, it includes the conceptions and historical legacy of our top leaders Fidel and Raúl.

Concrete and recent results of this practice were the constant dialogue between the Government and our scientists in the confrontation with the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed us to offer a social, scientific, political and health response to the disease, not only for Cuba. but also for humanity, he illustrated.

He added that another contribution of the Greater Antilles to the forum is related to the experience of having held the pro tempore presidency of the G-77 Group and China for a year with different initiatives and projects, which allowed us to celebrate last September, in La Havana, a successful Summit of Heads of State and Government with the theme Current development challenges: Role of Science, Technology and Innovation.

This issue is totally in line with the debates that will take place in the United Arab Emirates," said Rodríguez Hernández, who added that during the days of the event, of course, there will be something missing that always accompanies any Cuban delegation, which is prestige and recognition earned by our people in more than 60 years of Revolution.

Our attendance at this event reflects the importance we give to the exchange between nations to carry out the Summit theme: Sustainable and resilient governments of now and the future. We are open to experiences from other countries, we always have been, we have learned and, furthermore, we have contributed, modestly, what a small Island blocked and attacked is capable of doing, but with very deep feelings of solidarity. (Text and photos: Presidency of Cuba)

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