The International Conference on Population and Development held in 1994 was a turning point in international debates on population. The implementation of the Cairo Programme of Action, the Montevideo Consensus and the 2030 Agenda provide avenues for solving the inequalities existing among countries and within our societies.
However, the realization of these Programmes of Action requires a comprehensive and inclusive approach to policies. They require a real political will, an effective international cooperation and a respectful and sincere dialogue with the human being at the core. They also need developed countries to honour, immediately, their historical commitments to the developing world.
The tightening of the policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. government against Cuba for almost 60 years, and the recent activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, poses concrete obstacles to access financing, technologies, products and services necessary for the implementation of our national population and development policies.
Despite this inhumane policy, Cuba has made significant progress, giving top priority to population policies intrinsically linked to full equity and social justice:
- The entire population have universal and free access to health and education at all levels. One hundred percent of the population is literate.
- Women account for 60.3% of university and postgraduate education graduates, and for more than 63% of the total number of professionals and technicians in the country.
- Women make up 53.2% of Cuba's parliament. We rank second at world level in terms of the largest presence of women in parliament.
- In 2018, infant mortality rate was 4.0 per 1,000 live births.
- Access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services up to the tertiary level is universal and free; childbirth is institutional in 100 per cent of the cases, the contraceptive structure is high and guaranteed for the entire population. Abortion has been institutionalized since the 1960s in order to guarantee the safety and the life of women and the human right to make decisions about their bodies.
- The prevalence of HIV-AIDS is 0.3% in the sexually active population. Cuba was the first country to eliminate the HIV-AIDS mother-to-child transmission.
I conclude by reaffirming Cuba's commitment to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development beyond 2014, the Montevideo Consensus and the 2030 Agenda.
Thank you very much.