​​​​​​​Statement by Gerardo Peñalver Portal, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Permanent Representative of Cuba to United Nations, at the Road to the Summit discussion series on "A tale of two summits"

Statement by Ambassador Gerardo Peñalver Portal, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations, at the Road to the Summit discussion series, session 10, on "A tale of two summits", organized by the Coalitrion for the UN We Need and the Baha´i International Community. 

New York, 26th July 2023. 

Good morning dear friends of both hosts organizations, the Coalition for the UN We Need and the Baha'i International Community.  I would also like to send a special and warm greeting to María Fernanda Espinosa, former President of the UN General Assembly and a good friend of Cuba:

Our planet is probably living the most complex times of all. The post-pandemic world is a more divided, unjust and unequal place, where we face multidimensional crises in the health, climate, energy, food, economic and financial spheres, which affect us all, particularly developing countries.

The most crucial problems for humanity have intensified: global economic crisis and the slow post-pandemic recovery, poverty, hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition, illiteracy, the dramatic impacts of conflicts, wars, unilateral actions and measures against peoples and countries, inequalities, all forms of discrimination, in a world in which humanity is subject to an unjust, irrational and unsustainable world economic and social order.  

There is an urgent need to reverse this trend, noting the importance of transitioning to sustainable lifestyles and patterns of consumption and production, and efforts to address climate change. All of these elements significantly affect the dream to attaint sustainable development for all at the same level.

It is in this context, that the United Nations arrives to the review of the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda and the attainment of the SDGs. This is the priority established by Member States and recognized by the United Nations for this year 2023.  It is not a secret that the negotiation process to finalize consensus on the Political Declaration for the SDG Summit has been very complex, due to the reluctance of developed countries to recommit to the 2030 Agenda and to take actions to accelerate its fulfillment, something which lies far behind only 7 years from the fulfillment of the established goals.

On the other hand, the Summit of the Future is expected to connect with the Agenda 2030, its SDGs and with September Summit and its outcome.  If we are not able to solve today’s problems and to properly face today’s challenges and goals, how will we be able to create conditions for a better future for the coming generations?

The concerns about future generations have a very close relation with the crucial problems faced by present generations. In this regard, efforts to achieve a better life for present generations are critical to guaranteeing a better future for those who have not been born yet.

The eradication of poverty, food insecurity, climate change, provision of universal health care for all and gender equality; and the empowerment of women and girls; the bridging of the digital divide addressing the challenges from new and emerging technologies; and an adequate transfer of technology, are among key issues affecting current and future generations from the Global South.

The Summit of the Future should allow the continuation of the multilateral system reform to move towards a more just, equitable, united and sustainable world that advances towards the sustainable development and prosperity of all countries in the world, in line with the UN Charter. The path to this noble purpose is closely related, indisputably, to the change of the current unjust and exclusionary international order. 

Since the Summit of the Future is meant to turbo-charge the SDGs, it must comprehensively address the issue of the provision of means of implementation for developing countries, which include, but is not limited to, financing, technology transfer and capacity building.

There is an urgent need for a profound and comprehensive restructuring of the international financial architecture, which is controlled today by few institutions. It is also important for countries to take responsible fiscal and monetary policies, as well as to enhance macroeconomic policy coordination aimed at ensuring a conducive international environment for developing countries to implement the 2030 Agenda.

The increasing debt vulnerabilities of developing countries, the tightening of global financial conditions, and the fiscal space in developing countries, the growing global interest rates and the strengthening of the US dollar, leading to increased debt service costs by developing countries, and roll-over risks, require urgent additional actions and further initiatives to reform the international financial architecture for long-term debt sustainability.

The effects of these imbalances are multiplied for countries punished by the arbitrary implementation of unilateral coercive measures, which affect almost 50 developing countries.  Any outcome of the Summit of the Future will have to call on States to refrain from enacting and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures, which are not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations, or impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries, as stated at the 2030 Agenda.

The full potential of science, technology and innovation, knowledge-sharing and capacity building for poverty eradication and sustainable development will be best harnessed by building coherent enabling legal, policy, financial and institutional framework at the national, regional and international levels.  The application of science, technology and innovation must be based on a sustainable development path and should be accessible to all developing countries.

In this regard, allow me to inform you that a Summit on “Current Development Challenges: The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation”, will be held on September 15 and 16 this year, to coordinate a position of the South on this important sphere.

Dear colleagues and friends:

Let me assure you that Cuba, in its capacity as President of the G77 and China, representing the dearest interests of the South, is participating showing its strong commitment to both, the ongoing intergovernmental negotiation process for the Political Declaration on the SDGs Summit and the preparation process in view of the 2024 Summit for the Future.

To ensure a better future for all, we have to address the present inequalities and challenges with a future long-term perspective. It is unacceptable that globalization continues to be marked by the selfishness of the richest, developed and powerful countries.  We can only look to the future with the conviction that solidarity and cooperation must prevail to achieve development and well-being for future generations.

This is the main commitment to them we have today: we are obliged, to work on the construction of a world in balance, in peace, to leave them a world, truly democratic, where diversity is respected ecologically sustainable, socially just, and where the sovereignty and equality of nations is reaffirmed. We must make dialogue prevail over the use of force and violence, thus contributing to shaping a thought that makes it possible to face, in a constructive manner, the complex and varied challenges of the twenty-first century, in order to build a future for the centuries to come.

The world will only succeed in this ambitious and noble purpose through a conscious exercise of cooperation and fraternity; only on the basis of inalienable principles and adherence to multilateralism and the foundations of coexistence among nations; only by renouncing to hegemonic pretensions, blackmail and impositions; only by discarding the language of threats and weapons, and assuming the language of reason, common understanding and culture.

This is the least that future generations can work on in order to create their own vision for a future world. It is up to them to foresee life to fit their interests and aspirations.

Thank you very much.