CUBAN foreign minister Bruno Rodríguez says it is urgent to reaffirm the collective commitment of all nations to the strengthening of multilateralism.
During the UK-Caribbean Forum, Rodriguez said more than a year after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, it remains a global challenge that had created a systemic crisis of multiple devastating impacts on societies, threatening progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
He said in the case of Cuba, the unprecedented upsizing of the economic, trade and financial blockade imposed by the United States government, which significantly limits the effective response to the pandemic, was added.
“Today, however, we have five vaccine candidates in different phases of clinical trials and we will immunise the entire Cuban population this year. Cuba will continue to actively contribute to the success of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26), and in this regard expresses its willingness to work constructively with all for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement,” he said. “We reiterate the importance we attach to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and to the moral obligation to make the right financial and technology transfers to developing countries.”
Rodriguez said there was an ecological debt of industrialised countries, which makes the approach that the exercise of the right to development would require a rational level of carbon emissions.
“Faced with growing and multiple global challenges, we support the right of Caribbean countries to receive fair and differential treatment. We are deeply proud, and I am very grateful for the mention of His Royal Highness Prince of Wales for the modest assistance Cuba was able to give to the passengers and crew of the British Cruiser ‘MS Braemar’, precisely one day like today, exactly one year ago,” he said.
Rodriguez said Cuba had modestly shared experience in combating the pandemic and sent 56 medical brigades of the Henry Reeve International Contingent to 40 countries and territories, including 11 Africans, three Europeans and 23 from Latin America and the Caribbean, including 12 Caribbean nations and five overseas territories, four British and one French.
“We reiterate the full readiness to continue to make our contribution to disaster risk reduction; to continue our collaboration in health, including epidemiological and scientific advice and the exchange of experiences gained in treatment of COVID-19; as well as in human resources training,” said Rodriguez. “It is urgent to reaffirm the collective commitment of all nations to the strengthening of multilateralism. Let us seek common responses; let’s globalise cooperation; let us move towards the sustainable development that our people deserve.”