UN Organism Highlights Cuba's High Human Development Index

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) highlighted here today the high index of human development of Cuba (0.775) as the result of the universal and free Access to basic services, the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger.

In the report 'Program of National Strategies' dedicated to the Caribbean island in tje 124th session period of the Executive Board of that United Nations organism, sessioning today and tomorrow, also extolls that the small nation is the only one in Latin America 'to have eliminated severe infant malnutrition'.

It also says that 'despite these advancwes, Cuba is highly dependen ton food imports (between 70 and 80 percent of consumption)', thus food security and increase of agricultural and livestock production is a priority for the Cuban government.

The text of the international organization with headquarters in this capital, recognizes that transformation in the agricultural sector of Cuba, presently under way, confer an increasing role to cooperatives that manage 69 percent of farmlands against 31 percent of State áreas.

For this reason, FIDA gives great importance to 'ensujre that cooperatives have the capacities and adequate technologies to respond to the demand of internal production of the country'.

In that sense, the program for Cuba (2019-2024) of that specialized agency has as strategic target to contribute to the development and strengthening of human and social capital of those agricultural production units to improve their productivity and yields, competitiveness and integration in the agricultural and food chains to generate new opportunities for women and youths.

It also pursues to raise the adaptation and resilience capacities of rural families through the diversification of production, in order to reduce the negative impacts of climate change or the economyh and improve food security and nutrition.

In that direction, the plan aims to promote the strengthening of organizations, improve access to management skills, quality technical assistance and the access to market of cooperatives, as well an increasing participation of women and youths.

It includes, describes the report, the promotion of investment, inputs, technical assistance and training for greater diversification of farm production and the adaptation to climate change of small producers, through good practices, information systems and early warning, as well as the articulation of other institutions.

Also, IFAD will cooperate in favor of increasing the space of agricultural cooperatives, to incentivate production of the competitive good chains aimed to substitution of imports and increase the consumption of nutritionally adequate foods.

The projects will be directed to the provinces with potential to increase agricultural and forestry production, withj a high degree of cooperative concentration.

Also, the regions east of the country whose rural population is more exposed to climate, social, economic and food vulnerability will be given priority.

IFAD will contribute funds and mobilize additional resources to promote economic progress of inhabitants of poor rural zones, mainly to improve agricultural productivity.

  • Published in Cuba

ALBA Denounces in Geneva Campaigns against Venezuela, Nicaragua

The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) denounced at the UN in Geneva the campaigns aimed at destabilizing the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua, diplomatic sources informed today.

'Those who promote these campaigns use, in a selective and politically motivated way, the issue of human rights, with the spurious purpose of creating the conditions to destabilize the legitimate governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua,' deplored the Cuban Ambassador, Pedro Luis Pedroso, on behalf of 11 ALBA countries.

Speaking at the 39th session of the Human Rights Council, he said that 'this is part of the imperial attack against leftist governments and movements in Latin America with the complicity of the usual amanuenses in the region.'

He also denounced the attempts to use the Human Rights Council to undermine democracy in Venezuela and Nicaragua, with the purpose of intervening in the internal affairs of free, sovereign and independent nations.

'We demand the strict observance of the universal principles of respect for the sovereignty of states and the self-determination of peoples, enshrined in the UN Charter,' he said.

  • Published in World

Cuban Mission at UN Warns of US Blockade's Damage

Cuba''s diplomatic mission at UN stressed how the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States, which is now intensifying its actions, is a brake on achieving sustainable development.

That siege is the main obstacle to the development of all Cuban economy's potentialities, the diplomatic representative said through a press release.

The blockade is the main obstacle to the development of the economic, commercial and financial relations between Havana and Washington, and due to its extraterritorial nature, Cuba with the rest of the world, it also stressed.

This policy, which is still in force after 56 years, is a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of the Cuban people and is described as an act of genocide, in accordance with the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted in 1948, the Cuban mission said.

At the same time, it ignores the 26 resolutions adopted by the international community within the framework of the UN General Assembly and that dictate the end, without any conditioning, of its actions on Cuba.

This is also reflected in the most recent report on the damage caused by the blockade on Cuba, a mechanism that violates the Charter of the United Nations and International Law, and represents an obstacle to cooperation.

According to that report, only from April 2017 to March 2018, that hostile policy has caused losses to Cuba valued at $4.32 billion USD.

This is so far the most unjust, severe and prolonged system of unilateral sanctions that has been applied against any country, since it was instituted on February 3, 1962, by John F. Kennedy, who served as the 35th president of the United States.

The increase in the negative effects of the worsening of the blockade on the state economy and the non-state sector of the island are evident as of the serious setback in the bilateral relations, imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump and embodied in the memorandum signed on June 16, 2017.

In November 2017, the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Treasury and State issued new regulations and provisions that strengthened the extraterritorial application of the blockade and intensified the persecution of financial transactions and banking and credit operations with Cuba globally.

  • Published in Cuba

UN to Set Off Alarm on Climate Change Global Emergency

UN Secretary General, António Guterres, announced today he would set off alarms on the global emergency that means climate change, topic to which he gives priority since assuming his post.

Through his official Twitter account, the top representative of the UN, shared a video with advances on the topics to be presented in a speech this Monday.

'We all, governments, businesspeople, consumers... have to make changes and more than that, we have to be that change', said Guterres in that audiovisual film.

Climate change is an undeniable fact, science has so confirmed and solutions to face this problem look us in the face -said the Portuguese diplomat- it is time already to abandon the way to suicidal emissions.

These may not be easy times, but change is urgent for the good of generations today and those of the future, he stressed.

In his most recent alert on the issue, last month Guterres highlighted that climate change is also an emergency of public health, expected to cause 250 thousand additional deaths each year from 2030 to 2050.

That is included in a report of the World Health Organization (WHO), that shows the need for an urgent climate action, he added.

Any place, be it a little island, a great city or a rural town, is exposed to the threats of climate change to the health of persons, he indicated.

According to WHO, climate change affects social and environmental factors of health: clean air, potable wáter, enough food and secure refuge.

Over the last 50 years, human activity -mainly in the burning of fossile fuels- have liberated enough amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to trap additional heat in the lower atmosphere ansd affect world climate, detailed the WHO report.

The sea levels rise, glaciers melt and the patterns of precipitation change, while extreme climate events are ever more intense and frequent.

  • Published in World

Cuba Describes U.S. Blockade as Main Obstacle for Its Development

Havana, Sep 2 (Prensa Latina) The economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States constitutes the main obstacle for the development of Cuba, as it affects plans aimed at the country''s progress, denounced the island's government.

In its most recent report on the impact of the current fence for almost six decades, Havana warned that it slows down the implementation of the Cuban Economic and Social Development Plan and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the latter adopted in 2015 by the 193 member states of the UN.

According to the Cuban Foreign Affairs Ministry, the blockade not only hits the links with the United States, but its extraterritorial nature also attacks economic, commercial and financial exchanges with the rest of the world.

On October 31, the United Nations General Assembly will vote for the twenty-seventh consecutive occasion since 1992 a draft resolution demanding the lifting of sanctions imposed on the island, an initiative similar to the ones that have always been categorically supported by 191 countries in the last three years.

According to the report of the Cuban Foreign Ministry facing the new vote, the blockade accumulates damages that reach 933.6 billion dollars, taking into account the depreciation of the dollar against the value of gold in the international market.

The arrival of Repulican President Donald Trump at the White House in January of 2017, meant an additional hit to the efforts of the Caribbean country in pursuit of its socio-economic development.

'Many foreign counterparts have interpreted that they can not make deals or continue operating with the companies included in the list,' the report stressed.

  • Published in Cuba

Lula's Lawyers: Unthinkable to Disrespect UN Decision

Defense lawyers of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva challenged the possibility that the Brazilian state evades the decision of the UN's Human Rights Committee about his right to be presidential candidate.

It is 'unthinkable and incompatible with good faith' to breach such resolution after Brazil confirmed i 2009 its commitment to respect the decisions of that international organ, valued lawyers Cristiano Zanin Martins and Valeska Teixeira Zanin Martins.

In an article published the eve in the daily Brasil do Fato, the jurists said they didn't believe that Brazil 'let to be contaminated by the old temptation of countries that deny protection to fundamental guarantees through the invocation of regulations of domestic Law'.

We hope Brazilian authorities and also the non-state agents involved in any way in the issuwe comply with the decisions of such Committee, because an eventual international responsibility will survive governments, mandates, nominations or concessions, they warned.

According to the lawyers, in the Lula case 'we look to overcome the distance between theory and the real validity of human rights'.

Last Friday, that UN organ established through a measure that Lula, political prisoner for 139 days, be guaranteed his political rights, including those pertaining to his presidential candidacy 'until all pending resources of revisión against his sentence be completed in a just procedure'.

However, both the minister of Justice Torquato Jardim, as the Ministry of Foreign Relations and the minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) Alexandre de Moraes, publicly assumed opposed positions to the mandate of the international organization.

In that sense, the lawyers alerted that 'other voices', generally those interested in preventing for some motive Lula's presidential nomination, attempt to turn the decision and the obligation to be complied by the country in simple 'recommendation' or in a situation of less juridical relevance.

Nothing more ridiculous, they stressed before repeating that in 2009, in a sovereign and juridically valid way, Brazil recognized the jurisdiction of the UN Committee of Human Rights when it approved the Facultative Protocol to the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights through the Legislative Decree 311/2009.

'It is right to say that it was not compulsory -the approval of the protocol and the jurisdiction of the committee -turned obligatory and linking from the edition of that normative act', they stressed.

Besides the existence of that decree, they added, Brazil was notified about Lula's case and, since then, presented three demands before that organ, in none of which, the country recused the jurisdiction of the Committee to analyze the violations committed against Lula or the linking nature of the decisions made by that instance.

  • Published in World

Kofi Annan, Former Secretary General Who Redefined UN, Dies At 80

Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary General and Nobel Peace Laureate, has died. He was 80. A statement posted on his Twitter account said, Kofi Annan died after a short illness. "It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness," the foundation said in a statement.

News agency Reuters says Kofi Annan died at a hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of Saturday.

Kofi Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world's top diplomat - United Nations Secretary General - serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

He, along with the United Nations, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world".

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said Kofi Annan was the "guiding force for good".

"In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organisation into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination," he added.

"Today we mourn the loss of a great man, a leader, and a visionary: former @UN Secretary General @KofiAnnan. A life well lived. A life worth celebrating," a United Nations migration body tweeted.

Kofi Annan was married and had three children.

Following is the full text of the statement announcing Kofi Annan's death by his foundation:

It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness. His wife Nane and their children Ama, Kojo and Nina were by his side during his last days. 

Kofi Annan was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world. During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law. 

After stepping down from the United Nations, he continued to work tirelessly in the cause of peace through his chairmanship of the Kofi Annan Foundation and as chair of The Elders, the group founded by Nelson Mandela. He was an inspiration to young and old alike. 

Kofi Annan was a son of Ghana and felt a special responsibility towards Africa. He was particularly committed to African development and deeply engaged in many initiatives, including his chairmanship of the Africa Progress Panel and his early leadership of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). 

Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy. He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did. He will be greatly missed by so many around the world, as well as his staff at the Foundation and his many former colleagues in the United Nations system. He will remain in our hearts forever. 

The family kindly requests privacy at this time of mourning. Arrangements to celebrate his remarkable life will be announced later.

  • Published in World

UN: Authorities Should Allow Lula to Participate in Brazilian Elections, Respect 'Political Rights'

The decision includes Lula's right to participate in media events and debates.

The United Nations' Human Rights Committee has determined that the Brazilian state must “take all necessary measures” to allow Brazilian presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to exercise his full political rights as a candidate in the October presidential elections.

RELATED: US, Brazil Negotiating Use of Alcântara Launch Center

The decision, which includes Lula's right to participate in media events and debates, as well as convene with members of his Workers' Party, comes despite the fact that the former head of state remains imprisoned at Curitiba's federal police station. The U.N. committee also said Lula should not prevented from participating in the elections until all of his legal appeals have been exhausted, per Brazil's Constitution.

Lula has continued to stay in touch with supporters and citizens via regular media releases and letters. On Thursday, he sent a Twitter message warning about threats to the country's sovereignty. 

“Brazil must open its eyes and impede” the senate-president Michel Temer from “handing over the Alcantara missile and rocket launching base to the United States of America," he said.

“An American military base in our territory harms our sovereignty and is a threat to our position of peace and dialogue in the world.” The former head of state and co-founder of the Workers' Party concluded that “We can't go back and become a colony to no one.”

James Mattis, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, began his first South American tour last Sunday when he arrived in Brazil. He met with senior officials and defense leaders to discuss, among a host of issues, U.S. participation in the Alcantara military space station. He also spoke at the Escola Superior de Guerra, the country's college for politics, defense and strategy. 

“We want to be your partner, especially if trouble looms,” Mattis told students and others in attendance.

“Our native languages may be different, but four decades of military service have persuaded me that the profession of arms has a language of its own and a way of turning strangers into the family... I want any adversary to know that they are better off to deal with our secretary of state and our diplomats. They do not want to deal with my soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and me."

Shortly after visiting Lula at Curitiba's Federal Police Station, Brazil's former Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim, said Lula is outraged by Temer's submission to the U.S. Secretary of Defense.

"The times when a U.S. representative came to (Brazil) to give orders had passed, but now they are returning. The former president is outraged be the handing over of our sovereignty, which threatens Petrobras and public banks," Amorim said.

Mattis' agenda included visits to defense authorities in Argentina, Chile, and Colombia according to details provided by the Department of Defence.

Ties between the United States and the governments of Brazil and Argentina have improved considerably since the impeachment process against elected president Dilma Rousseff, and the victory of businessman Mauricio Macri in Argentina. 

Since then, Brazil's unelected president Michel Temer has invited the U.S. to use the Alcantara missile and rocket launching base and to conduct joint military exercises in the Amazon, while Argentina's Macri reached an agreement with the U.S. in 2016, allowing the U.S. to build three bases.

Despite his conviction and imprisonment for corruption, events that many legal experts and observers attribute to lawfare and a salacious mainstream media campaign, Lula has topped every 2018 electoral poll conducted by Vox Populi, Ibope, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos.

Lula's two terms in office were marked by a slew of social programs, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removing the country from the United Nations World Hunger Map. He left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent in 2011, according to Datafolha.

  • Published in World
Subscribe to this RSS feed