Juventud Rebelde - Diario de la Juventud Cubana

Cuba on the Road to Sustainable Development

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), global action platform for 2030 focused on people and their fundamental rights, consist of eliminating poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperityfor all. Its 17 objectives include the different realities, capacities and levels of development of the countries and respect national policies and priorities. JR approached some aspects of how the work is implemented in Cuba


Juventud Rebelde

No Poverty

The distribution of wealth is guaranteed in terms of health, education and social welfare, which has contributed to the achievement of a high Human Development Index placing Cuba in the 68th place in the world ranking and eighth in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the 2016Human Development Report, published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Zero Hunger

Cuba has earned the recognition of the United Nations for Food and Agriculture (FAO) for its achievements in the fight against hunger. In this regard, it is one of the eight countries in the region that has managed to eradicate hunger completely, which makes it a benchmark for food security in Latin America and the Caribbean. All this, thanks to the continuous application of policies aimed at guaranteeing the availability, access and correct use of food.

Good Health and Well-Being

In the first semester of 2017, the infant mortality rate was 4.1 per thousand live births, which places Cuba among the first 20 nations in the world and together with Canada at the head of the Americas in this indicator . It brought down the maternal mortality rate by 37.8 per 100 000 live births, while the survival of newborns remains at 99.2 percent, according to the Maternal and Child Program. Life expectancy is up to 79 years, as revealed by the National Statistics and Information Office (ONEI), the Public Health Ministry confirmed that more than 2 100 centenarians currently live in Cuba. In 2015, it became the first country in the world to eradicate the HIV-AIDS and congenital syphilis transmissionfrom mother to child.

Quality Education

The Declarationof Human Rights states the universal right to education. This must be free, at least in elementary and fundamental stages. Standing at 30 out of 188 on the average.Cubaguaranteesuniversal and free education for the population over 25 years old, at all levels, under the principles ofmassive character, equity, democratic involvement of the whole society in the education-related tasks of the people, the coeducation and the open school to diversity, the differentiated attention and the school integration.

Gender Equality

Cuba was the first country to sign and the second to ratify the convention on the elimination of all types of discrimination against women and complies with the international commitments on gender equality and women's empowerment agreed in the Declaration and Platform for Action of Beijing and the Declaration and Program of Action on Population and Development.

There is universal access to health services, education and others, without discrimination based on gender, which is endorsed in the Constitution.

In the labor sector, while women in the world earn between 10 and 30 percent less than a man in the same position, in Cuba there is equal pay.

Clean Water and Sanitation

Cuba defends the importance of public policies that guarantee water security and the population's access to water, as a fundamental human right.Therefore, it carries out permanent work in the sanitation and management of this important resource. Recently, with the approval of the Law of inland waters, its integrated and sustainable management was ordered, regarding the general interest of the society, and it established the steps for its protection.

Affordable and Clean Energy

The National Economic and Social Development Plan until 2030 aims to achieve a 24% share of energyrenewable sources in electricity production, which today amounts to just over 4%. By the early 2017, 22 wind farms with a generating capacity of 37 MW were operating in the national territory. By the end of the year, seven more wind farms with a capacity of 15 MW will be completed, according tothe Ministry of Energy and Mining. Meanwhile, the Azcubacompany points out that the Cuban sugar industry currently generates 37 kiloWatts / hours per each ton of sugar cane; and contributesto the country with15 %of the electricity it produces with cane biomass.

Decent Work

The Cuban Labor Code stipulates the right of every citizen to have a job, equality in work, training and improvement, rest, paid vacations and social security. Recently, in the Conceptualization of the Cuban Social and Economic Development Model it was established that the State guarantees these rights mainly "by promoting new and diverse sources of employment and public policies that favor their generation". At the end of September, 579,415 Cubans were self-employees.

Industry Innovation and Infrastructure

The Conceptualization ... stresses the importance of progress and the application of the results of science, technology and innovation in the achievement of a thriving and sustainable socialist society. The Cuban State promotes "science, technology and innovation in different fields" and "conducts and encourages scientific and technological results to be applied and generalized in production and services".

Reduced Inequalities

Cuba establishes the economic inclusion of everyone, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity. It also guarantees equal access to education and health services, while promoting the end of global disparities and actively takes part in global and regional forums, especially in blocks of underdeveloped or developing countries, and promotes solidarity and international cooperation.

Sustainable Cities and Communities

«Economic, social and environmental sustainability is associated with development, and requires rhythms and growth structures of the economy that ensure: prosperity with social justice and equity in tune with the environment, rational use and preservation of natural resources, as well as the safetyand enrichment of the nation's heritage », as specifiedby the text of the Conceptualization ...

Responsible Production and Consumption

Law 1288/75 is in force, which requires state entities to collect waste from their production and deliver it to Raw Materials.

By mid-year, the Union of Raw Material Recovery Companies had managed to recycle and sell around 200,000 tons. In addition, rational and efficient consumption of national resources is advocated and energy saving campaigns are carried out throughout the country.

Climate Action

Cuba belongs to the United Nations Convention Against Desertification, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.

It carries out a program for the reduction of polluting gases into the atmosphere and approved the State Plan to take on climate change, called Tarea Vida, which includes risk and impact studies, comprehensive monitoring of the coastal zone, sectoral projects and the territorial ordering. In addition, the Plan foresees a greater investment in the development and use of renewable energy sources in Cuba.

Life Below Water

The sea surrounding us is an important asset in the Cuban economy, based on the attractions of the beaches for national and international tourism. For this reason, various tasks are undertaken to rescue these ecosystems, for example the so-called footbridges of the Santa María beach, one of the actions developed for the protection of the dunes. In addition, an intensive control of marine species is carried out and six Ramsar sites have been decreed (wetlands of international importance).

Life on Land

The National System of Protected Areas covers 21.74 % of the Cuban territory in all its variants and categories, and includes the seven existing Special Sustainable Development Regions and two proposals that cover the five mountain ranges (Guaniguanico, Guamuhaya, Bamburanao, Nipe -Sagua-Baracoa and Sierra Maestra), the largest wetland in the Insular Caribbean (Ciénaga de Zapata) and the two largest systems of cayes in the country (archipelagos Sabana-Camagüey and Canarreos).

There are also six Biosphere Reserves and two Natural Heritage Sites of Humanity.

Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

In the Latin American and global environment, Cuba is one of the countries with lowestincidence of violence. Likewise, legal advisoryis available for the population and the political system is structured from the people through the People’s PowerAssemblies.

Cuba was also the scene of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.

Partnerships for the Goals

The road to sustainable development is just beginning and Cuba remains in favor of integration and partnerships, considering them as relevant to achieve the proposed goals, thus fulfilling UNDP expectations. Among them, it is an active part of the ALBA-TCP, CELAC and other regional mechanisms.

(Photos: JR Digital Archives)

Translated by ESTI

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