The President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz addressed the United Nations summit on sustainable development objectives for the period 2015-2030, this morning, Saturday September 26.

Cuba’s President spoke briefly and forcefully about problems affecting the world today, such as the migration crisis caused by war, and the difficult economic conditions which part of humanity face, reflected in the growing gap between North and South, and the concentration of wealth.

Raúl emphasized the importance of discussion on issues like the UN sustainable development objectives, which require agreement on plans for concrete action.

If we want a livable world, of peace and harmony among nations, of democracy, social justice and respect for the human rights of all, he said, we must make tangible commitments in terms of material aid to development and solving the problem of debt, already paid several times over.

It will be necessary, he continued, to create a new international financial structure, eliminate the monopoly over technology and knowledge held by industrialized nations, and that these countries accept their historical debt, on the basis of common, but differentiated, responsibility.

The lack of resources cannot be used as a pretext to not do so, since billions of dollars are invested every year in weaponry, he emphasized.

The Cuban President stated that the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, the opening of embassies, and changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba announced by President Obama constitute an important step forward which has received international support.

Nevertheless, he said, the economic, commercial, financial blockade has persisted over five decades, causing the Cuban people harm and depravation, the primary obstacle to the country’s development; affects other countries as a result of its extraterritorial application; and is detrimental to the interests of U.S. citizens and companies. Moreover, the blockade has been denounced on numerous occasions by an overwhelming majority of United Nations member countries, he pointed out.

Despite all of this, Cuba met the millennium objectives, and offered help to other countries in several areas, which we will continue to do with our modest efforts, Raúl said. We will not renounce solidarity, the struggle for human dignity and social justice, which are profound convictions of our socialist society, he concluded.