NEW YORK.—On Sunday, September 28, President Raúl Castro Ruz spoke at the United Nations during the Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, which for the first time saw heads of state and government meeting at the UN headquarters to make tangible commitments to eradicating discrimination. During his speech, the Cuban President highlighted the profound advances made by Cuba in this crucial area.
After listing some of the achievements of the Revolution, he noted that much remains to be done and work continues to change cultural norms.
Raúl stated that 70 years after the creation of the United Nations “we do not deny that there have been achievements in recent decades, but they are fragile and insufficient.”
The meeting, which was attended by leaders from over 80 countries, was convened by the UN and the People's Republic of China. The event also marked the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and its accompanying Platform for Action.
The conference was timed to coincide with the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, in order to position gender equality at the center of global concerns.
The event was the culmination of an 18-month process conducted by UN Women to review the status of implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. A record 167 countries conducted national surveys that assessed progress and shortcomings as a basis for adopting new plans to accelerate women's empowerment and gender equality.
RAÚL HOLDS BILATERAL MEETINGS
Over the past three days, the Cuban President, together with the official delegation accompanying him, has carried out an intensive agenda in order to take advantage of his visit to the city. As well as activities at the headquarters of the United Nations, Raúl held very important and fruitful meetings, starting early in the morning and continuing until nightfall.
On Sunday, shortly after his participation in the Global Leaders' Meeting, Raúl met with the President of Guyana, David Granger, who was elected last May. The two held a friendly conversation where they stressed the importance of integration in the region and exchanged views on bilateral issues.
The Cuban President then met with the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, a country with which Cuba maintains excellent ties. At the meeting they discussed the interest of both governments to continue strengthening political relations and economic and trade cooperation. It is worth remembering that Lukashenko last visited Havana in 2012, while his foreign minister visited more recently.
Sunday also saw the ceremony to mark the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Marshall Islands at the UN headquarters, an agreement which was signed by the foreign ministers of the two countries in the presence of Raúl and President Christopher Loeak.
This Monday will see the high-level debate of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The Cuban President is expected to speak during the afternoon session.