Plenary session of the 73rd UN General Assembly. Photo: UN Photo: Granma

MORE than 44 heads of state and 24 heads of government are among the 141 speakers who have asked to address the high-level plenary meeting known as the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York today.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel is among them, and will address the UN not only as part of this Summit today, but also at the General Assembly on September 26, marking 58 years since Fidel’s historic speech here.

The Cuban President is accompanied by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, and Jorge Luis Perdomo, Minister of Communications.
Díaz-Canel will be the fifteenth Head of State to speak at the Assembly in New York on September 26, which is dedicated to commemorating the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

In UN General Assembly Resolution 72/243, adopted on December 22, 2017, member states decided to hold a high-level plenary meeting on global peace in honor of the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela.

Member states are expected to adopt a Political Declaration, which has been drafted throughout the year. The text declares 2019-2028 the “Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace” and calls on all world leaders to “make the impossible possible” and “redouble efforts to pursue international peace and security, development and human rights.”

Heads of State and Government meeting today will address the extraordinary legacy of the South African leader in the promotion of a global culture of peace, social justice and in the fight against poverty.

Mandela, imprisoned for his opposition to the apartheid system, called on the international community to make the world “a better place,” and was an example of integrity and commitment to humanity. His humanitarian work in areas such as the defense of the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, poor and underdeveloped communities, and in the promotion of global peace, will be honored and recognized in the meeting.

It will be recalled that the founding purpose of the UN is to protect succeeding generations from the scourge of war, maintain international peace and security, and prevent and eliminate threats to peace in a world in permanent conflict.