En este momento estás viendo Cuban Vice-President addresses Small Island Developing States Conference
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Cuban Vice-President addresses Small Island Developing States Conference

Salvador Valdés Mesa, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba and Vice-President of the Republic of Cuba, spoke today at the IV Conference of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which is being held in Antigua and Barbuda.

Because of its importance, we are transmitting his speech in full.

Speech by the Vice-President of the Republic of Cuba, Salvador Valdés Mesa, at the general debate of the IV Conference of Small Island Developing States. Antigua and Barbuda, 27 to 30 May.


Your Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates and guests,

I am honoured to attend this historic gathering, on the soil of the sister Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, to which we are bound by enduring ties of friendship.

Since the adoption ten years ago of the Samoa Pathway, new and greater challenges have emerged.

Our nations face an adverse and challenging international economic landscape, characterised by high levels of indebtedness, inflation, food, energy and climate crises and limited access to finance as middle income countries.

They concentrate the greatest losses due to climate change and natural disasters, which generate annual costs equivalent to 8% of our national income.

The persistent development challenges facing our countries require adequate provision and mobilisation of all means of implementation, cooperation and solidarity urgently needed to achieve the internationally agreed goals.

Any such efforts will be limited without a thorough and comprehensive reform of the international financial architecture that provides fair treatment to developing countries, both in the decision-making process and in access to finance.

In this effort, we welcome the new programme of action that considers the establishment of a specific debt sustainability support facility for Small Island Developing States.

We also reiterate the need to establish a package of measures beyond Gross Domestic Product to access concessional financing and to develop trade rules that take into account our special circumstances.


For our countries, the cost of climate adaptation is between $22 billion and $26 billion per year. In this regard, we support the agreement to double adaptation finance and the timely implementation of the Global Adaptation Goal.

We call for the mobilisation of new, additional, predictable and adequate international resources to capitalise the climate change loss and damage fund, ensuring that our priorities and needs are taken into account.

Under this vision, we advocate for the advancement of the process for the establishment of a new quantified global goal on climate finance at COP29.

In this regard, we recognise the relevance of the Bridgetown Initiative.


We appreciate the valuable expressions of solidarity of the Small Island Developing States in calling for the end of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on my country more than 60 years ago by the United States government, unprecedentedly intensified in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and reject the arbitrary and unjust inclusion of Cuba in the unilateral list of alleged State sponsors of terrorism.

Despite this illegal siege, Cuba has set clear economic and social goals, reflected in universal and free access to health and education; a robust science, technology and innovation system; and an ambitious National Plan to Combat Climate Change.

In line with our permanent vocation of solidarity, we reiterate our willingness to make available the 17 cooperation projects promoted by Cuba during its Presidency of the G77 and China last year.

We also support efforts to establish a Small Island Developing States Centre of Excellence in Antigua and Barbuda.


Progress in the exercise of our right to development, which is also our nations’ right to exist, requires the fulfilment of the commitments contained in the 2030 Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement. Only then will we be able to implement the common roadmap we have set for ourselves, without the permanent threat of disappearing from our dreams.

Thank you very much.

(Taken from Cubaminrex)

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