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WE EXPRESS SOLIDARITY WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF PM GONSALVES AND PEOPLE OF ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES – JAMAICA PEACE COUNCIL

Press Release: April 10,2021

The Jamaica Peace Council expresses solidarity with the government of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) as many face being uprooted from their precious homeland because of the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano.

We salute the countries of the Latin American and Caribbean region and the rest of the world who are stepping up in a spirit of peaceful cooperation to assist SVG despite their own struggles with the current pandemic and the cyclic global economic crisis. We know our Jamaican people will give their support through the Office of Disaster Preparedness (ODP) or any other reputable local organisation which will coordinate our response to this regional emergency by advising us of the drop-off points and accounts for making our contribution. In the case of Cuba and Venezuela, they have the added handicap of crippling economic sanctions and an unjust US blockade in defiance of the continued condemnation by the nations of the UN but, as usual, they are responding to the dire need of our neighbours.

The disaster unfolding from the La Soufriere volcanic eruption presses home the urgent need for global and regional peace so that resources wasted on building antagonism, aggression and wars between nations can be redirected to scientific research. Such a shift of resources will help to keep humanity safe and proactive in dealing with natural emergencies and increase our chances of living in harmony with nature. Now more than ever we must demand world peace in our collective fight against man-made disasters like imperialist wars and escalating poverty, as all we have are ourselves to count on for our common survival as peoples.

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CUBA and CARICOM in the battle against COVID

 

by David Comissiong, Ambassador to CARICOM, Barbados
 
On Friday 22nd January 2021, I had the honour and privilege of being a member of the welcoming party that was on hand at the Grantley Adams International Airport to welcome to Barbados a team of some 15 Cuban doctors and laboratory specialists that had made its way to Barbados on an Air Antilles charter flight, in order to bolster the human and technical resources available to our country in its herculean fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
And, of course, this team of Cuban medical specialists was the second such medical team that had made its invaluable services available to our country in the fight against COVID-19.  Indeed, way back in April 2020, a one hundred member strong contingent of Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade – 99 specialist nurses and 1 doctor – had come to Barbados to help man our newly established COVID-19 Isolation Medical Facility and to provide other crucial medical services.  Some nine months later, that first medical team is still in Barbados saving lives.
 
But, as impressive as this is, this is only the Barbados chapter of the story of Cuba’s medical assistance to our Caribbean Community!  It needs to be recorded that our sister Caribbean nation of Cuba has sent Medical teams to virtually every single independent CARICOM member state over the past ten months to assist in the life and death struggle against the coronavirus.
 
And it is precisely because we in the Caribbean are so conscious and proud of Cuba’s decades-long record of regional and international humanitarian service, that our CARICOM Heads of Government have so trenchantly rejected and denounced the ignoble effort that a number of members in the Senate of the United States of America have been making to legislatively characterize the Cuban medical brigades as a form of human trafficking.
 
When this wicked and mischievous notion was first raised in the US Senate early in 2020, our CARICOM Heads of Government grasped the opportunity of their February 2020 Summit in Barbados to express:-
 
“their deep appreciation for the medical assistance provided by Cuba … over the years … (and) acknowledged … of their own first-hand knowledge that the persons sent have added tremendous value to helping their citizens.  They repudiated the statement that this medical assistance given by the Cubans was a form of human trafficking.”
 
And then, later in the year – at the 8th of December 2020 CARICOM-Cuba Summit – our heads of Government embraced the opportunity to reiterate their message as follows:-
 
“We reject any attempt to discredit, distort or disrupt the Cuban medical assistance to the region; an important aid to the Caribbean healthcare system.”
 
It is therefore to be fervently hoped that these two forthright, principled and trenchant CARICOM declarations have sent a righteous Caribbean message to the US Senate, and that the shameful efforts of Republican Senators Cruz, Scott, Rubio and Menendez to defame Cuba’s highly respected international medical brigade programme will be heard of no more.
 
But it is not only Cuba’s medical teams that are of such critical importance to our Caribbean Community.  There is also the other little matter of a COVID-19 vaccine.
 
As we all should be aware, our Caribbean Community – the most tourism and travel dependent region of the entire world – is in desperate need of COVID-19 vaccines to protect – first of all – our frontline health and tourism workers, and then the rest of our 18 million strong regional population.
 
And so, in a situation in which a number of the world’s wealthiest nations have engaged in actions that have had the effect of monopolizing much of the world’s current supply of COVID-19 vaccines, our CARICOM governments have been proactively seeking out every possible source of such vaccines.
 
Not only have we signed up to the World Health Organization (WHO) COVAX scheme and made down payments for vaccines that we expect to receive under that programme, but we have also reached out to the African Union (AU) to secure participation in their “Africa Medical Supplies Platform”; to China; to a number of the relevant pharmaceutical multi-national companies, and the list goes on.
 
But even in this advanced, high technology sphere Cuba is proudly flying the Caribbean flag and is offering us much cause for hope.
 
You see, on Wednesday 20th January 2021, the Associated Press (AP) reported that Cuba has commenced upon the second part of Phase II of a trial of the “Soberana 02” COVID-19 vaccine that has been developed by Cuba’s world famous Finlay Vaccine and Serum Institute.  And, according to Dr. Vincente Verez, the Director of the Institute, the plan is to manufacture some 100 million doses of the vaccine!
 
It should also be noted that Soberana 02 is not the only COVID-19 vaccine that our Cuban brothers and sisters have developed.  There are also the Soberana 01, the Adbala, and the Mambisa vaccine candidates.  It is fair to say, however, that the Soberana 02 offers the greatest promise and is the most advanced where research and testing is concerned.
 
We Caribbean people can therefore take comfort from the fact that we possess our own indigenous and autonomous sources of strength in virtually every field of endeavour, inclusive of the critical life and death sphere of public health.  The key, however, to those “sources of strength” is our integration and unity – our Caribbean integration and unity!
 
As mighty and as deadly as this COVID-19 pandemic is, we can be confident that when we combine together the resources of such CARICOM institutions as our Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and CARICOM Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), as well as such associate institutions as the Regional Security System (RSS) and the University of the West Indies (UWI), along with such powerful Cuban entities as the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade, the Finlay Institute, the Cuban Civil Defence, and many others, there is virtually no emergency that is beyond our collective capacity to respond to and to overcome.
 
Indeed, the late great Errol Walton Barrow – national hero of Barbados – put it succinctly and eloquently when he stated – “the Caribbean is, after all, a civilization”.
 
This is the self-belief and self-confidence that we must arm ourselves with as we march forward shoulder to shoulder with our Cuban compatriots, determined to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
 

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The Biden-Harris Team Must Be Brave Enough – Jamaica Peace Council


Biden's Inauguration to Feature Virtual Parade | PEOPLE.com



The Jamaica Peace Council welcomes the major shift in tone, direction and posture represented by the new US administration. The inauguration of the Biden-Harris administration came at a time when Americans were engulfed with a feeling of hopelessness as the pandemic ravaged the country while leadership seemed to be missing. Symbolizing repentance, the Biden-Harris administration, ahead of their inauguration, held a memorial for the 408,000 citizens who had died from the corona virus pandemic, showing the empathy and respect for human dignity which was previously lacking. This was a fitting backdrop to their immediate initiatives to stem the spread of Covid 19, step up the vaccine campaign and make negative COVID results mandatory for travel. Among the other laudable initiatives from a $2 trillion allocation are assistance to qualifying individuals and families, and failing small businesses in order to avert the growing economic depression.

We applaud the shift towards placing a high value on global health and the issue of climate change by rejoining the World Health Organisation and the Paris Climate Accord while also ending the Keystone XL pipeline project at home.

The new US administration signaled immediate action to address burning immigrants’ issues by overhauling immigration laws to give migrants a sense of hope, inclusivity and a clear path to citizenship. The lifting of the ban on Muslims is also a positive indication of commitment to diversity and tolerance.

We are heartened by the fact that the Biden-Harris administration chose “racial justice” as one of their priorities on which to take immediate action. This is a victory for the peaceful Black Lives Matter Movement which was vilified and distorted by those who wished to suppress truth.

This new administration seems poised to change the image and role of the USA at home and abroad. In this regard, we urge them to act in solidarity with all nations and seize the opportunity to promote regional and world peace by including the following actions among their top priorities:

1. Lift the 61-year-old cruel blockade against Cuba and remove all sanctions against Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, Iran, Nicaragua, and other countries,  including the ones most recently imposed by he who shall remain nameless.
2. Respect the democratic choice of the Venezuelan people by ending the unmentionable president’s era of recognition of the discredited and delusional imposter, Juan Guiado, and recognize the legitimate and constitutionally elected government of President Nicolas Maduro.
3.Respect the right of all nations to self-determination and control over their natural resources in the interest of their peoples.
4. Promote and model global unity by ending the animosity towards so-called geo-political rivals, China and Russia, and find common ground in the interest of mankind.
5. Stop supporting genocide in the Middle East and elsewhere. 
6. End the bloody wars in Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria and other countries. 
7. Dismantle Africom which is a means of increasing militarization of the African continent to foment ongoing wars and keep the great African people divided against their own fundamental interests.

8. Cease military support to Apartheid Israel, which continues to defy UN decisions re the Palestinian question; and close the US embassy which was established by the one whom we prefer to forget, completely disregarding the global boycott.
9. Recognize the state of Palestine and the right of the Saharoui people (Western Sahara) to a homeland, and support the peaceful settlement of displaced peoples worldwide.
10. Play a positive and harmonious role in the UN, by showing respect for the contributions and concerns of the community of nations in their deliberations, and end the bullying and threats to withdraw resources when the majority opinions prevail.
11. Stop the flow of illegal weapons to other countries, bearing in mind their impact on rising crime and violence, an issue that is of great concern to all Jamaicans.
12. Cut the military budget and invest the funds in human development programmes.
13. Actively support and advocate reparations to the victims of slave trafficking and enslavement in Africa, the  USA and the entire region of Latin America and the Caribbean; and lobby former colonial allies such as the UK, France, Belgium, Portugal, Germany, Spain and others to pay reparations to African peoples world-wide  for the horrific crimes through the slave trade, slavery and colonialism.
14. Actively support and implement reparations to the native peoples of the Americas and officially replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

In addition to the above, we support the demands of US labor unions, student organizations, activists in climate, housing and health matters, and the Black Lives Matter movement for the Biden-Harris Administration to reject “a business as usual” approach to policy and to adopt bold actions to rectify the injustices that are entrenched in American society.

We look forward to the Biden-Harris administration embodying the true greatness of well-thinking American people of all races and ethnicity through substantial contribution to global partnerships, peaceful cooperation and solidarity, thereby contributing to creating the world that we know is possible. As the young inauguration poet laureate Amanda Gorman said in “The Hill We climb”:

“The new dawn balloons as we free it. For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

The Biden-Harris team must be brave enough.

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JPC condemns the US Placement of Cuba on the List of Sponsors of International Terrorism

The Jamaica Peace Council (JPC ), strongly condemns the baseless and misguided decision of the US government in placing Cuba for a second time on their list of countries that are sponsors of international terrorism.

The JPC believes that Cuba’s peaceful and dignified role in international affairs does not in anyway warrant it being placed on any list of nations that sponsor international terrorism. On the contrary, Cuba exports solidarity with the peoples of the world by fighting diseases like Ebola and COVID-19, issuing scholarships for the education of doctors, teachers, engineers and other technically trained personnel, and helping to defeat apartheid and terrorism in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa.

We in the JPC note with serious concern the seeming deranged mindset of President Trump who is considered by most in the US Congress to be a “present threat” to democracy and stability in the US in the wake of his incitement of the terror attack against the Capitol last Wednesday.

As a peace organization, we believe that President Trump is a clear and “present threat” to world peace, stability and particularly sovereign nations like Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Iran, which are asserting their right to self-determination.

We believe that President Trump’s recent action in placing Cuba on the list of countries that the US considers to be sponsors of terrorism is an act of provocation and further economic sabotage against Cuba’s sovereign and peaceful development.

JPC therefore calls on the incoming Biden-Harris administration to not only review and remove Cuba from the list of sponsors of global terrorism, but we are also calling on this new US administration to end the criminal US blockade against Cuba and to normalize relations between the two sovereign neighbors!

Yes to World Peace ☮️!

No to International Bullying of nations!  

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JPC NOMINATES THE INTERNATIONAL CONTINGENT OF DOCTORS SPECIALIZED IN DISASTERS AND SERIOUS EPIDEMICS “HENRY REEVE” FOR THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

Cuban doctors fight coronavirus outbreak around globe - SFGate
Henry Reeve, capitaine de brigade

Dear Mrs. Berit Reiss-Andersen and members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,

The Jamaica Peace Council wishes to nominate the International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disasters and Serious Epidemics “Henry Reeve” for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of the unparalleled sacrifices that they have made in their mission to save human lives across the globe in major disasters and health crises. The contingent grew out of a tradition of international medical response by Cuba that began in 1960 during a major earthquake in Chile. Having been officially launched in 2005, with a view to providing medical assistance to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the contingent has provided emergency medical  assistance to approximately 4 million people and has saved the lives of more than 89,000 people worldwide. More than 9,000 Cuban healthcare professionals have participated in these missions. 

Named after Henry Reeve, an American from Brooklyn, New York, who joined the war on Cuba’s side in their fight for independence from Spain, the contingent, by August 10, 2020, had provided assistance to 45 nations and 5 non-self-governing territories.  In Latin America and the Caribbean, the contingent has worked in 22 states:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Belize (twice)
  • Bolivia
  • Chile (twice)
  • Dominica (twice)
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Grenada
  • Haiti (four times)
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico (three times)
  • Nicaragua
  • Peru (twice)
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Venezuela 

It has also provided services in 5 countries of Asia and Oceania, 12 nations of Sub-Saharan Africa, three North African and Middle East countries, and in three European states: 

  • China
  • Fiji
  • Indonesia
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Angola
  • Cape Verde
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Guinea Conakry (twice)
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Mozambique
  • Sierra Leone (twice)
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • South Africa and Togo
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • Andorra
  • Azerbaijan
  • Italy.

Additionally, the Contingent has assisted the following non-self-governing British and French territories: 

  • Anguilla
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Virgin Islands,
  • Montserrat
  • Martinique.

During the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa (2013-2016), the International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disasters and Serious Epidemics “Henry Reeve” was in the forefront of the effort to save lives.

During the course of five months after COVID 19 was declared a pandemic, the International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disasters and Serious Epidemics “Henry Reeve” served in 38 states, treating 355,785 people and saving 9,736 lives. More than 3,700 Cuban healthcare professionals have taken part in these missions. Notably, 61.2 % of them are women. 

In light of this track record, we firmly believe that the International Contingent  of Doctors Specialized in Disasters and Serious Epidemics “Henry Reeve” meets all the qualifications to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Cuba – the Epitome of Vision 2030

Hardly a day passes when Comandante Fidel Castro’s name is not mentioned, or a memory of him is not evoked. He remains a powerful inspiration to all of us who seek a peaceful world in which to:
• live;
• work;
• raise families;
• safely and sustainably harness and share the natural resources of the earth through peaceful cooperation and in the interest of all humanity;
• develop science and technology to enhance the means of production and standard of living; and
• exist in total harmony with nature.

Like all great heroes of this world, he has left us with a rich legacy of ideas. He has also left us with the fruits of the Cuban Revolution which are shared with the rest of the world in the form of scholarships, nurses, doctors, teachers, engineers and more. The Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade, which has been saving lives in health crises all over the world, is a direct reflection of the magnanimity of Fidel Castro Ruz and the Cuban Revolution. This is why, as we commemorate Fidel’s life on the fourth anniversary of his death, we reiterate the call for the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the fearless volunteers of the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade which have saved more than 80,000 lives worldwide since it was formed in 2005.

Owing to the Cuban Revolution, Cuba is the epitome of the 2030 Vision for sustainable development that the countries of the world were required by the United Nations to write in 2015. Cuba has showed that the way to achieve it is by making the people the driving force of the nation.











Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Download

Follow-up The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development is the central UN platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015.

Preamble This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognise that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which we are announcing today demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. The Goals and targets will stimulate action over the next fifteen years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet: People We are determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment. Planet We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations. Prosperity We are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature. Peace We are determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development. Partnership We are determined to mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalised Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focussed in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people. The interlinkages and integrated nature of the Sustainable Development Goals are of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of the new Agenda is realised. If we realize our ambitions across the full extent of the Agenda, the lives of all will be profoundly improved and our world will be transformed for the better. DECLARATION Introduction 1. We, the Heads of State and Government and High Representatives, meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 25-27 September 2015 as the Organization celebrates its seventieth anniversary, have decided today on new global Sustainable Development Goals. 2. On behalf of the peoples we serve, we have adopted a historic decision on a comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centred set of universal and transformative Goals and targets. We commit ourselves to working tirelessly for the full implementation of this Agenda by 2030. We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. We are committed to achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced and integrated manner. We will also build upon the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals and seek to address their unfinished business. 3. We resolve, between now and 2030, to end poverty and hunger everywhere; to combat inequalities within and among countries; to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; to protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources. We resolve also to create conditions for sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and decent work for all, taking into account different levels of national development and capacities. 4. As we embark on this great collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind. Recognizing that the dignity of the human person is fundamental, we wish to see the Goals and targets met for all nations and peoples and for all segments of society. And we will endeavour to reach the furthest behind first. 5. This is an Agenda of unprecedented scope and significance. It is accepted by all countries and is applicable to all, taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. These are universal goals and targets which involve the entire world, developed and developing countries alike. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development. 6. The Goals and targets are the result of over two years of intensive public consultation and engagement with civil society and other stakeholders around the world, which paid particular attention to the voices of the poorest and most vulnerable. This consultation included valuable work done by the General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals and by the United Nations, whose Secretary-General provided a synthesis report in December 2014. Our vision 7. In these Goals and targets, we are setting out a supremely ambitious and transformational vision. We envisage a world free of poverty, hunger, disease and want, where all life can thrive. We envisage a world free of fear and violence. A world with universal literacy. A world with equitable and universal access to quality education at all levels, to health care and social protection, where physical, mental and social well-being are assured. A world where we reaffirm our commitments regarding the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation and where there is improved hygiene; and where food is sufficient, safe, affordable and nutritious. A world where human habitats are safe, resilient and sustainable and where there is universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy. 8. We envisage a world of universal respect for human rights and human dignity, the rule of law, justice, equality and non-discrimination; of respect for race, ethnicity and cultural diversity; and of equal opportunity permitting the full realization of human potential and contributing to shared prosperity. A world which invests in its children and in which every child grows up free from violence and exploitation. A world in which every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality and all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment have been removed. A just, equitable, tolerant, open and socially inclusive world in which the needs of the most vulnerable are met. 9. We envisage a world in which every country enjoys sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all. A world in which consumption and production patterns and use of all natural resources – from air to land, from rivers, lakes and aquifers to oceans and seas – are sustainable. One in which democracy, good governance and the rule of law as well as an enabling environment at national and international levels, are essential for sustainable development, including sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection and the eradication of poverty and hunger. One in which development and the application of technology are climate-sensitive, respect biodiversity and are resilient. One in which humanity lives in harmony with nature and in which wildlife and other living species are protected. Our shared principles and commitments 10. The new Agenda is guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, including full respect for international law. It is grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international human rights treaties, the Millennium Declaration and the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. It is informed by other instruments such as the Declaration on the Right to Development. 11. We reaffirm the outcomes of all major UN conferences and summits which have laid a solid foundation for sustainable development and have helped to shape the new Agenda. These include the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; the World Summit on Sustainable Development; the World Summit for Social Development; the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Platform for Action; and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+ 20”). We also reaffirm the follow-up to these conferences, including the outcomes of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States; the Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries; and the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. 12. We reaffirm all the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, including, inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, as set out in principle 7 thereof. 13. The challenges and commitments contained in these major conferences and summits are interrelated and call for integrated solutions. To address them effectively, a new approach is needed. Sustainable development recognizes that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, combatting inequality within and among countries, preserving the planet, creating sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and fostering social inclusion are linked to each other and are interdependent. Our world today 14. We are meeting at a time of immense challenges to sustainable development. Billions of our citizens continue to live in poverty and are denied a life of dignity. There are rising inequalities within and among countries. There are enormous disparities of opportunity, wealth and power. Gender inequality remains a key challenge. Unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, is a major concern. Global health threats, more frequent and intense natural disasters, spiralling conflict, violent extremism, terrorism and related humanitarian crises and forced displacement of people threaten to reverse much of the development progress made in recent decades. Natural resource depletion and adverse impacts of environmental degradation, including desertification, drought, land degradation, freshwater scarcity and loss of biodiversity, add to and exacerbate the list of challenges which humanity faces. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and its adverse impacts undermine the ability of all countries to achieve sustainable development. Increases in global temperature, sea level rise, ocean acidification and other climate change impacts are seriously affecting coastal areas and low-lying coastal countries, including many least developed countries and small island developing States. The survival of many societies, and of the biological support systems of the planet, is at risk. 15. It is also, however, a time of immense opportunity. Significant progress has been made in meeting many development challenges. Within the past generation, hundreds of millions of people have emerged from extreme poverty. Access to education has greatly increased for both boys and girls. The spread of information and communications technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies, as does scientific and technological innovation across areas as diverse as medicine and energy. 16. Almost fifteen years ago, the Millennium Development Goals were agreed. These provided an important framework for development and significant progress has been made in a number of areas. But the progress has been uneven, particularly in Africa, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing States, and some of the MDGs remain off-track, in particular those related to maternal, newborn and child health and to reproductive health. We recommit ourselves to the full realization of all the MDGs, including the off-track MDGs, in particular by providing focussed and scaled-up assistance to least developed countries and other countries in special situations, in line with relevant support programmes. The new Agenda builds on the Millennium Development Goals and seeks to complete what these did not achieve, particularly in reaching the most vulnerable. 17. In its scope, however, the framework we are announcing today goes far beyond the MDGs. Alongside continuing development priorities such as poverty eradication, health, education and food security and nutrition, it sets out a wide range of economic, social and environmental objectives. It also promises more peaceful and inclusive societies. It also, crucially, defines means of implementation. Reflecting the integrated approach that we have decided on, there are deep interconnections and many cross-cutting elements across the new Goals and targets. The new Agenda 18. We are announcing today 17 Sustainable Development Goals with 169 associated targets which are integrated and indivisible. Never before have world leaders pledged common action and endeavour across such a broad and universal policy agenda. We are setting out together on the path towards sustainable development, devoting ourselves collectively to the pursuit of global development and of “win-win” cooperation which can bring huge gains to all countries and all parts of the world. We reaffirm that every State has, and shall freely exercise, full permanent sovereignty over all its wealth, natural resources and economic activity. We will implement the Agenda for the full benefit of all, for today’s generation and for future generations. In doing so, we reaffirm our commitment to international law and emphasize that the Agenda is to be implemented in a manner that is consistent with the rights and obligations of states under international law. 19. We reaffirm the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other international instruments relating to human rights and international law. We emphasize the responsibilities of all States, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to respect, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, disability or other status. 20. Realizing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution to progress across all the Goals and targets. The achievement of full human potential and of sustainable development is not possible if one half of humanity continues to be denied its full human rights and opportunities. Women and girls must enjoy equal access to quality education, economic resources and political participation as well as equal opportunities with men and boys for employment, leadership and decision-making at all levels. We will work for a significant increase in investments to close the gender gap and strengthen support for institutions in relation to gender equality and the empowerment of women at the global, regional and national levels. All forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls will be eliminated, including through the engagement of men and boys. The systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the implementation of the Agenda is crucial. 21. The new Goals and targets will come into effect on 1 January 2016 and will guide the decisions we take over the next fifteen years. All of us will work to implement the Agenda within our own countries and at the regional and global levels, taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities We will respect national policy space for sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, in particular for developing states, while remaining consistent with relevant international rules and commitments. We acknowledge also the importance of the regional and sub-regional dimensions, regional economic integration and interconnectivity in sustainable development. Regional and sub-regional frameworks can facilitate the effective translation of sustainable development policies into concrete action at national level. 22. Each country faces specific challenges in its pursuit of sustainable development. The most vulnerable countries and, in particular, African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states deserve special attention, as do countries in situations of conflict and post-conflict countries. There are also serious challenges within many middle-income countries. 23. People who are vulnerable must be empowered. Those whose needs are reflected in the Agenda include all children, youth, persons with disabilities (of whom more than 80% live in poverty), people living with HIV/AIDS, older persons, indigenous peoples, refugees and internally displaced persons and migrants. We resolve to take further effective measures and actions, in conformity with international law, to remove obstacles and constraints, strengthen support and meet the special needs of people living in areas affected by complex humanitarian emergencies and in areas affected by terrorism. 24. We are committed to ending poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including by eradicating extreme poverty by 2030. All people must enjoy a basic standard of living, including through social protection systems. We are also determined to end hunger and to achieve food security as a matter of priority and to end all forms of malnutrition. In this regard, we reaffirm the important role and inclusive nature of the Committee on World Food Security and welcome the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and Framework for Action. We will devote resources to developing rural areas and sustainable agriculture and fisheries, supporting smallholder farmers, especially women farmers, herders and fishers in developing countries, particularly least developed countries. 25. We commit to providing inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels – early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary, technical and vocational training. All people, irrespective of sex, age, race, ethnicity, and persons with disabilities, migrants, indigenous peoples, children and youth, especially those in vulnerable situations, should have access to life-long learning opportunities that help them acquire the knowledge and skills needed to exploit opportunities and to participate fully in society. We will strive to provide children and youth with a nurturing environment for the full realization of their rights and capabilities, helping our countries to reap the demographic dividend including through safe schools and cohesive communities and families. 26. To promote physical and mental health and well-being, and to extend life expectancy for all, we must achieve universal health coverage and access to quality health care. No one must be left behind. We commit to accelerating the progress made to date in reducing newborn, child and maternal mortality by ending all such preventable deaths before 2030. We are committed to ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education. We will equally accelerate the pace of progress made in fighting malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis, Ebola and other communicable diseases and epidemics, including by addressing growing anti-microbial resistance and the problem of unattended diseases affecting developing countries. We are committed to the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases, including behavioural, developmental and neurological disorders, which constitute a major challenge for sustainable development. 27. We will seek to build strong economic foundations for all our countries. Sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth is essential for prosperity. This will only be possible if wealth is shared and income inequality is addressed. We will work to build dynamic, sustainable, innovative and people-centred economies, promoting youth employment and women’s economic empowerment, in particular, and decent work for all. We will eradicate forced labour and human trafficking and end child labour in all its forms. All countries stand to benefit from having a healthy and well-educated workforce with the knowledge and skills needed for productive and fulfilling work and full participation in society. We will strengthen the productive capacities of least-developed countries in all sectors, including through structural transformation. We will adopt policies which increase productive capacities, productivity and productive employment; financial inclusion; sustainable agriculture, pastoralist and fisheries development; sustainable industrial development; universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services; sustainable transport systems; and quality and resilient infrastructure. 28. We commit to making fundamental changes in the way that our societies produce and consume goods and services. Governments, international organizations, the business sector and other non-state actors and individuals must contribute to changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns, including through the mobilization, from all sources, of financial and technical assistance to strengthen developing countries’ scientific, technological and innovative capacities to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production. We encourage the implementation of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production. All countries take action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries. 29. We recognize the positive contribution of migrants for inclusive growth and sustainable development. We also recognize that international migration is a multi-dimensional reality of major relevance for the development of countries of origin, transit and destination, which requires coherent and comprehensive responses. We will cooperate internationally to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration involving full respect for human rights and the humane treatment of migrants regardless of migration status, of refugees and of displaced persons. Such cooperation should also strengthen the resilience of communities hosting refugees, particularly in developing countries. We underline the right of migrants to return to their country of citizenship, and recall that States must ensure that their returning nationals are duly received. 30. States are strongly urged to refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries. 31. We acknowledge that the UNFCCC is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change. We are determined to address decisively the threat posed by climate change and environmental degradation. The global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible international cooperation aimed at accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions and addressing adaptation to the adverse impacts of climate change. We note with grave concern the significant gap between the aggregate effect of Parties’ mitigation pledges in terms of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 and aggregate emission pathways consistent with having a likely chance of holding the increase in global average temperature below 2 °C or 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. 32. Looking ahead to the COP21 conference in Paris in December, we underscore the commitment of all States to work for an ambitious and universal climate agreement. We reaffirm that the protocol, another legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties shall address in a balanced manner, inter alia, mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building, and transparency of action and support. 33. We recognise that social and economic development depends on the sustainable management of our planet’s natural resources. We are therefore determined to conserve and sustainably use oceans and seas, freshwater resources, as well as forests, mountains and drylands and to protect biodiversity, ecosystems and wildlife. We are also determined to promote sustainable tourism, tackle water scarcity and water pollution, to strengthen cooperation on desertification, dust storms, land degradation and drought and to promote resilience and disaster risk reduction. In this regard, we look forward to COP13 of the Convention on Biological Diversity to be held in Mexico in 2016. 34. We recognize that sustainable urban development and management are crucial to the quality of life of our people. We will work with local authorities and communities to renew and plan our cities and human settlements so as to foster community cohesion and personal security and to stimulate innovation and employment. We will reduce the negative impacts of urban activities and of chemicals which are hazardous for human health and the environment, including through the environmentally sound management and safe use of chemicals, the reduction and recycling of waste and more efficient use of water and energy. And we will work to minimize the impact of cities on the global climate system. We will also take account of population trends and projections in our national, rural and urban development strategies and policies. We look forward to the upcoming United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito, Ecuador. 35. Sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security; and peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development. The new Agenda recognizes the need to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies that provide equal access to justice and that are based on respect for human rights (including the right to development), on effective rule of law and good governance at all levels and on transparent, effective and accountable institutions. Factors which give rise to violence, insecurity and injustice, such as inequality, corruption, poor governance and illicit financial and arms flows, are addressed in the Agenda. We must redouble our efforts to resolve or prevent conflict and to support post-conflict countries, including through ensuring that women have a role in peace-building and state-building. We call for further effective measures and actions to be taken, in conformity with international law, to remove the obstacles to the full realization of the right of self-determination of peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, which continue to adversely affect their economic and social development as well as their environment. 36. We pledge to foster inter-cultural understanding, tolerance, mutual respect and an ethic of global citizenship and shared responsibility. We acknowledge the natural and cultural diversity of the world and recognize that all cultures and civilizations can contribute to, and are crucial enablers of, sustainable development. 37. Sport is also an important enabler of sustainable development. We recognize the growing contribution of sport to the realization of development and peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect and the contributions it makes to the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities as well as to health, education and social inclusion objectives. 38. We reaffirm, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the need to respect the territorial integrity and political independence of States. Means of Implementation 39. The scale and ambition of the new Agenda requires a revitalized Global Partnership to ensure its implementation. We fully commit to this. This Partnership will work in a spirit of global solidarity, in particular solidarity with the poorest and with people in vulnerable situations. It will facilitate an intensive global engagement in support of implementation of all the Goals and targets, bringing together Governments, the private sector, civil society, the United Nations system and other actors and mobilizing all available resources. 40. The means of implementation targets under Goal 17 and under each SDG are key to realising our Agenda and are of equal importance with the other Goals and targets. The Agenda, including the SDGs, can be met within the framework of a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, supported by the concrete policies and actions as outlined in the outcome document of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Addis Ababa from 13-16 July 2015. We welcome the endorsement by the General Assembly of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We recognize that the full implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda is critical for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals and targets. 41. We recognize that each country has primary responsibility for its own economic and social development. The new Agenda deals with the means required for implementation of the Goals and targets. We recognize that these will include the mobilization of financial resources as well as capacity-building and the transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed. Public finance, both domestic and international, will play a vital role in providing essential services and public goods and in catalyzing other sources of finance. We acknowledge the role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals, and that of civil society organizations and philanthropic organizations in the implementation of the new Agenda. 42. We support the implementation of relevant strategies and programmes of action, including the Istanbul Declaration and Programme of Action, the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the Decade 2014-2024, and reaffirm the importance of supporting the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the programme of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), all of which are integral to the new Agenda. We recognize the major challenge to the achievement of durable peace and sustainable development in countries in conflict and post-conflict situations. 43. We emphasize that international public finance plays an important role in complementing the efforts of countries to mobilize public resources domestically, especially in the poorest and most vulnerable countries with limited domestic resources. An important use of international public finance, including ODA, is to catalyse additional resource mobilization from other sources, public and private. ODA providers reaffirm their respective commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7% of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15% to 0.2% of ODA/GNI to least developed countries. 44. We acknowledge the importance for international financial institutions to support, in line with their mandates, the policy space of each country, in particular developing countries. We recommit to broadening and strengthening the voice and participation of developing countries – including African countries, least developed countries, land-locked developing countries, small-island developing States and middle-income countries – in international economic decision-making, norm-setting and global economic governance. 45. We acknowledge also the essential role of national parliaments through their enactment of legislation and adoption of budgets and their role in ensuring accountability for the effective implementation of our commitments. Governments and public institutions will also work closely on implementation with regional and local authorities, sub-regional institutions, international institutions, academia, philanthropic organisations, volunteer groups and others. 46. We underline the important role and comparative advantage of an adequately resourced, relevant, coherent, efficient and effective UN system in supporting the achievement of the SDGs and sustainable development. While stressing the importance of strengthened national ownership and leadership at country level, we express our support for the ongoing ECOSOC Dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system in the context of this Agenda. Follow-up and review 47. Our Governments have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Goals and targets over the coming fifteen years. To support accountability to our citizens, we will provide for systematic follow-up and review at the various levels, as set out in this Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. The High Level Political Forum under the auspices of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council will have the central role in overseeing follow-up and review at the global level. 48. Indicators are being developed to assist this work. Quality, accessible, timely and reliable disaggregated data will be needed to help with the measurement of progress and to ensure that no one is left behind. Such data is key to decision-making. Data and information from existing reporting mechanisms should be used where possible. We agree to intensify our efforts to strengthen statistical capacities in developing countries, particularly African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and middle-income countries. We are committed to developing broader measures of progress to complement gross domestic product (GDP). A call for action to change our world 49. Seventy years ago, an earlier generation of world leaders came together to create the United Nations. From the ashes of war and division they fashioned this Organization and the values of peace, dialogue and international cooperation which underpin it. The supreme embodiment of those values is the Charter of the United Nations. 50. Today we are also taking a decision of great historic significance. We resolve to build a better future for all people, including the millions who have been denied the chance to lead decent, dignified and rewarding lives and to achieve their full human potential. We can be the first generation to succeed in ending poverty; just as we may be the last to have a chance of saving the planet. The world will be a better place in 2030 if we succeed in our objectives. 51. What we are announcing today – an Agenda for global action for the next fifteen years – is a charter for people and planet in the twenty-first century. Children and young women and men are critical agents of change and will find in the new Goals a platform to channel their infinite capacities for activism into the creation of a better world. 52. “We the Peoples” are the celebrated opening words of the UN Charter. It is “We the Peoples” who are embarking today on the road to 2030. Our journey will involve Governments as well as Parliaments, the UN system and other international institutions, local authorities, indigenous peoples, civil society, business and the private sector, the scientific and academic community – and all people. Millions have already engaged with, and will own, this Agenda. It is an Agenda of the people, by the people, and for the people – and this, we believe, will ensure its success. 53. The future of humanity and of our planet lies in our hands. It lies also in the hands of today’s younger generation who will pass the torch to future generations. We have mapped the road to sustainable development; it will be for all of us to ensure that the journey is successful and its gains irreversible. Sustainable Development Goals and targets 54. Following an inclusive process of intergovernmental negotiations, and based on the Proposal of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals , which includes a chapeau contextualising the latter, the following are the Goals and targets which we have agreed. 55. The SDGs and targets are integrated and indivisible, global in nature and universally applicable, taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. Targets are defined as aspirational and global, with each government setting its own national targets guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances. Each government will also decide how these aspirational and global targets should be incorporated in national planning processes, policies and strategies. It is important to recognize the link between sustainable development and other relevant ongoing processes in the economic, social and environmental fields. 56. In deciding upon these Goals and targets, we recognise that each country faces specific challenges to achieve sustainable development, and we underscore the special challenges facing the most vulnerable countries and, in particular, African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, as well as the specific challenges facing the middle-income countries. Countries in situations of conflict also need special attention. 57. We recognize that baseline data for several of the targets remain unavailable, and we call for increased support for strengthening data collection and capacity building in Member States, to develop national and global baselines where they do not yet exist. We commit to addressing this gap in data collection so as to better inform the measurement of progress, in particular for those targets below which do not have clear numerical targets. 58. We encourage ongoing efforts by states in other fora to address key issues which pose potential challenges to the implementation of our Agenda; and we respect the independent mandates of those processes. We intend that the Agenda and its implementation would support, and be without prejudice to, those other processes and the decisions taken therein. 59. We recognise that there are different approaches, visions, models and tools available to each country, in accordance with its national circumstances and priorities, to achieve sustainable development; and we reaffirm that planet Earth and its ecosystems are our common home and that ‘Mother Earth’ is a common expression in a number of countries and regions. Sustainable Development Goals

  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
  • Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

* Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change. Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere 1.1 By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day

1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable
1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
1.a Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions
1.b Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture 2.1 By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round
2.2 By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons
2.3 By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment
2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
2.5 By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed
2.a Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries
2.b Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round
2.c Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages 3.1 By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births
3.2 By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births
3.3 By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases
3.4 By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being
3.5 Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol
3.6 By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents
3.7 By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes
3.8 Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all
3.9 By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination
3.a Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate
3.b Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all
3.c Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States
3.d Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 4.1 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes
4.2 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education
4.3 By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university
4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
4.5 By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations
4.6 By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy
4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
4.a Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all
4.b By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries
4.c By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 5.1 End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
5.4 Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate
5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life
5.6 Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences
5.a Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws
5.b Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
5.c Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
6.2 By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations
6.3 By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally
6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity
6.5 By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate
6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes
6.a By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies
6.b Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
7.a By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology
7.b By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all 8.1 Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries
8.2 Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors
8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services
8.4 Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead
8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training
8.7 Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms
8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment
8.9 By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
8.10 Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all
8.a Increase Aid for Trade support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries
8.b By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation 9.1 Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all
9.2 Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries
9.3 Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets
9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
9.5 Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending
9.a Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States
9.b Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities
9.c Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020 Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries 10.1 By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average
10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
10.3 Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard
10.4 Adopt policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality
10.5 Improve the regulation and monitoring of global financial markets and institutions and strengthen the implementation of such regulations
10.6 Ensure enhanced representation and voice for developing countries in decision-making in global international economic and financial institutions in order to deliver more effective, credible, accountable and legitimate institutions
10.7 Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies
10.a Implement the principle of special and differential treatment for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, in accordance with World Trade Organization agreements
10.b Encourage official development assistance and financial flows, including foreign direct investment, to States where the need is greatest, in particular least developed countries, African countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, in accordance with their national plans and programmes
10.c By 2030, reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums
11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
11.4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
11.5 By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations
11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
11.7 By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities
11.a Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
11.b By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels
11.c Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 12.1 Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries
12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
12.3 By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses
12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle
12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
12.8 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature
12.a Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production
12.b Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
12.c Rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts* 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
13.a Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible
13.b Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities * Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change. Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 14.1 By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
14.2 By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
14.3 Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
14.4 By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
14.5 By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
14.6 By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
14.7 By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
14.a Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
14.b Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
14.c Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
15.3 By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world
15.4 By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development
15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
15.6 Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed
15.7 Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products
15.8 By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species
15.9 By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts
15.a Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems
15.b Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation
15.c Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
16.4 By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime
16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
16.8 Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance
16.9 By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration
16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
16.a Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime
16.b Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development Finance 17.1 Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection
17.2 Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries; ODA providers are encouraged to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries
17.3 Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources
17.4 Assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate, and address the external debt of highly indebted poor countries to reduce debt distress
17.5 Adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries Technology 17.6 Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism
17.7 Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed
17.8 Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology Capacity-building 17.9 Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation Trade 17.10 Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization, including through the conclusion of negotiations under its Doha Development Agenda
17.11 Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020
17.12 Realize timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all least developed countries, consistent with World Trade Organization decisions, including by ensuring that preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from least developed countries are transparent and simple, and contribute to facilitating market access Systemic issues Policy and institutional coherence 17.13 Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence
17.14 Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development
17.15 Respect each country’s policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development Multi-stakeholder partnerships 17.16 Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships Data, monitoring and accountability 17.18 By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
17.19 By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries Means of implementation and the Global Partnership 60. We reaffirm our strong commitment to the full implementation of this new Agenda. We recognize that we will not be able to achieve our ambitious Goals and targets without a revitalized and enhanced Global Partnership and comparably ambitious means of implementation. The revitalized Global Partnership will facilitate an intensive global engagement in support of implementation of all the goals and targets, bringing together Governments, civil society, the private sector, the United Nations system and other actors and mobilizing all available resources. 61. The Agenda’s Goals and targets deal with the means required to realise our collective ambitions. The means of implementation targets under each SDG and Goal 17, which are referred to above, are key to realising our Agenda and are of equal importance with the other Goals and targets. We shall accord them equal priority in our implementation efforts and in the global indicator framework for monitoring our progress. 62. This Agenda, including the SDGs, can be met within the framework of a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, supported by the concrete policies and actions outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda , which is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda supports, complements and helps contextualize the 2030 Agenda’s means of implementation targets. These relate to domestic public resources, domestic and international private business and finance, international development cooperation, international trade as an engine for development, debt and debt sustainability, addressing systemic issues and science, technology, innovation and capacity-building, and data, monitoring and follow-up. 63. Cohesive nationally owned sustainable development strategies, supported by integrated national financing frameworks, will be at the heart of our efforts. We reiterate that each country has primary responsibility for its own economic and social development and that the role of national policies and development strategies cannot be overemphasized. We will respect each country’s policy space and leadership to implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development, while remaining consistent with relevant international rules and commitments. At the same time, national development efforts need to be supported by an enabling international economic environment, including coherent and mutually supporting world trade, monetary and financial systems, and strengthened and enhanced global economic governance. Processes to develop and facilitate the availability of appropriate knowledge and technologies globally, as well as capacity-building, are also critical. We commit to pursuing policy coherence and an enabling environment for sustainable development at all levels and by all actors, and to reinvigorating the global partnership for sustainable development. 64. We support the implementation of relevant strategies and programmes of action, including the Istanbul Declaration and Programme of Action, the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the Decade 2014-2024, and reaffirm the importance of supporting the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the programme of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), all of which are integral to the new Agenda. We recognize the major challenge to the achievement of durable peace and sustainable development in countries in conflict and post-conflict situations. 65. We recognize that middle-income countries still face significant challenges to achieve sustainable development. In order to ensure that achievements made to date are sustained, efforts to address ongoing challenges should be strengthened through the exchange of experiences, improved coordination, and better and focused support of the United Nations Development System, the international financial institutions, regional organizations and other stakeholders. 66. We underscore that, for all countries, public policies and the mobilization and effective use of domestic resources, underscored by the principle of national ownership, are central to our common pursuit of sustainable development, including achieving the sustainable development goals. We recognize that domestic resources are first and foremost generated by economic growth, supported by an enabling environment at all levels. 67. Private business activity, investment and innovation are major drivers of productivity, inclusive economic growth and job creation. We acknowledge the diversity of the private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals. We call on all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solving sustainable development challenges. We will foster a dynamic and well-functioning business sector, while protecting labour rights and environmental and health standards in accordance with relevant international standards and agreements and other on-going initiatives in this regard, such as the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the labour standards of ILO, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and key multilateral environmental agreements, for parties to those agreements. 68. International trade is an engine for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction, and contributes to the promotion of sustainable development. We will continue to promote a universal, rules-based, open, transparent, predictable, inclusive, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as meaningful trade liberalization. We call on all WTO members to redouble their efforts to promptly conclude the negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda. We attach great importance to providing trade-related capacity-building for developing countries, including African countries, least-developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing states and middle-income countries, including for the promotion of regional economic integration and interconnectivity. 69. We recognize the need to assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief, debt restructuring and sound debt management, as appropriate. Many countries remain vulnerable to debt crises and some are in the midst of crises, including a number of least developed countries, small-island developing States and some developed countries. We reiterate that debtors and creditors must work together to prevent and resolve unsustainable debt situations. Maintaining sustainable debt levels is the responsibility of the borrowing countries; however we acknowledge that lenders also have a responsibility to lend in a way that does not undermine a country’s debt sustainability. We will support the maintenance of debt sustainability of those countries that have received debt relief and achieved sustainable debt levels. 70. We hereby launch a Technology Facilitation Mechanism which was established by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda in order to support the sustainable development goals. The Technology Facilitation Mechanism will be based on a multi-stakeholder collaboration between Member States, civil society, private sector, scientific community, United Nations entities and other stakeholders and will be composed of: a United Nations Interagency Task Team on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs, a collaborative Multistakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs and an on-line platform. • The United Nations Interagency Task Team on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs will promote coordination, coherence, and cooperation within the UN System on STI related matters, enhancing synergy and efficiency, in particular to enhance capacity-building initiatives. The Task Team will draw on existing resources and will work with 10 representatives from the civil society, private sector, the scientific community, to prepare the meetings of the Multistakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs, as well as in the development and operationalization of the on-line platform, including preparing proposals for the modalities for the Forum and the on-line platform. The 10 representatives will be appointed by the Secretary General, for periods of two years. The Task Team will be open to the participation of all UN agencies, funds and programmes, and ECOSOC functional commissions and it will initially be composed by the entities that currently integrate the informal working group on technology facilitation, namely: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Environment Programme, UNIDO, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNCTAD, International Telecommunication Union, WIPO and the World Bank.
• The on-line platform will be used to establish a comprehensive mapping of, and serve as a gateway for, information on existing STI initiatives, mechanisms and programmes, within and beyond the UN. The on-line platform will facilitate access to information, knowledge and experience, as well as best practices and lessons learned, on STI facilitation initiatives and policies. The online platform will also facilitate the dissemination of relevant open access scientific publications generated worldwide. The on-line platform will be developed on the basis of an independent technical assessment which will take into account best practices and lessons learned from other initiatives, within and beyond the United Nations, in order to ensure that it will complement, facilitate access to and provide adequate information on existing STI platforms, avoiding duplications and enhancing synergies.
• The Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science Technology and Innovation for the SDGs will be convened once a year, for a period of two days, to discuss STI cooperation around thematic areas for the implementation of the SDGs, congregating all relevant stakeholders to actively contribute in their area of expertise. The Forum will provide a venue for facilitating interaction, matchmaking and the establishment of networks between relevant stakeholders and multi- stakeholder partnerships in order to identify and examine technology needs and gaps, including on scientific cooperation, innovation and capacity building, and also in order to help facilitate development, transfer and dissemination of relevant technologies for the SDGs. The meetings of the Forum will be convened by the President of the ECOSOC before the meeting of the High Level Political Forum under the auspices of ECOSOC or, alternatively, in conjunction with other fora or conferences, as appropriate, taking into account the theme to be considered and on the basis of a collaboration with the organizers of the other fora or conference. The meetings of the Forum will be co-chaired by two Member States and will result in a summary of discussions elaborated by the two co-chairs, as an input to the meetings of the High Level Political Forum, in the context of the follow-up and review of the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
• The meetings of the HLPF will be informed by the summary of the Multistakeholder Forum. The themes for the subsequent Multistakeholder Forum on Science Technology and Innovation for the SDGs will be considered by the High Level Political Forum on sustainable development, taking into account expert inputs from the Task Team. 71. We reiterate that this Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals and targets, including the means of implementation are universal, indivisible and interlinked. Follow-up and review 72. We commit to engage in systematic follow-up and review of implementation of this Agenda over the next fifteen years. A robust, voluntary, effective, participatory, transparent and integrated follow-up and review framework will make a vital contribution to implementation and will help countries to maximize and track progress in implementing this Agenda in order to ensure that no one is left behind. 73. Operating at the national, regional and global levels, it will promote accountability to our citizens, support effective international cooperation in achieving this Agenda and foster exchanges of best practices and mutual learning. It will mobilize support to overcome shared challenges and identify new and emerging issues. As this is a universal Agenda, mutual trust and understanding among all nations will be important. 74. Follow-up and review processes at all levels will be guided by the following principles: a. They will be voluntary and country-led, will take into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and will respect policy space and priorities. As national ownership is key to achieving sustainable development, the outcome from national level processes will be the foundation for reviews at regional and global levels, given that the global review will be primarily based on national official data sources.
b. They will track progress in implementing the universal Goals and targets, including the means of implementation, in all countries in a manner which respects their universal, integrated and interrelated nature and the three dimensions of sustainable development.
c. They will maintain a longer-term orientation, identify achievements, challenges, gaps and critical success factors and support countries in making informed policy choices. They will help mobilize the necessary means of implementation and partnerships, support the identification of solutions and best practices and promote coordination and effectiveness of the international development system.
d. They will be open, inclusive, participatory and transparent for all people and will support the reporting by all relevant stakeholders.
e. They will be people-centred, gender-sensitive, respect human rights and have a particular focus on the poorest, most vulnerable and those furthest behind.
f. They will build on existing platforms and processes, where these exist, avoid duplication and respond to national circumstances, capacities, needs and priorities. They will evolve over time, taking into account emerging issues and the development of new methodologies, and will minimize the reporting burden on national administrations.
g. They will be rigorous and based on evidence, informed by country-led evaluations and data which is high-quality, accessible, timely, reliable and disaggregated by income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, migration status, disability and geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts.
h. They will require enhanced capacity-building support for developing countries, including the strengthening of national data systems and evaluation programs, particularly in African countries, LDCs, SIDS and LLDCs and middle-income countries.
i. They will benefit from the active support of the UN system and other multilateral institutions. 75. The Goals and targets will be followed-up and reviewed using a set of global indicators. These will be complemented by indicators at the regional and national levels which will be developed by member states, in addition to the outcomes of work undertaken for the development of the baselines for those targets where national and global baseline data does not yet exist. The global indicator framework, to be developed by the Inter Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators, will be agreed by the UN Statistical Commission by March 2016 and adopted thereafter by the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly, in line with existing mandates. This framework will be simple yet robust, address all SDGs and targets including for means of implementation, and preserve the political balance, integration and ambition contained therein. 76. We will support developing countries, particularly African countries, LDCs, SIDS and LLDCs, in strengthening the capacity of national statistical offices and data systems to ensure access to high-quality, timely, reliable and disaggregated data. We will promote transparent and accountable scaling-up of appropriate public-private cooperation to exploit the contribution to be made by a wide range of data, including earth observation and geo-spatial information, while ensuring national ownership in supporting and tracking progress. 77. We commit to fully engage in conducting regular and inclusive reviews of progress at sub-national, national, regional and global levels. We will draw as far as possible on the existing network of follow-up and review institutions and mechanisms. National reports will allow assessments of progress and identify challenges at the regional and global level. Along with regional dialogues and global reviews, they will inform recommendations for follow-up at various levels. National level 78. We encourage all member states to develop as soon as practicable ambitious national responses to the overall implementation of this Agenda. These can support the transition to the SDGs and build on existing planning instruments, such as national development and sustainable development strategies, as appropriate. 79. We also encourage member states to conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels which are country-led and country-driven. Such reviews should draw on contributions from indigenous peoples, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders, in line with national circumstances, policies and priorities. National parliaments as well as other institutions can also support these processes. Regional level 80. Follow-up and review at the regional and sub-regional levels can, as appropriate, provide useful opportunities for peer learning, including through voluntary reviews, sharing of best practices and discussion on shared targets. We welcome in this respect the cooperation of regional and sub-regional commissions and organizations. Inclusive regional processes will draw on national-level reviews and contribute to follow-up and review at the global level, including at the High Level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF). 81. Recognizing the importance of building on existing follow-up and review mechanisms at the regional level and allowing adequate policy space, we encourage all member states to identify the most suitable regional forum in which to engage. UN regional commissions are encouraged to continue supporting member states in this regard. Global level 82. The HLPF will have a central role in overseeing a network of follow-up and review processes at the global level, working coherently with the General Assembly, ECOSOC and other relevant organs and forums, in accordance with existing mandates. It will facilitate sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, and provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations for follow-up. It will promote system-wide coherence and coordination of sustainable development policies. It should ensure that the Agenda remains relevant and ambitious and should focus on the assessment of progress, achievements and challenges faced by developed and developing countries as well as new and emerging issues. Effective linkages will be made with the follow-up and review arrangements of all relevant UN Conferences and processes, including on LDCs, SIDS and LLDCs. 83. Follow-up and review at the HLPF will be informed by an annual SDG Progress Report to be prepared by the Secretary General in cooperation with the UN System, based on the global indicator framework and data produced by national statistical systems and information collected at the regional level. The HLPF will also be informed by the Global Sustainable Development Report, which shall strengthen the science-policy interface and could provide a strong evidence-based instrument to support policy-makers in promoting poverty eradication and sustainable development. We invite the President of ECOSOC to conduct a process of consultations on the scope, methodology and frequency of the Report as well as its relation to the SDG Progress Report, the outcome of which should be reflected in the Ministerial Declaration of the HLPF session in 2016. 84. The HLPF, under the auspices of ECOSOC, shall carry out regular reviews, in line with Resolution 67/290. Reviews will be voluntary, while encouraging reporting, and include developed and developing countries as well as relevant UN entities and other stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector. They shall be state-led, involving ministerial and other relevant high-level participants. They shall provide a platform for partnerships, including through the participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders. 85. Thematic reviews of progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, including cross-cutting issues, will also take place at the HLPF. These will be supported by reviews by the ECOSOC functional commissions and other inter-governmental bodies and forums which should reflect the integrated nature of the goals as well as the interlinkages between them. They will engage all relevant stakeholders and, where possible, feed into, and be aligned with, the cycle of the HLPF. 86. We welcome, as outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the dedicated follow-up and review for the Financing for Development outcomes as well as all the means of implementation of the SDGs which is integrated with the follow-up and review framework of this Agenda. The intergovernmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations of the annual ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development will be fed into the overall follow-up and review of the implementation of this Agenda in the HLPF. 87. Meeting every four years under the auspices of the General Assembly, the HLPF will provide high-level political guidance on the Agenda and its implementation, identify progress and emerging challenges and mobilize further actions to accelerate implementation. The next HLPF, under the auspices of the General Assembly, will take place in 2019, with the cycle of meetings thus reset, in order to maximize coherence with the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review process. 88. We also stress the importance of system-wide strategic planning, implementation and reporting in order to ensure coherent and integrated support to implementation of the new Agenda by the UN development system. The relevant governing bodies should take action to review such support to implementation and to report on progress and obstacles. We welcome the ongoing ECOSOC Dialogues on the longer term positioning of the UN development system and look forward to taking action on these issues, as appropriate. 89. The HLPF will support participation in follow-up and review processes by the major groups and other relevant stakeholders in line with Resolution 67/290. We call on these actors to report on their contribution to the implementation of the Agenda. 90. We request the Secretary General, in consultation with Member States, to prepare a report, for consideration at the 70th session of the General Assembly in preparation for the 2016 meeting of the HLPF, which outlines critical milestones towards coherent efficient, and inclusive follow-up and review at the global level. This report should include a proposal on the organizational arrangements for state-led reviews at the HLPF under the auspices of ECOSOC, including recommendations on a voluntary common reporting guidelines. It should clarify institutional responsibilities and provide guidance on annual themes, on a sequence of thematic reviews, and on options for periodic reviews for the HLPF. 91. We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to achieving this Agenda and utilizing it to the full to transform our world for the better by 2030.

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld/

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Nobel Peace Prize for Cuban doctors -Sign the petition today

Since April, more than 3,700 Cuban doctors, nurses and technicians have volunteered alongside health workers in 39 countries to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. They are members of Cuba

https://cuba-solidarity.org.uk/nobel-peace-prize/?fbclid=IwAR3mxWP5AmV1s3TcBME6ZeBvnsAN3z5VUmXF4sJ5GX8ypp3mnVEXa126YAs

Since April, more than 3,700 Cuban doctors, nurses and technicians have volunteered alongside health workers in 39 countries to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. They are members of Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade which has saved more than 80,000 lives worldwide since its formation in 2005.

For their selfless humanitarian work saving lives and promoting friendship and cooperation between nations, we join the international call for the Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded to the Cuban health workers who form the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade.

Please add your name and encourage nominations

To the Nobel Peace Prize Committee:

As the world faces a global health crisis, thousands of Cuban doctors, nurses and technicians have responded to overseas requests for help by volunteering as part of the island’s Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade. From Jamaica to Italy and Angola to Azerbaijan, more than 3,700 Cuban medics have supported health workers in 39 countries in their fight against COVID-19.

“We were shipwrecked and you succour us without asking us our name or origin. After months of mourning, anguish and doubts, now we see the light.” These were the moving words of Stefania Bonaldi, mayor of Crema, as she said farewell to the Cuban medics who helped treat coronavirus in Lombardy, one of the worst-affected provinces in Italy.

For their selfless work providing humanitarianism and hope to people across the globe, we are asking you to award them the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021.

The key principles of the brigade are health, peace, humanitarianism and solidarity, and since its formation in 2005, Cuban health workers have provided relief in emergencies regardless of politics or borders, treating almost four million people in 45 countries. Most notable recent examples include the doctors who worked in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia during the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

In the last fifteen years, 13,500 members of the Henry Reeve International Brigade have saved 93,000 lives during natural disasters and health emergencies. We believe that their inspirational internationalism deserves recognition.

https://cuba-solidarity.org.uk/nobel-peace-prize/?fbclid=IwAR3mxWP5AmV1s3TcBME6ZeBvnsAN3z5VUmXF4sJ5GX8ypp3mnVEXa126YAs

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PROTECT PUERTO BUENO MOUNTAIN from QUARRYING and BIG DEVELOPMENT!

http://chng.it/Kxyp7gjXyY

Wendy Lee started this petition to Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, MP

Most Honourable Prime Minister, we are calling on you to reverse the July 2020 ministerial decision to approve a permit for quarrying and mining at Dry Harbour Mountain, also called Puerto Bueno Mountain, in keeping with your stated commitments to environmental sustainability and fighting Climate Change, and your recognition that “our natural heritage including our biodiversity and ecosystems are an important part of our material heritage,” and “our tourism product and the economic activity around it heavily depends on our environment and climate.”

In May 2020 a quarry application was refused by the Government’s regulatory agencies for seven solid reasons, including:

  • The impact and loss of biodiversity and natural resources in an area of environmental significance and unique biodiversity that is irreplaceable;
  • The proposed development is contrary to and not in keeping with the provisions of the St. Ann Confirmed Development Order, 2000;
  • The area is not designated a Quarry Zone.

The project would have deleterious impacts on the environment of surrounding areas, air quality, public health, the hydrology, and the forested area, and would devastate existing and future tourism enterprises in the area, including over 50 resort villas with their many employees.

We urge you to engage local stakeholders in a meaningful process to see this unique limestone forest ecosystem protected and managed as a habitat conservation and research area for indigenous and endemic flora and fauna; a study site for fossils and geological features; a spectacular natural landscape; an archaeological site of importance to Jamaica’s cultural heritage; and an area of priceless value to the local residents for their quality of life as well as nature-based recreation and ecotourism opportunities.

  • Although you, Prime Minister, have stated that any damage to the environment will be mitigated by the 72 conditions of the permit, we note the position of technical experts that:
  • The impacts from a quarry of this size (50 hectares) cannot be effectively mitigated;
  • No source of water has been identified for the project;
  • A dry limestone forest ecosystem cannot be restored;
  • Relocation of individual species would be futile if it were even possible;
  • This area is earmarked for protection under the St. Ann Confirmed Development Order of 2000.

The application for quarrying was initially refused because it is absolutely incompatible with Jamaica’s framework of environmental policies, plans, laws and regulations that are in place to govern land use decision-making. The government of Jamaica has a duty to assess project applications based on how they comply with these provisions, and we remind you that there is no application and no EIA for the huge, multi-phase project just announced as the “ultimate goal” of the project by Bengal Development Limited / Jamaica World.

Prime Minister, please reconsider the decision to allow this project, and withdraw the permit!

http://chng.it/Kxyp7gjXyY

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Open Letter to Joe Biden: You have an opportunity…to defeat the COVID19 pandemic, not only within the US but also globally

From: Michael Heslop, Concerned US and global citizen

President-elect Joe Biden seeks to unite nation with victory speech

Dear President-Elect Joseph Biden,

I would like to extend to you and your Vice President-elect my sincerest congratulations on defeating the world’s most dangerous President, Donald Trump. As you know, nearly 76 million Americans including my wife and I, my brothers, nieces, friends, neighbors, students and other acquaintances voted for you to end the rising danger of racism, the pandemic and the economic depression of the Trump administration.

There is an enormous thirst for change from four miserable and ugly years of social, economic, cultural and political conflicts and divisions laced at every turn by Mr. Trump’s racist rhetoric.

To make matters worst, as you have rightly said, President Trump has “waved the white flag and walked off the battlefield against the pandemic” which has so far infected over 10 million Americans and killed close to 250,000 Americans.

Consequently, I am writing this letter to you against the backdrop of a huge thirst of Americans for fundamental changes in domestic and foreign policies after four years of disaster on both fronts.

I have noticed that many activists that campaigned and voted for your victory have addressed many domestic policy issues such as the climate crisis, income-wealth inequality, poverty, health, as well as digital and education disparities, among others.

However, there are a few foreign policy issues that I believe are primordial for you and your imminent administration.

I have heard many say that you are a “decent man”, “ a man of faith” and “a kind man”. Sir, I must be candid with you, because it took me a long time to accept these accolades about you given your voting record on US wars and other US interventions abroad. However, I believe that people can evolve and I hope that you and your administration will evolve and rapidly realize that just as the COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging American resources and killing hundreds of thousands of Americans, it is doing likewise in many developing countries, particularly those that have been struggling to contain the pandemic under onerous US economic sanctions and blockades such as Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Yemen and Iran to name a few.

President-Elect Biden, as you well know, the lives of the peoples in the cited countries matter as much as American lives. As such, I think that you have an opportunity to put into practice your decency, your Christian faith, your human kindness, and your willingness to fight and defeat the COVID19 pandemic, not only domestically within the US but also globally. As the soon to be leader of the most powerful country on the planet, you can exemplify those human traits that I have come to believe that you have by helping the global fight against the pandemic particularly in those countries that are severely constrained to get funds, medical resources like respirators, dialysis machines, all types of medicines, ambulances, medical personnel among others because of the US imposed sanctions.

In summary, Mr. President-elect, I am calling upon you to use your executive powers to at least facilitate the required resources getting into these sanctioned and blockaded countries, so that they may more effectively fight the pandemic and save the lives of tens of millions of their citizens. This, of course, will help the US to more effectively fight it here at home since citizens from these countries travel to the US and vice versa!

Further, Mr. President-elect, that monstrous US-Saudi led war in Yemen has gone on for much too long, killing tens of thousands of Yemeni babies, children, old people, workers and peasants. I also believe that you can end it immediately guided by your humanity upon taking office and allow resources including foods, medicines, make shift hospitals and other technologies to enter that famine ravaged and blood soaked country of Yemen that also has to fight the pandemic. Sir, can you imagine living in a country where bombs are being dropped indiscriminately on a people, blowing up houses, school buses, hospitals, causing the Yemeni people to be experiencing a famine at the same time that they are fighting the same pandemic that we in the US and the rest of the world are fighting, though with dwindling resources and chances to do all those things?

President-elect Biden,
I am aware that you have suffered enormous personal losses and you have weathered them admirably while never forgetting them. Sir, that puts you in a position to empathize with all the peoples of the cited countries, many of whom have also lost loved ones like you because of the sheer constraints and severity of the US sanctions and the ongoing political and economic destabilization of those countries, as well as the random bombings of civilian targets in Yemen.

Sir, I firmly believe that you can and should urgently take these executive actions that will not only help to save potentially millions of lives frim the pandemic and from bombings but also from the US sanctions that are making it impossible for millions of people to live like human beings in their own countries. Moreover, Sir, I sincerely hope that you will pave the way for major diplomatic pathways to peaceful settlements of old conflicts and the improvement of America’s tarnished image in these countries and globally!

Mr. President-elect, I truly believe that the ball is in your court and that of your Vice President-elect to reimagine America’s role in the world as one of cooperating with all countries, big and small, rich and poor to end wars, spread peace, fight the climate crisis, poverty, income-wealth inequality, respect for each country’s sovereignty and to fight diseases including the current COVID19 pandemic which has already killed over 1 million of our fellow human beings globally!

Sincerely,

Michael Heslop
A Concerned American and Global Citizen

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Bolivia To Restore Ties With Cuba And Venezuela, Venezuela Announces Effective Medicine Against COVID-19 and more from Telesur


LATIN AMERICA

 Bolivia To Restore Ties With Cuba And Venezuela
 
 Venezuela Announces Effective Medicine Against COVID-19
 
 Cuba Hands Over ECLAC Pro Tempore Presidency to Costa Rica
 

WORLD

 Jacinda Ardern Re-Elected as Prime Minister of New Zealand
 
 US Senate Advances Nomination of Judge Barrett To Supreme Court
 
 Chile Plebiscite: Police Repression Prior to Polls Closing
 

SPORTS

 Nagorno-Karabakh: UEFA suspends matches in Azerbaijan – Armenia
 
 Brazil: Minister Calls For Robinho To Be Jailed Over Rape Case
 
 US: MLB’s World Series Will Start With A Rare Matchup
 

CULTURE

 Cali International Ballet Festival Pays Homage to Alicia Alonso
 
 Chilean Film Festival to Be Held Online and for Free
 
 Cuban and US Artists Pay Tribute to Doctors
 

OPINION

 Donald Trump Starves Venezuela, Cuba to Win Votes in Florida
 
 Black Left Views on American Elections Matter
 
 A Different Focus on Nicaragua
 



 27/10/2020LATIN AMERICA
  Another Social Leader Killed in Colombia, 243 So Far This Year
  Venezuela Starts Audits To Check Automated Voting System
  Argentina Extends Relief Program to Firms and Workers
 WORLD
  Raging Wildfires Force Massive Evacuations in California
  Africa: Climate Change Destroys the Lives of Millions
  Covid Updates Mideast: Iran, Turkey, Morocco, Iraq News
 SPORTS
  
 

 
TeleSUR La Nueva Televisión del Sur C.A. (TVSUR) RIF: G-20004500-0
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October 20th: Cuban Culture Day (+Video) – Via Radio Havana Cuba — The Cuban Window

Cubans celebrate Cuban Culture Day this Tuesday to commemorate October 20th, 1868, the date in which Cuba’s National Anthem was sung for the first time.

October 20th: Cuban Culture Day (+Video) – Via Radio Havana Cuba — The Cuban Window

October 20th: Cuban Culture Day (+Video) – Via Radio Havana Cuba

Cubans celebrate Cuban Culture Day this Tuesday to commemorate October 20th, 1868, the date in which Cuba’s National Anthem was sung for the first time.

The Day of Cuban Culture also celebrates the date when the “mambi” or Cuban independence army under the command of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes freed the eastern city of Bayamo.

Today “La Marseillaise” is, for men and women around the world, a march that calls for rebellion and freedom, inspiring freedom fighters from around the globe. Cubans also had their Marseillaise, on October 20th, 1868, to launch the first war of independence against Spanish colonial rule, which lasted ten years.

The history of the Cuban National Anthem dates back to August 13th, 1867, when the Revolutionary Committee of Bayamo met in the house of lawyer Pedro Figueredo, nicknamed “Perucho”, to develop plans that should trigger the Cuban independence movement. In that meeting Figueredo himself thought of writing “our Marseillaise.” In the morning of August 14th, Bayamo revolutionaries composed the melody that would become our national anthem. It was called “La Bayamesa” as an expression of its revolutionary nature and the place where national rebellion had started: Bayamo.

On May 8th, 1868, Figueredo asked musician Manuel Muñoz Cedeño to make the musical arrangement, an epical march that would distance itself from sacred hymns, it would have to urge people to struggle for the release of the country from Spanish colonial rule and to encourage patriotic feelings. https://www.youtube.com/embed/r35TAqiOpIs?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

On June 11th, 1868, Figueredo managed to play it on the church of Bayamo. On October 10th, the Revolution began, and on the 18th the Liberation Army of the Republic of Cuba began taking over Bayamo. On October 20th, the city was finally taken over by the insurgents after Spanish authorities surrendered at 11 pm. Fourteen months after the composition of the Cuban national anthem’s melody, more precisely on October 20th, 1868, Figueredo added the lyrics to it.

Amidst the euphoria of the rebel troops, mixed with the jubilant crowd, next to the Father of the Cuban Homeland, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, and other revolutionary leaders, and amidst cries requesting the lyrics of the march, Figueredo took pencil and paper and, crossing one leg over his horse’s saddle, he wrote the lyrics. It was copied and passed around from hand to hand. That was the place where it was first performed by all who had gathered in the square, thus giving rise to the national anthem of Cuba.

Since then, its lyrics and music have inspired all the actions of the independence movement and today it’s an expression of the patriotic nature of the Cuban people.

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Protestan contra el bloqueo a Cuba ante embajada de EE.UU. en Londres — Siempre con Cuba

Londres, 17 oct (Prensa Latina) Miembros de la organización británica Rock Around the Blockade, adscrita al Grupo Revolucionario Comunista del Reino Unido, exigieron hoy ante la embajada de Estados Unidos en esta capital el levantamiento del bloqueo norteamericano a Cuba. Los manifestantes, a los que se sumaron militantes de la Liga Comunista y activistas de […]

Protestan contra el bloqueo a Cuba ante embajada de EE.UU. en Londres — Siempre con Cuba
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Demand that OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro resign now! – Sign Code Pink’s Petition

https://www.codepink.org/oas?page=41&utm_campaign=hit_the_road_almagro&utm_medium=email&utm_source=codepink

On October 21 of last year, a day after the elections in which Bolivian President Evo Morales was declared winner, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro released a statement casting doubt on the electoral process due to an “inexplicable change in trend [of election results].” 

Not long after, the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) denounced the OAS’s bad analysis, noting that the trend didn’t change — it grew normally as a result of rural votes coming in. CEPR later realized that the OAS report used timestamps that were sorted alphabetically rather than chronologically. A coding error led to chaos and two massacres in Bolivia! 

In Sunday’s elections, the People of Bolivia voted against fascism and neoliberalism and for peace and equality. The MAS party not only won the presidency, with candidate Luis Arce winning more than 50% of the votes, but it also won a majority in both houses. Mayor of Vinto Patricia Arce, who, in the midst of the coup a year ago was captured, beaten, brutalized, and dragged through the streets by right-wing thugs, was also elected senator in Sunday’s elections. 

As we celebrate this democratic victory by the Bolivian people, we must also help them get justice for what the OAS did to their country. Demand that OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro resign now! 

Almagro has refused to respond to questions from members of the U.S. Congress and the media about the OAS’s bogus analysis of the Bolivian elections and its role in the military coup. The reason is simple: he does not have any facts to stand on. He must resign from his post and be held accountable for the coup and the resulting extrajudicial executions and massacres in Bolivia. Join us in demanding his resignation! 

The OAS is mostly financed by U.S. taxpayers — 60% of its budget comes from us. That means that our congresspeople have a duty to oversee the OAS and investigate the role it played in paving the way for a military coup. Join us in demanding accountability for how this money has been spent, or rather, misspent. 

After having watched the burning of the Whipala (the colorful flag that represents Andean indigenous peoples) by the coup leaders’ police forces, today we see it waving again thanks to the determination of the Bolivian people. Now, let us help them close this dark era of their history and prevent Almagro from doing more damage in other Latin American countries.

https://www.codepink.org/oas?page=41&utm_campaign=hit_the_road_almagro&utm_medium=email&utm_source=codepink

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Peoples Movements across the world Celebrate the Historic Popular Triumph in Bolivia

B

The Network in Defense of Humanity Celebrates the Historic Popular Triumph in Bolivia

https://i2.wp.com/www.resumen-english.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/10-21-def-of-humanity-img.jpg?ssl=1

The Path of Sovereignty and Dignity has been Recovered

From the Network in Defense of Humanity, we join the deep emotion and the collective embrace that the peoples of the world give to Bolivians for recovering their democracy and the path of sovereignty that since 2006 they have been building with so much effort and dignity.

A democratic path that was interrupted by the thirst for oligarchic and colonial revenge of a de facto government; whose interests were concentrated in its privileges and totally alienated from the people. Today that group servile to imperial interests is defeated by the greatness of the brave Bolivian people.

After 11 months of dictatorship, the indigenous, peasant and worker political subject is once again leading his story, by reversing a coup d’état through the popular vote. Today they are giving a lesson in dignity and consciousness: the recovery of national sovereignty in the midst of a capitalist crisis and a serious pandemic that is striking all of humanity. Today the progressive political forces and the courageous Bolivian people, evicted with violence and support by the US government, the Organization of American States and all the right-wing in the region, are giving an example of dignity and full exercise of the democratic game.

The coup d’état was the work of US imperialism and the Organization of American States (OAS) through renewed interference. It was an attack against the people and their leaders by exercising a fierce and criminal political and judicial persecution complete with threats to the life and integrity of all Bolivian citizens, the assassination of 37 people, 860 injured, attempts at proscription, more than a thousand illegal detainees, the imprisonment of former authorities in the Mexican embassy without the right to safe-conduct, the exile of hundreds of political and social leaders and thousands of other humiliations.

All these crimes against humanity should be charged to the long record of coups d’état accumulated by the OAS…Record renewed by its current Secretary-General, Luis Almagro. We accompany the denunciation before the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and we hope for prompt answers to leave behind the interference.

We want to send to the Bolivian people the immense embrace that all good and hard-working people of the world have. We will not forget the lives lost, the people injured and imprisoned, the families mutilated by the thirst for revenge and racism.

The Bolivian people is a people with memory, with organization, with dignity won through struggle and thanks to the conscience of that people, they could not postpone the elections any longer and with the integrity of knowing they are on the road to justice they made the ballot boxes explode in a clamor that vindicates their whole history.

With our brothers Lucho Arce and David Choquehuanca, together with the historic leadership of Comrade President Evo Morales; the people return to govern the Plurinational State of Bolivia, now with the strength gained in these days of tenacious resistance. The triumph of the revolutionary forces in Bolivia shows that the “progressive cycle” that we undertook in the new millennium is alive and that this is the only path for the emancipation and independence of our America.

Jallala Bolivia!!!

Our America, October 19, 2020

The Network in Defense of Humanity

Translation by Resumen Latinoamericano

Source: https://libya360.wordpress.com/2020/10/19/bolivia-political-opponents-acknowledge-mas-victory/

The Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration congratulate the People of Bolivia and the Socialist Leaders of Bolivia



The Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration congratulate the People of Bolivia and the Socialist Leaders of Bolivia for showing the world that Socialism is possible. Our Socialist Movement in the Americas is stronger today and this Movement is lead by the Socialist Movements in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Argentina. The Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration call on the People of the Caribbean to look at what is happening in Latin America for the working classes and I am calling on the People of the Caribbean to let us develop a similar revolutionary approach for the development of our People.

Long live the Socialist Movement in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Yours together
David Denny
General Secretary
Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration

Good report from BreakThrough News. After 11 months of intense struggle, the Bolivian people have defeated the coup regime. ✊🏾🇧🇴 “Socialist candidate Luis Arce wins the Bolivian presidency in a stunning vindication for the party of Evo Morales. BreakThrough speaks with Zoe PC, international election observer and reporter with People’s Dispatch, currently in La Paz.”

When all else fail, the power of the people will win under the right circumstances. Today, the power of the Bolivian people has won again.

Congratulations to MAS and all its allies on this victory!!

That power has to act with a lot more vision to transform the state machinery that was used to crush the people. That electoral power to form the government should NEVER be confused with political power until the common people, the workers, peasants, students, unemployed, youths, underemployed and progressive artists and cultural workers including the intellectuals and professionals have control over all the political institutions of the state.

Until then political power, state power will be in the hands of the oligarchy and imperialism to crush the people again!

So this victory is great but it’s putting the people back where they were in 2017 when the oligarchy and imperialism used the army, the police and other political organs of power to crush the capacity of MAS to win elections.

The MAS has to learn the lessons of its defeat otherwise it will leave the political power of the state in the hands of the same neo-fascist and racist class enemies who overthrew them, tortured them, killed them and jailed them a few years ago. They are still ready for a blood bath!

Now is the time for vigilance as the neofascists and their imperialist allies are right now scheming and plotting their next step both in La Paz and Washington DC!!

By Bongo

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We have regained hope, says Luis Arce as estimates show MAS victory in Bolivian presidential polls

The Unitel-Ciesmori estimate showed the Luis Arce-David Choquehuanca ticket of the MAS winning over 52% of the vote. Shortly after, the president of the coup regime, Jeanine Añez, acknowledged the victory of the MASOctober 19, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch

Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca (fourth and fifth from left) shortly after the announcement of the Unitel-Ciesmori estimate.

“We have regained democracy and hope,” said Luis Arce of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), as both a private pollster and the president of Bolivia’s coup regime confirmed that the MAS ticket was set to win the presidential elections in the first round in Bolivia.

According to the Unitel-Ciesmori estimate, Luis Arce was shown as winning 52.4% of the vote while his nearest rival Carlos Mesa was shown as obtaining 31.5% of the vote in the elections held on Sunday, October 18.

Shortly after, the president of the coup regime, Jeanine Añez, in a tweet said that available information pointed to the victory of the Luis Arce-David Choquehuanca ticket.

Aún no tenemos cómputo oficial, pero por los datos con los que contamos, el Sr. Arce y el Sr. Choquehuanca han ganado la elección. Felicito a los ganadores y les pido gobernar pensando en Bolivia y en la democracia.

— Jeanine Añez Chavez (@JeanineAnez) October 19, 2020

According to Bolivia’s election laws, in order for a candidate to win in the first round, they must either secure more than 50% of the vote or more than 40% with a 10% lead over their nearest rival. The final results are awaited as the counting is proceeding.

Prior to the release of the Unitel-Ciesmori estimate, former president Evo Morales of the MAS, who was overthrown in a coup in November 2019, said that the party’s own internal tabulation mechanism showed the party had won the presidential election, as well as both houses of parliament. Luis Arce was the minister of economy and public finance in the Evo Morales administration. After the estimate by the pollster, Morales tweeted that the will of the people had won and that “we are going to return dignity and freedom to the people.”

Hermanas y hermanos: la voluntad del pueblo se ha impuesto.
Se ha producido una victoria contundente del MAS-IPSP. Nuestro movimiento político tendrá la mayoría en las dos cámaras. Hemos vuelto millones, ahora vamos a devolver la dignidad y la libertad al pueblo.#JallallaBolivia pic.twitter.com/gTHa6qRhTB

— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) October 19, 2020

The election on Sunday was the first since the violent coup which was followed by massive persecution of the MAS, its members and sympathizers. Voting in Sunday’s election was largely peaceful and was marked by a high turnout. In the days preceding the elections, there was a huge amount of uncertainty about whether a free and fair election would be permitted and if its results would be recognized. On the day before the elections, the DIREPRE preliminary elections system was suspended and an armed mobilization had taken place outside La Paz. After polling closed, there was some confusion as the Unitel-Ciesmori estimate was delayed and there was a marked lack of transparency. The election observation delegation CODEPINK spoke to the media expressing these concerns and calling for greater clarity and openness in the process.

The information regarding the results was greeted with celebration by Bolivians and progressive sections throughout the world. Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro tweeted that the people of Bolivia had, by their votes, defeated the coup that overthrew Evo Morales.

¡Gran Victoria! El pueblo boliviano unido y consciente derrotó con votos el golpe de Estado que le dieron a nuestro hermano Evo. Felicitaciones al presidente electo Luis Arce, al vicepresidente David Choquehuanca y a nuestro Jefe Indio del Sur @evoespueblo. ¡Jallalla Bolivia! pic.twitter.com/nZgOJs57hL

— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) October 19, 2020

Former president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, who was himself overthrown in a coup in 2009, congratulated the people of Bolivia for beating the coup and the fraud.

@evoespueblo lo derrocaron y desde el exilio les GANO. @LuchoXBolivia es el Presidente ! El pueblo de Bolivia por paliza venció el GOLPISMO y el fraude

— Manuel Zelaya R. (@manuelzr) October 19, 2020

Source:https://peoplesdispatch.org/2020/10/19/we-have-regained-hope-says-luis-arce-as-estimates-show-mas-victory-in-bolivian-presidential-polls/
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Peace is inseparably linked with development and social justice – Silvio Platero


Silvio Platero: “Estamos al borde de una Tercera Guerra ...


The universality of Fidel’s humanist ideas is recognized in every corner of the world, and he is known to be, above all, a man of peace. 

On January 1, 1959 Cuba became free, independent, sovereign, and from that moment on it would have to struggle to cease being a country of illiterates deprived of culture and health for all. To do that it would have to attain economic development and social equality, a goal that Fidel knew could only be achieved in a context of peace, of civil tranquility, and with the participation of everyone; with the aggravating element of having to face the most powerful empire in history, which would require preparing for war as sole way of preventing it.

With this Cuban reality, our Commander in Chief succeeded in developing a political thought in which peace is inseparably linked with development and with social justice as inalienable principle, valid not just for our nation but for any place in the world where people struggle to build their own destiny.

When reflecting on the legacy of Fidel, who left us a vast and strategic arsenal of ideas to continue his struggle to conquer peace for all human beings in our planet, we must underline its full applicability even in the complex and dangerous situations in which the imperial oligarchies have placed the world, with the consciousness that there will be peace for all or no peace for anyone, and also conscious, like Fidel himself said at a meeting of the World Peace Council:

“(…) peace by itself is not the solution to all problems. Peace is only the primary condition to be able to apply consequently the huge volumes of energy and resources required to enable all humankind and not just a part of it to live in an honorable, decent and decorous way.”[1]

Silvio Platero,

MOVPAZ President

America-Caribbean Coordinator


[1] Susi Sarfati, Salomón. Diccionario de Pensamientos de Fidel Castro. Segunda edición revisada y ampliada, Editora Política, La Habana, 2016, p. 305

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News from Telesur 17/10/2020



 17/10/2020LATIN AMERICA
  Argentinean Lawmaker Released After Being Arrested in Bolivia
  Bolivia: MAS Will Have Its Own Vote-Counting System
  Chile Takes to the Streets Ahead of its Social Outbreak’s Anniversary
 WORLD
  Experts Warn U.S. Already in Fall, Winter COVID-19 Surge
  US Rejects Putin’s Proposal on New START Extension
  UNICEF: Lack of Basic Hand Washing Affects Billions of People
 SPORTS
  Cristiano Ronaldo Tests Positive For COVID-19
  Nepal: First Man To Crown Everest Without Bottled Oxygen Dies
  Pole Vaulter Duplantis Breaks Bubka’s 26-Year-Old World Record
 CULTURE
  Cali International Ballet Festival Pays Homage to Alicia Alonso
  Chilean Film Festival to Be Held Online and for Free
  Cuban and US Artists Pay Tribute to Doctors
 OPINION
  Donald Trump Starves Venezuela, Cuba to Win Votes in Florida
  Black Left Views on American Elections Matter
  A Different Focus on Nicaragua
 

 
TeleSUR La Nueva Televisión del Sur C.A. (TVSUR) RIF: G-20004500-0
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If we stand together, our voice cannot be ignored

Statement by Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, during the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement’s Coordinating Bureau, October 9, 2020

october 12, 2020 10:10:00

Photo: MINREX

His Excellency Mr. Djeyhun Bayramov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

Esteemed Ministers and Heads of Delegations;

Delegates and guests;

Sixty years after their adoption, the Bandung principles, which were the most immediate antecedent of the Non-Aligned Movement, remain fully valid and are ever more relevant.

We recognize the work carried out by the Presidency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Movement and its efforts to preserve and strengthen the indispensable activism of countries of the South.

The world situation is ever more dangerous. The main economic, military and technological power disregards multilateral bodies and agreements; violates International Law and the UN Charter and threatens international peace and security with its aggressive and arrogant behavior. Its attempts to impose domination and hegemony are renewed and strengthened. It promotes conflicts and unleashes wars claiming humanitarian reasons or alleged anti-terrorism struggles.

We are witnessing a continued modernization of nuclear weapons and an increase in military expenditures, instead of an increased allocation of resources to sustainable development. The gap between the North and the South is widening. It has been estimated that in 2019, the 1 percent richest owned twice as much the wealth of 6.9 billion persons. Meanwhile, very conservative data indicate that 600 million were living in extreme poverty; almost 690 million were starving and 5.2 million children below the age of five died, most of them of curable and preventable diseases.

The world’s economic situation is critical and is worsening due to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the underdeveloped world is bearing the brunt of this impact.

The irrational capitalist patterns of production and consumption are destroying the ecological balance in the planet. The unequal exchange persists and is worsening.

In some of our nations, the legitimate right to development is additionally limited by the imposition of unilateral coercive measures.

The foreign debt that suffocates underdeveloped countries, particularly under the conditions imposed by this pandemic, is unpayable and uncollectable and should be cancelled.

In this complex context, the Non-Aligned Movement, the main political coordination mechanism of the countries of the South, must assume a key role in the defense of our peoples’ demands. Since its inception, the Movement has supported struggles against colonialism, neocolonialism and apartheid, in favor of the Palestinian cause, nuclear disarmament, peace and a new and more just, democratic, equitable international economic order.

In order to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, the Movement, under the leadership of Azerbaijan, has emphasized the role of the World Health Organization and the importance of solidarity and international cooperation. Cuba takes pride in having made a modest contribution to these efforts, despite the restrictions imposed by the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States and its cynical, brutal campaign against Cuba’s medical cooperation.

Inspired by the principles of Bandung and the Principles and Purposes of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries agreed at the Fourteenth Summit held in Havana in 2006, the preservation of peace should be our most urgent goal in view of the present global context. Our movement includes the majority of all countries and UN member states. If we stand together, our voice cannot be ignored. The Movement will always be able to count on Cuba in this endeavor.

Thus, we strongly believe that, as was stated by Comandante en jefe Fidel Castro Ruz at the Seventh Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held in New Delhi, India, and I quote: “the Non-Aligned countries will continue advancing in their inalienable role as defenders of peace, national independence and development; strengthening our cohesion and unity and honorably fulfilling the difficult duties imposed on us by these critical times.”

Source: http://en.granma.cu/mundo/2020-10-12/if-we-stand-together-our-voice-cannot-be-ignored

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The World Peace Council nominates Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors for the Nobel Peace Prize for their global efforts against Covid 19

WPC President Socorro Gomes

To the Norwegian Nobel Committee

Mrs. Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chair

Subject: Nobel Peace Prize nomination for the “Henry Reeve” International Contingent of Doctors

Dear members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,
Dear Mrs. Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chair

We address you in a time of great challenges for humanity and also a time of the greatest need for solidarity. The COVID-19 pandemic is yet another instance of how essential international solidarity is in the promotion of a just peace and the alleviation of people’s suffering during emergencies. And it is in this sense that we see as the most sincere example of such international solidarity the work that the Cuban medical contingent “Henry Reeve” has been performing since much before the coronavirus outbreak was announced. That fact leads us to urge you to acknowledge how valiant and exemplary the group’s endeavor is by endowing it the Nobel Peace Prize.

The various Cuban medical groups currently work saving lives in 24 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean; 27 African countries; 2 in the Middle East and 7 in Asia. They have been bringing people humanitarian medical assistance for about 60 years, in a long lasting Cuban tradition of humanist care for other peoples which is carried out even in the face of dire economic challenges for the Island, which suffers from the extremely harsh sanctions that, in a stark contrast with Cubans’ disposition, also lasts over six decades and impose grave hardships on the Cuban people. Still, Cubans have overcome this barrier to show the world how best to build peace and bridge, so that other peoples may have the chance to overcome their own challenges and not lose their lives before they accomplish that. The Cuban brigades have worked in countries such as Peru, in the aftermath of the 1970 devastating earthquake that killed 80,000 people and displaced thousands of families (note that Cuba and Peru did not have diplomatic relations and still, the former has sent assistance); in Haiti, during the cholera crisis; in various African countries, fighting Ebola; and Latin America and the Caribbeans, with a wide range of programs that helped thousands of people.

The “Henry Reeve brigades”, as the emergency contingent is known, have a gigantic task that only a humanist endeavor could accomplish as it has. This huge challenge is in the designation: the International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics.The contingent was launched in 2005 and named in honor of a young US activist who decided to join Cuba’s Liberation Army in solidarity with the Cuban’s struggle for independence. In about 28 brigades sent to 22 countries since its creation, more than 7,950 professionals have worked to surmount the effects of 16 floods, eight hurricanes, eight earthquakes and four epidemics. In the fight against COVID 19, the ever brave Cuban physicians promptly headed to several countries, including Italy, which was in March 2020 amongst the hardest hit by the outbreak. The brigades were requested by the governments of countries such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Italy, Suriname, Jamaica, Granada, Andorra, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Haiti, Dominica, Belize, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda.

There are 14 such brigades working with over 500 specialized doctors and other health professionals, valiant men and women who have been bringing much needed assistance to peoples in various countries and all continents, saving countless lives and showing the humane empathy and kindness for which they remain known wherever they have visited. This work is key in building peace amidst violent and structural conflicts and in setting conditions for people to have their most basic needs met in conditions of disaster and extreme impoverishment. For this principled commitment to peace and solidarity turned into concrete, verifiable action, hence, the brigades are more than qualified for the Nobel Peace Prize.

For that reason, representing dozens of national peace committees in about 100 countries that are members of our World Peace Council, we join countless other organizations, parliamentarians, and diverse peace-loving-people in endorsing the nomination of the Henry Reeve contingent for the Nobel Peace Prize. The WPC is an international non-governmental organization relentlessly promoting peace and opposing wars, with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Sincerely yours

Socorro Gomes

President of the World Peace Council and former Federal Deputy in the Brazilian House of Representatives.

Thanassis Pafilis

General Secretary of the World Peace Council, member of the Hellenic Parliament

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98 US Scholars urge Congress to support Free and Fair Elections in Bolivia

October 8, 2020

To Members of the U.S. Congress,

We, the undersigned, U.S scholars at colleges and universities across the United States and other parts of the world, wish to express our deep concern regarding the troubling positions that the Trump administration has taken on Bolivia over the last eleven months, in particular its support for an unconstitutional political transition there in November of last year and its silence regarding numerous egregious human rights abuses perpetrated by Bolivia’s “interim” government. We are heartened, however, to see the letters and statements from members of Congress, including Bernie Sanders, Jan Schakowsky, Henry Johnson, Deb Haaland, Barbara Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Chuy García, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressely and others, that called attention to the abuses of the Jeanine Áñez government, which threaten the integrity of the country’s upcoming elections, and that criticized the Trump administration’s silence regarding these abuses.

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On November 10, 2019, the democratically elected president of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma, was forced to resign and flee the country under strong pressure from the military and mutinous police forces. Members of his family and officials from his party, MAS (Movement Toward Socialism), saw their homes set on fire and relatives of MAS politicians were physically attacked in order to force the officials to resign. Almost three weeks earlier, on October 20th, President Morales had won a fourth term in office receiving a 47 percent plurality with an over 10-point margin against the closest competitor, sufficient to avoid a runoff. Though the opposition and an OAS electoral mission questioned these results and alleged that intentional manipulation of the vote had taken place, its statistical claims were debunked by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and by independent researchers from MIT, the University of Michigan, Tulane University and University of Pennsylvania.

Following on the mandate set by social movements, since taking office in 2006, Morales—the first indigenous president of the country with the largest percentage of indigenous population in South America—had embarked on a widespread project of social reform. Early on in his administration, the rights of indigenous communities, which had been marginalized for centuries despite making up between 41 and 62 percent of the population, were recognized under a new constitution approved in 2009 by over 60 percent of voters.  Under Morales, government programs reduced overall poverty by 40 percent, and extreme poverty by 60 percent. Important headway was made through grassroots initiatives on the perennial challenges of illicit coca cultivation, by establishing indigenous community control and negotiation to create a system that reduced the coca destined for cocaine production. Such an accomplishment is even more remarkable considering that in Colombia, where U.S. taxpayers have spent over $10.5 billion since 2000 on military equipment and toxic aerial fumigation, land used for coca cultivation has gone up about 45 percent a year since 2013.

While the MAS’s project improved the welfare of Bolivia’s poor majorities, it was aggressively opposed by the country’s oligarchy and the white minority that has ruled since the 1500s and resented indigenous empowerment. Unable to defeat Morales at the ballot box, a right-wing portion of the business elite has sought his ouster through other means including promoting the secession of the country’s eastern departments (the right’s regional stronghold), the formation of so-called civic committees that include violent youth gangs who carry out racist attacks, and a barrage of media falsehoods.

The Áñez administration which has ruled Bolivia since the November 2019 coup has carried out major changes to the domestic and foreign policies made by Bolivia’s previous, elected, government. Her government has overseen massacres of protesters, threats against journalists, the incarceration of political prisoners—including prominent Afro-Bolivian union leader Elena Flores—the gutting of social programs, and corruption scandals. Under Áñez, government officials continuously characterize indigenous protesters as terrorists and drug traffickers, and she herself has labeled indigenous culture as satanic. Likewise, other coup leaders such as Luis Fernando Camacho, a multi-millionaire, Catholic fundamentalist with fascist tendencies, celebrated the MAS’s ouster as marking “the return of God” to the presidential palace.

Following three postponements, Bolivia’s elections are set to take place on October 18. We are gravely concerned, however, about the threatening political environment spurred by the interim government and other coup supporters. The Áñez administration continues in its attempt to criminalize and remove the leaders of the nation’s largest party, the MAS, with dubious corruption and terrorism charges. In addition, over 50,000 Bolivians living abroad have seen their right to vote suppressed. Even more alarming are recent accounts of false-flag operations, planned acts of violence that would be falsely attributed to MAS. Such sabotage would create a climate of fear, to justify further postponing the election and banning MAS from participating.

It is essential that members of Congress continue to closely monitor the situation and speak out against the Áñez government’s persecution of political opponents and any other actions that undermine democracy. Members of Congress concerned about democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the region should also remain vigilant regarding the words and actions of U.S. administration officials and senior officials at the Organization of American States, given their tacit and sometimes overt support for the forced removal of Bolivia’s democratically-elected president and in favor of the unelected Áñez government, despite its lamentable human rights record. With recent polls showing MAS attaining 40 percent of the vote with an almost 10 point lead compared to the next closest party, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro is already casting doubt over their potential win, signaling that such a victory would be fraudulent.

We urge members of Congress to support free and fair elections in Bolivia and be prepared to hold U.S. and OAS officials to account if they contribute to any further deterioration of democracy and human rights in Bolivia.

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To the Peoples of the World from President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuela’s Maduro offers few fresh ideas as economy ...

Caracas, October 2, 2020

To the Peoples of the World

Brothers and Sisters:

I greet you affectionately on the occasion of informing you about the recent actions undertaken by Venezuela to confront and overcome the illegal blockade that the government of the United States of America has been imposing against my country since almost twenty years ago, with special radicalism during the last five years, causing serious effects on the normal performance of the Venezuelan economy, with subsequent impact on the population’s well-being.

In this regard, I want to inform you about the approval of a very important legislation that has been named “Anti-Blockade Law for National Development and the Guarantee of the Rights of the Venezuelan People”, which is focused on defending the patrimony sovereignty and dignity of our Homeland as well as our people’s right to peace, development and well-being.

It is a necessary legal response from the Venezuelan State, in perfect harmony with International Law, that will allow for the creation of mechanisms to improve the nation’s income and generate rational and adequate incentives, under flexible controls, to stimulate internal economic activity and carry out productive alliances, through foreign investment, that favor national development.

At the same time, in the political area, I am honored to reiterate that in face of the external aggression that the Unilateral Coercive Measures posed by the United States against Venezuela, our banner is and will continue to be, strengthening and deepening our democracy.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, preparations for our legislative elections on December 6, continue with firm pace, where the population will massively concur to fulfill the constitutional mandate of electing a new national parliament.

In this election, whose conditions were agreed to with broad sectors of the democratic opposition of my country, over 90% of the organizations registered before the National Electoral Council will participate, for a total of 107 political parties -98 of them in oppositionand over 14,000 candidates who will compete to obtain one of the 277 parliamentary seats.result of this electoral race will undoubtedly grant more strength to our nation and to our people, who have resisted foreign aggression with dignity and firmness and despite all, maintains its spirit of love and solidarity.

Comrades, having updated you on these two elements of the real situation in Venezuela, allow me to share with you some information of interest, to broaden the range of your knowledge on the general context that explains the current reality of my country.

Since 2014, the United States has approved a law and 7 decrees or executive orders, as well as 300 administrative measures, which

together make up a sophisticated policy of multiform aggression against Venezuela.

In five years, the blockade succeeded in cutting off financing to Venezuela, preventing it from accessing the required currency to acquire food, medicine, spare pans, and essential raw materials for economic activity. During that period, Venezuela experienced the sharpest fall in its external income in all of its history, close to 99%.

The United States has decreed a ban on the commercialization of Venezuelan hydrocarbons, its main export product and source of fiscal income. In this context, since the beginning of the new coronavirus pandemic, on different opportunities the United States has publicly boasted having assaulted ships bringing Venezuela the required products to produce gasoline and supply the internal fuel market, aggravating even more the economic situation.

Invoking this illegal regulation, the United States has confiscated money and assets from PDVSA, the Venezuelan State oil company, including several refineries on U.S. soil, whose worth exceeds 40 billion dollars.

These legal instruments are the arm that applies a cruel blockade against the Venezuelan people, which Alfred de Zayas, an independent United Nations expert on Human Rights, describes unequivocally as “crimes against humanity”.

In this regard, in an investigation from the Center for Economic and Policy Research of the United States on the blockade on Venezuela, the American economist Jeffrey Sachs, special adviser to

the United Nations Organization on the Sustainable Development Goals, determined that the blockade against Venezuela is responsible for at least 40,000 deaths in my country, for which the sanctions must be considered as a “collective punishment of the Venezuelan people”

In a surprising official statement on January 2018, the U.S. State Department admitted its illegal intentions:

“The pressure campaign against Venezuela is working. The financial sanctions that we have imposed have forced the Government to begin to default, both in its sovereign debt as well as that of PDVSA, its oil company. And what we are seeing ( . . . ) IS a total economic collapse in Venezuela. Therefore, our policy works, our strategy works and we will maintain it”.

This is a confession of an international crime, an act of economic savagery, a crime against humanity, with the only purpose of hurting my country and the people of Venezuela.

The illegal application of Unilateral Coercive Measures, called with the euphemism of “sanctions”, is a policy repeatedly rejected by the United Nations General Assembly, contrary to International Law and a violation of the United Nations Charter.

For all the above mentioned, last February 13, Venezuela went to the International Criminal Court to denounce those who, from the United States, have committed these atrocious crimes against humanity. I am confident that sooner than later, international justice will look upon Venezuela with objectivity and will see the great damage that

the United States has produced on a pacific, loving and hard-working people.

I want to express my gratitude for the consideration that you have had in reviewing the content of this letter, which I hope has been useful in order to keep you correctly informed on the real situation of Venezuela, and at the same time I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your permanent solidarity towards Venezuela. Together we shall overcome!

Sincerely,

Nicolas Maduro Moros

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CARICOM’s Travel Bubble – Something to aspire to

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Four Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries have from yesterday put arrangements in place for operating a travel bubble as part of the efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, Barbados ambassador to Caricom, David Comissiong, has said.

In a statement, Comissiong said that St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and Barbados have all put their arrangements in place and have commenced operating the bubble, which went into effect last Friday in keeping with a decision made at a special emergency meeting of Caricom leaders earlier this month.

“The defining feature of a COVID-19 travel bubble is that persons entitled to participate in the travel bubble are not required to take COVID-19 tests nor to undergo a period of quarantine in order to travel to countries that are within the bubble,” Comissiong said.

“Our Caricom heads of government took a major step towards resuscitating the COVID-19-challenged travel and tourism sectors, with their agreement to institute a travel bubble among Caricom member states and associate members which meet the agreed criteria,” he added.

He said the regional leaders took the decision after they acknowledged that the past six months have been a very challenging period globally and regionally, as countries have struggled to cope with the effects of the novel coronavirus.

“They noted that for Caricom, it has been particularly difficult, given the high dependence in most of the economies on the travel and tourism sectors,” Comissiong said, noting that in agreeing to establish the bubble the regional leaders were guided by a comprehensive report from the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which provided recommendations on how the bubble would operate, and laid out the eligibility criteria for countries to participate.

He said the recommendations included that countries would be categorised ranging from those with no cases to those which had low, medium, high, and very high risk with respect to the rate of positive cases over a 14-day period; the level of risk would be determined by the number of positive cases per 100,000 of the population within a 14-day period.

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The Story behind Soberana (Sovereign) – the name of Cuba’s Covid-19 Vaccine

A name identifies, makes unique, and enamors… It is a calling card and can convey confidence and pride, which is exactly what occurred this month of August, when the people of Cuba heard the long-awaited news that our scientists had come up with an idea, an idea they turned into a vial of vaccine in just three months’ time, as one researcher said.

Author: Yisell Rodríguez Milán | informacion@granmai.cu

Soberana is the name given Cuba’s first candidate vaccine, which began clinical trials August 24, to demonstrate its effectiveness against the virus SARS-COV-2, which causes COVID-19. Photo: BioCubaFarma

A name identifies, makes unique, and enamors… It is a calling card and can convey confidence and pride, which is exactly what occurred this month of August, when the people of Cuba heard the long-awaited news that our scientists had come up with an idea, an idea they turned into a vial of vaccine in just three months’ time, as one researcher said.

Soberana (Sovereign) was the name given the candidate vaccine that, August 24, began its first clinical trials to demonstrate effectiveness against the SARS-COV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, an illness that has taken thousands of lives and cast the world into a deep economic crisis affecting, above all, those who have historically been the world’s most vulnerable.

IT ALL BEGAN…

According to Naturaleza Secreta, that has carefully documented details of the propagation of COVID-19 in Cuba and the battle against it, the name Soberana appeared for the first time, written by hand, at the bottom of a piece of paper along with the information needed for clinical trials of the first candidate vaccine against the virus.

On this same sheet, other possible names had been noted as well, none of which appeared to work, although a designation had to be chosen, as an unavoidable requirement to register the clinical trials, thus obliging experts at the Finlay Vaccine Institute, the Molecular Biology Institute and the University of Havana – responsible for the bulk of the research process that produced the vaccine – to make up their minds.

It was Dr. Meiby de la Caridad Rodríguez González, director of research at the Finlay who had the task of filling out the forms for the registration, who proposed calling the clinical trials project for the Cuban candidate vaccine Soberana 01.

She was at home, working late along with the rest of the team, hoping to have everything ready by August 13, to honor, on the anniversary of his birth, the man who inspired Cuba’s scientific development and especially the biotechnology sector: Fidel.

Upon hearing the proposal, members of the team who developed the vaccine, led by the institute’s director, Vicente Vérez Bencomo, immediately looked at each other and nodded. Soberana was accepted without discussion, without hesitation, with the “01” designation for the project as the first clinical trial of a candidate vaccine, according to Naturaleza Secreta.

The scientists have since said that underlying the selection of the name was the comment made by President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, this past May 19, on the necessity of developing a Cuban vaccine for COVID-19, regardless of what other countries might do, to give us sovereignty.

Referring to a possible Cuban candidate vaccine, the President said at that time, “The development of a vaccine would complete the feat we have accomplished.” He emphasized that adding a vaccine to the achievements of Cuban science, as soon as possible, would be “an important contribution from all points of view.”

The rest is history, Naturaleza Secreta notes in its article. The news that Cuba has its own vaccine entering clinical trials has gone viral on the Internet and the country’s citizens have named it, on their own… sovereignly.

“It was the people who really selected the name Soberana, because of the pride it gives us, and this will be the commercial name of the vaccine used in the country,” stated Vicente Vérez, this past August 20, on the Cuban television program, Mesa Redonda.

This name is now that of the vaccine, not only of the clinical trials project. Nor will it be the name of the second candidate vaccine, already in the works,

Naturaleza Secreta concludes, reporting how difficult it was to get this story, since, “Among the team members who created the Cuban vaccine against COVID-19, no one wants to take any individual credit,” insisting that this project, with all its merits and beautiful, universally accepted name, is a collective work.

Source: http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2020-09-03/how-did-cubas-covid-19-candidate-vaccine-come-to-be-named-soberana

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How does Covid -19 threaten peace and promote discrimination?

Presentation by Jamaica Peace Council submitted to the Talking On Purpose forum on the occasion of UN World Peace Day at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts .

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The Covid-19 disease threatens the health, wellness and mortality of the people of the world at an unprecedented level. In its wake, it unveils many social inequities that are the result of the predominant social system which engenders and thrives on various types of discrimination – class, race, ethnicity, gender, age etc. The following points outline what we see as the social inequities and vulnerabilities revealed by Covid-19.

  1. Covid -19 has exposed the inequality in internet access and unavailability of computer technology in homes. While students from upper class families pivoted seamlessly to online education, poorer students faced major problems. In many cases, the student’s only access to the internet is their parent’s phone data plan. So the disparity in education was widened by the pandemic. There is some effort to close the gap through some excellent television programming but this does not allow for interaction, personal attention and continuity. We must bear in mind that students in poor communities already face deficiencies in face-to-face education given the disparity in the resources in schools across the board. Education is promoted as the major determinant of success. Covid-19 has exposed the disadvantage students from poor families and communities face in trying to grasp the ticket to success

2. The disease disproportionately affects non-whites, especially black people. The main reasons for this is that they are disproportionately exposed to situations that make them vulnerable to contracting the disease. This includes working in frontline jobs, traveling by public transport, living and working in congested spaces with poor ventilation, and having pre-existing conditions. According to an Economic Policy Institute article by Elise Gould, “evidence to date suggests that black and Hispanic workers face much more economic and health insecurity from COVID-19 than white workers”.

The harsh economic effects of the impact of Covid-19 have been felt mostly among working class, in particular, black workers. Job loss is high and climbing, especially as many companies are increasing the use of digitization, automation and mechanization. Added to that is the astronomical increase in the cost of living. The COVID19 pandemic exposes the vulnerability of workers worldwide. We have seen television interviews with frontline workers on short-term contracts who have no health benefits which would be necessary for them to secure adequate health care.

The Secretary General of the United Nations,  Antonio Guitierrez predicted what is now our reality when he said:

“The pandemic’s economic impacts could create “major stressors” in fragile societies or less developed countries, for example, while the ensuing economic instability will have devastating consequences for women as they make up the majority in the worst-affected sectors.”

In that statement, Gutierrez highlighted the fact that there is a gender disparity in the impact of Covid-19. We can add to that age disparity in those affected by the disease. The majority of persons who die from the disease are senior citizens who are not prioritized for life-saving in overwhelmed health systems.

3. Stigma against social groups, in particular, races and nationalities, is one of the by-products of Covid-19 that various nations have had to combat. For example, early in the pandemic, Asian people were stigmatized because one of the first countries in which Covid-19 was identified was China. We have subsequently learned that it developed almost simultaneously in Italy. In the US and elsewhere, Chinese citizens and people of Chinese ancestry have been physically and verbally assaulted by white nationalists and other xenophobic groups. The fact that President of the USA, Donald Trump in an unscientific way attributed  COVID-19 to China, calling it the “Chinese flu”, instead of the environmental issues which gave rise to it, helped to fuel this expression of racism towards people of color in general and the Chinese in particular. Indeed, many individuals suffered severe wounds at the hands of racist thugs in the US and in other countries. Here in Jamaica, we have seen stigmatization of people based on symptoms. In one instance, a man was beaten and thrown off a bus because he was coughing.

Another dimension to our answer to the question about Covid-19’s impact on peace and discrimination, is the fact that governments have had to create extraordinary emergency conditions in the fight against Covid-19. While these extraordinary emergency conditions are necessary to protect the health of citizens, they curtail their human rights and can easily morph into dictatorships without the vigilance of constitutional lawyers, human rights bodies, other civil society groups and mass organisations.

A major danger to peace is the tendency of powerful imperialist countries to the use the severe economic realities faced by poorer countries to manipulate them into supporting actions which are against the thrust towards creating a peaceful world and maintaining our region of the Caribbean and Latin America as a zone of peace. In this region, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba are primary targets for regime change, that is, the overthrow of their governments. These countries pose no threat to the imperialist countries. However, their peoples have exercised their right to control their natural resources and use them for the development of their people. The imperialist countries have used many forms of attacks including harsh sanctions to try to force them to bow to their demands. What does this have to do with Covid-19? The fact is that the economic problems of countries in the region have been exacerbated by the pandemic and they are challenged to find the resources to fight the pandemic and revitalize their economies. This makes them vulnerable to manipulation by powerful countries. This is a major threat to peace in our region.

The UN’s Secretary General stated: “In some conflict settings, the uncertainty created by the pandemic may create incentives for some actors to promote further division and turmoil. This could lead to an escalation of violence and possibly devastating miscalculations, which could further entrench ongoing wars and complicate efforts to fight the pandemic.”

We firmly believe that COVID19 which has done so much to expose the structural socio-economic, cultural and political inequities and disparities between races, genders, ethnicities and classes in capitalist societies should be treated as an opportunity to transform these societies to at least minimize, if not eliminate, the threats to peace and stability globally.

Student and other organizations across the globe must play a role in holding public officials accountable for adopting policies to foster peace and protect the health and wellness of all citizens as a matter of priority. This includes access to health care services and legal protection against discrimination and bigotry. They must also be watch dogs in ensuring that the emergency powers created to fight the pandemic are not used to establish dictatorships that rule innthe interest of the minority and against the interest of the majority of the people. They must also be vigilant in ensuring that their governments do not become puppets of imperialism.

Last but not least, we call on student and other organisations to support the nomination of Cuba’s Henry Reeve Medical Brigade for the Nobel Peace Prize for their bravery in providing healthcare to peoples all over the world to combat dangerous diseases such as Ebola and Covid-19.They are setting an example of what peaceful cooperation between nations looks like.

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Cuba and the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade deserve to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – Doctors not Bombs

The heroes of the Covid-19 pandemic are the Cuban health workers who are providing services to several nations in the fight against the dangerous virus.

Cuban Health Team arriving at the Norman Manley Airport today
The Henry Reeve InternationalMedical Brigade greeted on their arrival in Jamaica by the Ambassador Ines Fors Hernandes and Minister Tuftom.

They are committed to the mission of providing humanitarian and medical assistance to the population of countries hit by natural disasters and epidemics, and contribute to their recovery.

The Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade was created on 19 September 2005, in response to the damage caused by hurricane Katrina to New Orleans in the United States, which brought about approximately 1,336 casualties and losses worth 75 billion dollars.  The Brigade was called Henry Reeve as a tribute to an American young man, born in Brooklyn, New York, who joined the detachment of Cuban patriots that landed on the Eastern coasts of Cuba on 4 May 1869 to take part in the independence war against Spanish colonial domination, which had begun in October 1868.  In the history of Cuba, Henry Reeve became a paradigm of international solidarity.

When an adverse healthcare incident takes place, brigade members are immediately mobilized within 24 to 48 hours depending on the type of event.  Most of its members have experience in international health missions, but participation is voluntary.

Up to 10 August 2020, the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade had provided assistance to 45 nations and 5 non-self-governing territories.  In Latin America and the Caribbean, the Brigade has worked in 22 states: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize (twice), Bolivia, Chile (twice), Dominica (twice), Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Grenada, Haiti (four times), Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico (three times), Nicaragua, Peru (twice), Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.  It has also provided services in 5 countries of Asia and Oceania:  China, Fiji, Indonesia, Nepal and Pakistan; in 12 nations of Subsaharan Africa:  Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry (twice), Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone (twice), São Tomé and Príncipe, South Africa and Togo; in three North Africa and Middle East countries:  United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait; and in three European states:  Andorra, Azerbaijan and Italy. Additionally, the Brigade has assisted the following non-self-governing British territories:  Anguilla, Turks and Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands, and Montserrat, as well as Martinique, which is an overseas department of France.

Members of the Henry Reeve medical brigade, which will provide support to Italy in the face of the crisis generated by COVID-19, pose with a photo of former Cuban President Fidel Castro

Members of the Henry Reeve medical brigade, which will provide support to Italy in the face of the crisis generated by COVID-19, pose with a photo of former Cuban President Fidel Castro | Photo: EFE

More than 9,000 Cuban healthcare professionals have participated in these missions.  They have delivered medical care to approximately 4 million people and have saved the lives of more than 89,000 people.

On 26 May 2017, the World Health Organization awarded the Dr. LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health to the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade which specializes in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics in the 70th World Health Assembly.  This prize was given in recognition of the medical assistance lent by the Brigade in emergency situations.  When presenting the award, Yohan Ihn, President of the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare, said that “the Henry Reeve Brigade has disseminated a message of hope to the whole world”.

On 13 August 2020, the National Congress of Honduras approved the award of the high decoration known as the “Cruz de Comendador” (the Commander’s Cross) to the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade for its outstanding contribution to the health of the Honduran people and the results achieved in combating COVID-19 in their country.

After COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and became the greatest health threat the world has been faced with in the 21st century, the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade prepared to help any nation that would request its assistance.  In the course of five months, the Brigade has gone to 38 states, treating 355,785 people and saving 9,736 lives. More than 3,700 Cuban healthcare professionals have taken part in these missions; 61.2 % of them are women.  

Forty-five brigades were specially created to fight the pandemic, 38 of which are still delivering care in 29 nations (Angola, Azerbaijan, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Cape Verde, Dominica, United Arab Emirates, Grenada, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Mexico, Peru, Qatar, Saint Lucia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Togo and Venezuela) and 5 non-self-governing territories (Anguilla, Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Martinique and Montserrat).

The Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade has been present in most regions of the world, including 2 states of Central America, namely Nicaragua and Honduras, and Mexico. In the latter, there were four specialized medical brigades from Cuba.  The six Cuban medical missions in the region have treated more than 80,000 patients. The Brigade has also assisted 12 Caribbean countries, namely Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Jamaica, Grenada, Haiti, Belize, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago, where it has provided health care services to around 33,000 people.  Moreover, the Brigade has contributed to combating the pandemic in South America, more specifically in Venezuela and in Peru with four brigades, treating approximately 19,000 people. 

Four Cuban medical brigades have gone to Europe to join the domestic efforts in the fight against the pandemic in Italy (2 brigades were sent to Lombardy and Piedmont), Andorra, and Azerbaijan, where they have provided their services to more than 16,000 people.  Furthermore, the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade has helped several non-self-governing British territories (Anguilla, Turks and Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands and Montserrat) and Martinique, which is an overseas department of France, treating more than a thousand patients.

In Africa, 10 Cuban medical brigades have delivered care to over 38,000 people in Angola, Togo, Cape Verde, South Africa, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone and Kenya.

In the Middle East, four medical brigades have worked in Qatar (two medical missions), United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, treating more than 138,000 patients.

As a result of the cooperation established with the World Health Organization (WHO), in less than two weeks 5,000 Cuban doctors and nurses from the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade volunteered to assist in combating the Ebola epidemic. Out of them, more than 500 professionals were chosen for training and 256 were finally selected to participate in the fight against Ebola. 

In 2010, Cuban doctors had already been engaged in the fight against a cholera epidemic in Haiti, lending medical assistance to more than 400,000 people and saving the lives of approximately 76,000 patients. Just like in 2010, in 2014 the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade worked in the Ebola treatment centers in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea Conakry, taking care of more than 2,000 patients.  This was the only medical mission that provided direct medical assistance to Ebola patients.  During this period, two brigade members died of malaria and another one contracted Ebola.

EXPERIENCE IN NATURAL DISASTER SITUATIONS

The first emergency situation the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade had to face took place just a few days after it was created, in Guatemala, where they had to assist the population affected by the floods of October 2005.  A total of 688 healthcare professionals treated over 477,000 people and saved more than 1,300 lives.

Since its creation, the Brigade has completed 20 medical missions specialized in addressing natural disaster situations, more specifically 8 after the floods in Guatemala (2005), Bolivia (2006), Belize (2007), Mexico (2007), El Salvador (2009), Chile (2015), Peru (2017), and Sierra Leone (2017), 7 after the earthquakes that hit Pakistan (2005), Indonesia (2006), Peru (2007), China (2008), Chile (2010), Nepal (2015), and Ecuador (2016), and 5 after the hurricanes striking Haiti (2016), Fiji (2016), Dominica (2017), Mexico (2017) and Mozambique (2019). More than 4,000 healthcare professionals took part in these missions and delivered care to more than 3 million patients.

The Brigade carried out a particularly remarkable work in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Pakistan in October 2005, causing the loss of 70,000 lives and injuries to 100,000 people and leaving 3 million people homeless.  In a time lapse of almost eight months, over 2,000 Cuban healthcare workers treated more than 1,700,000 patients.  Over 14,000 surgeries were performed and more than 166,000 survivors received specialized rehabilitation services; more than 2,000 lives were saved.

In the course of these 15 years, the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade has been part of the international efforts to increase cooperation between nations in the health care sector.  During this period, 71 medical brigades have been formed, including 46 to fight COVID-19, three to deal with the Ebola epidemic, two to combat the cholera epidemic, and 20 to respond to natural disaster situations, out of which eight are specialized in floods, seven in earthquakes and five in hurricanes.

The Brigade has remained actively engaged this whole time, completing between 1 and 4 missions per year.  In the last five months, it has carried out a remarkably efficient work in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION-HISTORY OF THE HENRY REEVE INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL BRIGADE

For more than fifty years, Cuba has engaged in international medical cooperation projects, which have covered more than 150 countries.  We have been motivated to participate by our feelings of solidarity and humanism.  The origins of the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade can be traced back to May 1960, when a medical team provided assistance to the Chilean people who had been struck by an earthquake and May 1963, when a group of 50 Cuban healthcare professionals traveled to the Republic of Algeria in North Africa, in compliance with an agreement between the two nations.  After 57 years providing humanitarian aid, at the end of 2019, Cuban doctors had delivered preventive and curative care to a total of 1,931 million people from all around the world, thus improving their individual well-being and state of health, and saving 8.2 million lives.

From May 1960 to February 2005, which covers a span of 45 years, several medical brigades for emergency situations – the antecedent of the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade – completed 30 medical and humanitarian aid missions in 19 countries; 2,055 Cuban healthcare workers were involved in those missions, which covered the following countries:  Algeria, Chile, El Salvador, Peru (twice), Nicaragua (5 times), Honduras (4 times), Armenia, Iran, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Colombia, Venezuela, Kosovo, Ecuador, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Guyana, broken down by geographic area as follows: 2 nations in the Caribbean, 4 in Central America, 7 in South America, 2 in Eurasia, 1 in Africa, 1 in the Middle East and 2 in the Far East and the Pacific.  The humanitarian aid extended to these countries was triggered by the occurrence of natural catastrophes, specifically, 11 earthquakes, 7 hurricanes, 1 volcanic eruption, 4 landslides triggered by rainfall and floods, 4 epidemics, 1 fire and 2 tsunamis.  In one particular case, humanitarian assistance was given in the aftermath of an armed conflict.

In 1998, large-scale meteorological disasters devastated vast areas of the Caribbean and Central America, in particular Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala, and brought about the creation of a new international humanitarian aid project to assist affected nations, which was named Comprehensive Health Care Program (PIS, by its Spanish initials).  This project was complemented by the foundation of the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM, by its Spanish initials) in Havana by the end of 1999. The initial aim of this school was to provide medical training to young people from those countries that had been struck by the natural disasters so that they would work as doctors in their communities of origin.  

In the course of 15 years, ELAM has trained 29,749 doctors from 123 nations from every region of the world.  In the current academic year (2019-2020) the school is training 1,358 students from 87 countries.

Official Translation

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We cannot face COVID-19, hunger, unemployment and the growing economic and social inequalities between individuals and countries as unrelated phenomena.

Miguel Díaz-Canel - Wikipedia

Mr. Secretary General, 

Mr. President,

A global pandemic has changed everyday life drastically. From one day to the next, millions of people get infected and thousands die even when their life expectancy was longer thanks to development. Hospital systems with high-level services have collapsed and the health structures of poor countries are affected by their chronic lack of capacity. Drastic quarantines are turning the most populated cities into deserted areas. Social life is nonexistent except in the digital networks. Theaters, discos, galleries and even schools are closed or being readjusted.    

Our borders have been closed, our economies are shrinking and our reserves are dwindling. Life is experiencing a radical redesigning of age-old ways and uncertainty is replacing certainty. Even close friends cannot recognize each other due to the masks that protect us from the contagion. Everything is changing.

Like finding a solution to the pandemic, it is already urgent to democratize this indispensable Organization so that it effectively meets the needs and aspirations of all peoples.  

The sought-after right of humanity to live in peace and security, with justice and freedom, the basis for unity among nations, is constantly under threat.  

Over 1.9 trillion dollars are being squandered today in a senseless arms race promoted by the aggressive and war-mongering policies of imperialism, whose leader is the present government of the US, which accounts for 38 percent of the global military expenditure. 

We are referring to a markedly aggressive and morally corrupt regime that despises and attacks multilateralism, uses financial blackmailing in its relations with UN system agencies and that, in a show of unprecedented overbearance, has withdrawn from the World Health Organization, UNESCO and the Human Rights Council. 

Paradoxically, the country where the UN headquarters is located is also staying away from fundamental international treaties such as the Paris Agreement on climate change; it rejects the nuclear agreement with Iran reached by consensus; it promotes trade wars; it ends its commitment with international disarmament control instruments; it militarizes cyberspace; it expands coercion and unilateral sanctions against those who do not bend to its designs and sponsors the forcible overthrow of sovereign governments through nonconventional war methods.

Along such line of action, which ignores the old principles of peaceful co-existence and respect of the right of others´ to self-determination as the guarantee for peace, the Donald Trump administration it also manipulating, with subversive aims, cooperation in the sphere of democracy and human rights, while in its own territory there is an abundance of practically uncontrolled expressions of hatred, racism, police brutality and irregularities in the election system and as to the voting rights of citizens

It is urgent to reform the UN. This powerful organization, which emerged after the loss of millions of lives in two world wars and as a result of a world understanding of the importance of dialogue, negotiation, cooperation and international law, must not postpone any further its updating and democratization. Today´s world needs the UN just as the one where it came into being did. 

Something that is very special and profound has failed, as evidenced by the daily and permanent violation of the UN Charter principles, and by the ever-increasing use or threat of use of force in international relations. 

There is no way to sustain any longer, as if it were natural and unshakable, an unequal, unjust and anti-democratic International order where selfishness prevails over solidarity and the mean interests of a powerful minority over the legitimate aspirations of millions of people. 

Notwithstanding the dissatisfactions and the demands for change that, together with other states and millions of citizens in the world, we are presenting to the UN, the Cuban Revolution shall always uphold the existence of the Organization, to which we owe the little but indispensable multilateralism that is surviving imperial overbearance.    

More than once, at this very forum, Cuba has reiterated its willingness to cooperate with the democratization of the UN and the upholding of international cooperation, that can be saved only by it. As stated by the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, and I quote: “The international community shall always count on Cuba´s honest voice in the face of injustice, inequality, underdevelopment, discrimination and manipulation, and for the establishment of a more just and equitable international order which really centers on human beings, their dignity and wellbeing.” End of quote.

Mr. President,

Coming back to the seriousness of the present situation, which many blame only on the COVID-19 pandemic, I think it is essential to say that its impact is by far overflowing the health sphere.  

Due to its nefarious sequels, impressive death toll and damages to the world economy and the deterioration of social development levels, the spreading of the pandemic in the last few months brings anguish and despair to  leaders and citizens in practically all nations. 

But the multidimensional crisis it has unleashed clearly shows the great mistake of the dehumanized policies fully imposed by the market dictatorship.     

Today, we are witnessing with sadness the disaster the world has been led to by the irrational and unsustainable production and consumption system of capitalism, decades of an unjust international order and the implementation of ruthless and rampant neoliberalism, which has widened inequalities and sacrificed the right of peoples to development. 

Unlike excluding neoliberalism, which puts aside and discards millions of human beings and condemns them to survive on the leftovers from the banquet of the richest one percent, the COVID-19 virus does not discriminate between them, but its devastating economic and social effects shall be lethal among the most vulnerable and those with lower incomes, whether they live in the underdeveloped world or in the pockets of poverty of big industrial cities.     

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) projections, the 690 million people who were going hungry in 2019 might be joined by a further 130 million as a result of the economic recession caused by the pandemic. Studies by the International Labor Organization (ILO) say that over 305 million jobs have been lost and that more than 1.6 billion workers are having their livelihoods at stake.

We cannot face COVID-19, hunger, unemployment and the growing economic and social inequalities between individuals and countries as unrelated phenomena. There is an urgency to implement integrated policies that prioritize human beings and not economic profits or political advantages.         

It would a crime to postpone decisions that are for yesterday and for today. It is imperative to promote solidarity and international cooperation to lessen the impact. 

Only the UN, with its world membership, has the required authority and reach to resume the just struggle to write off the uncollectable foreign debt which, aggravated by the social and economic effects of the pandemic, is threatening the survival of the peoples of the South.

Mr. President,

The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and the early signs that it would bring a pandemic did not catch Cuba off guard. 

With the decade-long experience of facing terrible epidemics, some of which were provoked deliberately as part of the permanent war against our political project, we immediately implemented a series of measures based on our main capabilities and strengths, namely, a wellstructured socialist state that cares for the health of its citizens, a highly-skilled human capital and a society with much people´s involvement in its decision-making and problem solving processes.   

The implementation of those measures, combined with the knowledge accrued for over 60 years of great efforts to create and expand a high-quality and universal health system, plus scientific research and development, has made it possible not only to preserve the right to health of all citizens, without exception, but also to be in a better position to face the pandemic.

We have been able to do it in spite of the harsh restrictions of the long economic, commercial and financial blockade being imposed by the US government, which has been brutally tightened in the last two years, even at these pandemic times, something that shows it is the essential component of the hostile US Cuba policy.

The aggressiveness of the blockade has reached a qualitatively higher level that further asserts its role as the real and determining impediment to the managing of the economy and the development of our country. The US government has intensified in particular its harassment of Cuban financial transactions and, beginning in 2019, it has been adopting measures that violate international law to deprive the Cuban people of the possibility to buy fuels they need for their everyday activities and for their development.

So as to damage and demonize the Cuban Revolution and others it defines as adversaries, the US has been publishing spurious lists having no legitimacy by which it abrogates itself the right to impose unilateral coercive measures and unfounded qualifications on the world.

Every week, that government issues statements against Cuba or imposes new restrictions. Paradoxically, however, it has refused to term as terrorist the attack that was carried out against the Cuban embassy in Washington on April 30, 2020, when an individual armed with an assault rifle fired over 30 rounds against the diplomatic mission and later admitted to his intent to kill. 

We denounce the double standards of the US government in the fight against terror and demand a public condemnation of that brutal attack. 

We demand a cease of the hostility and slanderous campaign against the altruistic work by Cuba´s international medical cooperation that, with much prestige and verifiable results, has contributed to saving hundreds of lives and lowering the impact of the disease in many countries. Prominent international figures and highly prestigious social organizations have acknowledged the humanistic work done by the “Henry Reeve” International Medical Brigade for Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics and called for the Nobel Peace Prize to be given to them.   

While the US government is ignoring the call to combine efforts to fight the pandemic and it withdraws from the WHO, Cuba, in response to requests made to it, and guided by the profound solidarity and humanistic vocation of its people, is expanding its cooperation by sending over 3 700 cooperation workers distributed in 46 medical brigades to 39 countries and territories hit by COVID-19.  

In this sense, we condemn the gangster blackmailing by the US to pressure the Pan-American Health Organization so as to make that regional agency a tool for its morbid aggression against our country. As usual, the force of truth shall do away with lies, and facts and protagonists shall go down in history as they should. Cuba´s example shall prevail.

Our dedicated health workers, the pride of a nation brought up in José Marti’s idea that My Country Is Humanity, shall be awarded the prize their noble hearts deserve, or not; but it has been years since they won the recognition of the peoples blessed by their health work. 

The US government is not hiding its intention to enforce new and harsher aggressive measures against Cuba in the next few months. We state once again before the international community that our people, who take pride in their history and are committed to the ideals and achievements of the Revolution, shall resist and overcome.

Mr. President,

The attempts at imposing neocolonial domination on Our America by publicly declaring the present value of the Monroe Doctrine contravene the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace. 

We wish to restate publicly in this virtual forum that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela shall always have the solidarity of Cuba in the face of attempts at destabilizing and subverting constitutional order and the civic-military unity and at destroying the work started by Commander Hugo Chávez Frías and continued by President Nicolás Maduro Moros to benefit the Venezuelan people.

We also reject US actions aimed at destabilizing the Republic of Nicaragua and ratify our invariable solidarity with its people and government led by Commander Daniel Ortega.

We state our solidarity with the Caribbean nations, which are demanding just reparations for the horrors of slavery and the slave trade, in a world where racial discrimination and the repression against Afro-descendant communities have been on the rise.

We reaffirm our historical commitment with the selfdetermination and independence of the sisterly people of Puerto Rico.

We support the legitimate claim by Argentina to its sovereignty over the Malvinas, the South Sandwich and South Georgia islands.

We reiterate our commitment with peace in Colombia and the conviction that dialogue between the parties is the road to achieving stable and lasting peace in that country.

We support the search for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the situation imposed on Syria, with no foreign interference and in full respect of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

We demand a just solution to the conflict in the Middle East, which must include the real exercise by the Palestinian people of the inalienable right to build their own State within the borders prior to 1967 and with East Jerusalem as its capital. We reject Israel´s attempts to annex more territories in the West Bank.

We state our solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Iran in the face of US aggressive escalation. 

We reaffirm our invariable solidarity with the Sahrawi people. 

We strongly condemn the unilateral and unjust sanctions against the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea.

We restate our rejection of the intention to expand NATO´s presence to the Russian borders and the imposition of unilateral and unjust sanctions against Russia.

We reject foreign interference into the internal affairs of the Republic of Belarus and reiterate our solidarity with the legitimate president of that country, Aleksandr Lukashenko, and the sisterly people of Belarus. 

We condemn the interference into the internal affairs of the People´s Republic of China and oppose any attempt to harm its territorial integrity and its sovereignty.

Mr. President,

Today´s disturbing circumstances have led to the fact that, for the first time in the 75-year-long history of the United Nations, we have had to meet in a non- presential format. 

Cuba´s scientific community, another source of pride for the nation that, since the triumph of the Revolution of the just, announced to the world its intention to be a country of men and women of science, is working non-stop on one of the first vaccines that are going through clinical trials in the world.

Its creators and other researchers and experts, in coordination with the health system, are writing protocols on healthcare for infected persons, recovered patients and the risk population that have allowed us to keep epidemic statistics of around 80% of infected persons saved and a mortality rate below the average in the Americas and the world. 

“Doctors and not bombs.” That was announced one day by the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution and chief sponsor of scientific development in Cuba: Commanderin-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz. That´s our motto. Saving lives and sharing what we are and have, no matter any sacrifice it takes; that is what we are offering to the world from the United Nations, to which we only request to be attuned with the gravity of the present time.

We are Cuba.

Let us strive together to promote peace, solidarity and development.

Thank you very much.

….. 

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Kevin Zeese — PRESENTE! The People’s Movement Has Lost One of Its Most Beloved and Treasured Activists

Kevin Zeese — PRESENTE!

The People’s Movement Has Lost One of Its Most
Beloved and Treasured Activists

September 6 is a very sad day for the people’s movement in the United States. In the early hours of this day, we lost one our most beloved and treasured comrades. Kevin was not only a comrade, but a dear friend and brother to all of us. We were honored to have him as our comrade in struggle.

No one can forget Kevin’s heroic act, along with Margaret, Adrienne and David, of refusing to leave the Embassy of the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela, at a very high price to themselves, in order to prevent the transfer of its control to the representatives of U.S. puppet, Juan Guaidó. In doing so, they became not only our heroes, but those of all anti-imperialist peoples and movements around the world, especially the revolutionary people of Venezuela.

But Kevin’s outstanding role in the movement was not limited to his last heroic act. For years, he co-directed the Popular Resistance with Margaret Flowers — his partner in life — which has been one of the main sources of truly anti-imperialist information and analysis for the peace movement. As members of the National Board of the U.S. Peace Council, Executive Committee of the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases, and Global Campaign Against US/NATO Military Bases, Kevin and Margaret played a key role organizing two extremely successful conferences against U.S. And NATO Military Bases, the first in Baltimore, Maryland in January 2018, and the second in Dublin, Ireland, in November 2018.

Throughout these years, we have been benefitting from Kevin’s profound knowledge, wisdom and anti-imperialist commitment and vision. His absence will be felt during every step we will take from now on. But his comradely presence will be with us forever.

Kevin Zeese — PRESENTE!

Executive Committee of
The U.S. Peace Council

September 6, 2020

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Fidel, a Man of Peace – By Jorge Lezcano Pére

The universality of Fidel’s humanist ideas is recognized in every corner of the world, and he is known to be, above all, a man of peace. Naturally, in the process of historical development of humankind and of the peoples’ eternal struggle to obtain their full freedom, independence, sovereignty, dignity, and happiness, our Commander in Chief also stands out for his exemplarity as military strategist, statesman, ruler, politician, and educator, among other capacities.

These reasons lead us to clarify that the present lines are solely dedicated to present some key moments of his dimension as untiring peace fighter.

(…) peace is the secret desire of men’s hearts and their natural condition.1 Based on that thought of Martí and on his ethics, Fidel, from an early stage assumed concepts that remained present in the struggles he later waged in defense of peace, which turned him into an unequalled human being who is present in the struggle being carried out by Cubans and each revolutionary in the world to attain a better world.

By becoming, first a utopian communist and later a Marxist-Leninist – as disclosed in an interview with Ignacio Ramonet – he considerably enriched his political ideas, which timely granted him a better understanding of the obstacles he would have to overcome on the road to peace.

Having embraced the illuminated ideas of Marxism-Leninism, and always keeping in mind the teachings of José Martí, he delved deeply into the causes that generated the injustice, hunger, poverty, inequality, violence and exploitation endured by the Cuban people. And for that reason Fidel dreamed, like politicians should.2 The Moncada, the Granma, and the Sierra Maestra epics, together with the people’s support made his dreams come true.

On January 1, 1959 Cuba became free, independent, sovereign, and from that moment on it would have to struggle to cease being a country of illiterates deprived of culture and health for all. To do that it would have to attain economic development and social equality, a goal that Fidel knew could only be achieved in a context of peace, of civil tranquility, and with the participation of everyone; with the aggravating element of having to face the most powerful empire in history, which would require preparing for war as sole way of preventing it.

With this Cuban reality, our Commander in Chief succeeded in developing a political thought in which peace is inseparably linked with development and with social justice as inalienable principle, valid not just for our nation but for any place in the world where people struggle to build their own destiny.

His first trip abroad after the triumph of the Revolution was to Venezuela, in late January

  1. There he visited the Parliament of Caracas, and on that occasion he thanked the Venezuelan people for the support it had given to Cuba’s struggle for independence. He further explained the experiences of our country in defense of peace: “(…) For example, in Cuba today we have experiences of how there is peace, there is order. Because they speak of peace and order; well, in Cuba there was never more peace and more order than there is today, without police and without force, because it is the peace that the people want and maintain, and it is the order that the people need and maintain.”3 This was perhaps the first time that the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution spoke outside his country about such a sensitive and important theme as peace.

However, it was at the scenario of the United Nations Organization on September 26, 1960, during his historical address on behalf of Cuba, where Fidel disclosed key elements of his standpoint regarding peace and the policy of the Cuban Revolution against war and the arms race.

“(…) Abolish the philosophy of plunder and the philosophy of war will disappear! (…) War is a business. Those who make war a business, those who become rich with war have to be unmasked: it is necessary to open the world’s eyes and show the world the ones that make business with the fate of humankind. (…) Let us struggle for peace and let us struggle for disarmament.”5

From that moment on Fidel used all the tribunes that would allow him to struggle for peace, and explain new ideas and concepts to enlighten the revolutionaries and popular masses on the need to struggle for peace for all citizens. He, who had become a had intensely studied the revolutionary processes taking place in the world, and who was winning one battle after another against the fierce imperialism persisting in defeating the Revolution, achieved the understanding that peace was not only defended with firmness, decision and courage, but also with intelligence.

As expression of the link among peace, sovereignty and the people’s political struggle, on January 15, 1963 he stated: “(…) We want peace with rights, with sovereignty, and with dignity! We want peace without renouncing the revolutionary condition, without renouncing the Revolution!”5

Broaching the theme again on May 1, 1965 at Plaza de la Revolución José Martí, he said: “(…) No one wishes or may wish war; people want peace, to live in peace, work in peace, grow in peace, develop in peace; the people want to build their happiness, but that happiness has to be conquered intelligentl y.”6

Conscious of the value of ideas as main weapon in the struggle against history’s most warmonger empire, which constantly puts the world on the border of a nuclear war, he reiterated the need to sow ideas and conscience among the people, which he did with passion and intelligence.

Also knowing that the struggle for peace had to face the powerful propaganda and disinformation machinery employed by the large transnational communications corporations to poison the minds of the citizens throughout the world, he participated directly in many world forums where that battle was waged.

At the UN, the Non-Aligned, the Group of 77, the Iberian-American Summits, the CELAC, CARICOM, ALBA-TCP and the World Peace Council, among other forums, his voice was always unifying, defender of the just causes of the world’s dispossessed, inspiring guide to channel the peoples’ will in their efforts to attain and enjoy peace with dignity and for all.

From the many moments in which his political genius shone in defense of peace we will quote only four: the UN, the Summit of Non-Aligned Countries, the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77, and the Iberian American Summit. United Nations Organization (UN)

  • “(…) Let us say farewell to arms and let us focus in a civilized way to the most stressing problems of our era.”7
  • “(…) It is not possible to speak about peace on behalf of the tens of millions of human beings who die every year of hunger or curable illnesses throughout the

world. It is not possible to speak about peace on behalf of 900 million illiterates.”8

  • “(…) We have come to speak about peace and collaboration among the peoples, and we have come to warn that if we do not solve the present injustices and inequalities in peace and with wisdom, the future will be apocalyptic.”9

 

Summit of the Movement of Non-aligned Countries

  • “(…) Without peace – we are all sure of it – development is not possible, in the same way that without development, peace would not be possible.”10
  • “(…) There cannot be development if there is no peace, nor can there be peace if there is no development for the huge majority of the peoples of the Earth.”11

 

Group of 77

  • “(…) Peace and the right to a comfortable and worthy life should exist for everyone.”12
  • It is an axiom that without peace there will be no development, but it is also an axiom that there cannot be peace without development for eight tenths of the world population.13

 

Iberian-American Summit

  • “(…) Peace requires many things: patience, wisdom, hope, social justice, to acquire all the strength required to achieve it.”14

One of Fidel’s many contributions in his unceasing struggle to make peace prevail as right and enjoyment for all, is to have conceived this battle without making concessions of principles, without the people having to renounce their dreams of social justice, without abandoning their principles, which is perceived in the following ideas:

  • “(…) the defense of peace cannot be a passive defense; the preaching in favor of peace cannot be a beatific preaching; peace at any price: no!”14
  • “(…) peace is not obtained with weakness; peace is obtained with firmness, courage and the peoples’ decision.”15
  • “A peace with respect, a peace with rights, a peace with independence, and a peace with safety for all peoples of the world: that is the peace we must all fight for!”16

 

Nothing escaped Fidel’s vision of the comprehensive approach that must exist to combat all attitudes that endanger the efforts to enable all human beings and world nations to live in peace. He knew that the war would be followed by one of the most terrible and deadly plagues: terrorism, and for that reason he warned:

“(…) We are and will be against terrorism and against war! Nothing will make us stray from that line!17 (…) Search for peace everywhere to protect all peoples against that plague of terrorism.18

When reflecting on the legacy of Fidel, who left us a vast and strategic arsenal of ideas to continue his struggle to conquer peace for all human beings in our planet, we must underline its full applicability even in the complex and dangerous situations in which the imperial oligarchies have placed the world, with the consciousness that there will be peace for all or no peace for anyone, and also conscious, like Fidel himself said at a meeting of the World Peace Council:

“(…) peace by itself is not the solution to all problems. Peace is only the primary condition to be able to apply consequently the huge volumes of energy and resources required to enable all humankind and not just a part of it to live in an honorable, decent and decorous way.”19

August, 2020

 

*Jorge Lezacno Pérez. Bachelor in Social Sciences. Founder of the Communist Party of Cuba. He was First Secretary of the Party in Havana and Vice President of the National Assembly of People’s Power. Nowadays, he is Collaborator of the MOVPAZ.

 

Notes

1Valdés Galarraga, Ramiro. Diccionario del pensamiento martiano. Ciencias Sociales Publishing House, Havana, 2007, p. 508.

2Cien horas con Fidel. Conversaciones con Ignacio Ramonet, Tercera Edición, Publications Office of the Council of State, Havana, 2006, p. 140.

3Susi Sarfati, Salomón. Diccionario de Pensamientos de Fidel Castro. Second revised edition. Editora Política,  Havana, 2016, p. 319.

4 Address by Commander Fidel Castro Ruz, Prime Minister of the Revolutionary Government, at the

Parliament of Caracas, Venezuela, on January 24, 1959. Stenographic version of the Prime Minister’s Offices. 5 La Revolución cubana 1953-1980. Selection of Readings 2. Félix Varela Publishing House, Havana, 2002, pp.

150, 157, 158.

6 Susi Sarfati, Salomón. Diccionario de Pensamientos de Fidel Castro. Second edition, revised and enlarged,  Editora Política, Havana, 2016, p.304.

7Creach Corrales, Pedro. Fidel Castro Ruz. Pensamientos. Thematic selection. Enlarged edition. La Gráfica en la Comunidad, abril de 2017, p.188. 8 Ibídem.

9 Ibídem. 10 Ibídem, p. 189.

  • Ibídem.
  • Susi Sarfati, Salomón. Diccionario de Pensamientos de Fidel Castro. Second edition, revised and enlarged,Editora Política, Havana, 2016, p. 306.
  • Creach Corrales, Pedro. Fidel Castro Ruz. Pensamientos. Thematic selection. Enlarged edition. La Gráfica en la Comunidad, April, 2017, p.189.
  • Ibídem.
  • Susi Sarfati, Salomón. Diccionario de Pensamientos de Fidel Castro. Second edition, revised and enlarged, Editora Política, La Habana, 2016, p. 306.
  • Susi Sarfati, Salomón. Diccionario de Pensamientos de Fidel Castro. Second edition, revised and enlarged, Editora Política, Havana, 2016, p. 304.
  • Ibídem, p.306.
  • Creach Corrales, Pedro. Fidel Castro Ruz. Pensamientos. Thematic selection. Enlarged edition.. La Gráfica en la Comunidad, April, 2017, p.190.

19Ibídem.

20 Ibídem.

21Susi Sarfati, Salomón. Diccionario de Pensamientos de Fidel Castro. Second edition, revised and enlarged,Editora Política, Havana, 2016, p. 305.

 

 

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Debt, Racism and the Identity of African Descendants – inseparable issues

The following presentation was delivered by economist Micaheal Heslop o behalf of JPC on August 3, 2020 at the weekly Haitian Platform of Advocacy for Alternative Development (PAPDA) and the the Jubilee South network conference.

Statement:

Thank you so much for inviting me to this important conference!

I would like to begin my presentation with a quotation from the late revolutionary President of Bokina Faso, Thomas Sankara that I believe to be apt to contextualize my presentation.

Sankara states in a 1987 address to the OAU:

“those who lent us money, they are the ones who colonized us, they are the same ones who managed our states and our economies, they are the colonizers who indebted Africa to the donors, their brothers and cousins… If we do not pay this debt, our donors will not die. Let’s be sure of that. On the other hand, if we pay, we are the ones who will die”. Thomas Sankara

I was asked to speak on the critically important topic of “Debt as it Pertains to Racism and its Afro-decendants Identity in Jamaica and the English Speaking Caribbean.”

First, I would like to posit the idea that debt, racism and the identity of African decendants have been inseparable issues throughout the colonial and contemporary history of Jamaica and the Caribbean. The fact is that debt and its servicing as a share of the economy (GDP) whether it was on the sugar plantations of the enslavers or in contemporary Jamaica was and is always used to to enrich the mainly white and later Jewish financiers and to improverish the black majority who in the first place are not the main creators of the debt. The debt in other words originated with colonialism as Thomas Sankar poignantly said and was intensified under neo-colonialism. Today Jamaica’s external debt stands at an estimated US $14.94b though it was only US$3.9b in 2000 while that of the Caribbean stands at more than US $50 billion. Source: CIA’ WorldBook/ECLA

Nonetheless, the servicing of the debt, the “belt tightening” and the fiscal consolidation etc that occured and continue to occur in Jamaica and the Caribbean have always disproportionately impacted the black majority negatively in terms of job losses, in terms of inadequate capital availability for small business loans, in terms of deficient funding for public health facilities, increasing rates of poverty, schools and in other ways that stifle their upliftment. In other words, just like the debt of the enslavers was financed at the expense of the enslaved Africans today, the debt today is largely financed on the backs of the working and poor African decendants. As Bob Marley says in his sing Survival, “ Nothing change, Nothing strange.”

Second, the structures of dependent capitalism that emerged on the ruins of colonial slavery continued to dehumanize the Afro decendants as cheap laborers to subsidize local and foreign capital in keeping with the role their ancestors played during colonial slavery up to 1865 when this form of European savagery cane to a formal end.

Third, I would like to make it clear that I am not here today to bamboozle you with an in-depth analysis of conventional debt indicators such as debt/GDP, Public Debt/GDP, export growth/GDP, trade/GDP ratio, export/ GDP among others as important as they are for scholarly research and for the macroeconomic managers of our indebtedness to imperialism. On the contrary, I believe that to confine our analysis to these debt indicators is a failure of our political and intellectual imagination to capture alternative ways to unshackackle our peoples’ creative energies from the dominance of monopoly capital and the achievement of alternative forms of socio-economic development.

One of the problems with this type of debt analysis is that it typically accepts the capitalist status quo as its reference point though paradoxically capitalism and imperialism are fundamentally the sources of our peoples indebtedness and underdevelopment.

Four, the real challenge of the debt as a part of the socio-economic fabric of Jamaica and the Caribbean is not simply how to manage the debt as a share of the economy or the Debt/GDP ratio but more importantly it is how to fight to cancel the debt that is mathematically not payable. As Fidel Castro said “They blame me for saying the debt cannot be paid. They should blame Pythagoras, Euclid, Archimedes, Pascal or Lovacheski, or any ancient, present, or modern mathematician you prefer. Mathematics and mathematicians’ theories are the ones which demonstrate that the debt cannot be paid.”

To fight in unity as developing countries to cancel our collective debt in the English speaking Caribbean and other developing countries is ultimately the only way to permanently free up resources to finance the development (and not simply economic growth) of our peoples since reducing Debt/GDP through fiscal consolidation only brings more socio-economic pain and marginalization for our Afro decendants. How can economic growth be sustained in the Caribbean when according to ECLA the average Debt/GDP ratio is 76% which is way above the 65% that the IMF considers sustainable? How can growth be sustained to propel development of Afrodecendants when  GDP growth is sluggish and averages about 1.8% in the English speaking Caribbean?

How can growth be sustained in Caribbean economies when the fiscal space is getting smaller to invest in education and other infrastructure, when there there is declining FDI, higher borrowing costs due to higher risk premium on loans to its increasing size among other favors that constraint growth required to foster survival and presumably grow out of our indebtedness?

How can economic growth be achieved and more importantly sustained to advance the domestic structural transformations in Caribbean economies so strategically necessary to end dependent capitalism in order to improve the lot of the Afrodecendants who are required to be at the center of development to address the historical injustices so patently evident in our nations?

How can economic growth occur in the context of COVID without attention to the racist inequities that are more glearing than ever because of the impact of COVID that makes them ever clearer to even those without eyes?

Development, if it is to be taken seriously, must mean that our challenge is to ensure that the marginalized and dispossessed Afro decendants (landless/ small farmers, underprivileged youths, the hopeless and destituted masses etc) must become the principals rather than the agents in Jamaica and  the Caribbean. They must as the creators of wealth become the beneficiaries of the wealth they create. They must be empowered from the bottom up in society to be the decision makers in society. Their days of being second class citizens must come to an end at the same time as debt as a tool of their poverty be ended as its unpayable.

However, if development is to be driven by growth in a sustained way to transform the lives of the Afro decendants and all Caribbean peoples, economic growth as Norman Girvan, George Beckford, Lloyd Best and other regional giants of the economics profession have argued must be driven internally by domestic aggregate demand within these economies.

Indeed, the Haitian people, the Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans and others have shown with their blood and examples what’s possible when the working and downtrodden masses construct their own lives free of imperialist domination!!

Fifth, the battle to end the use of debt to strangle our peoples’ development is simultaneously a battle to ensure that our resources are used to invest in health care services, in education, housing, industries to create employment and incomes for our peoples as late PM Manley used to say for the first time at last.

In other words, we must battle with the former colonial enslavers and the imperialists for reparations as we have already repaid the debt many times over. As Fidel said in 1973, we are not debtors, we are in fact creditors to the imperialists. They are the ones who owe us and not the other way around. This must be made very clear to our people.

Finally, we are here to make the case for the full liberation of our Afrodecendants not solely from debt and racism but from the very fountain of debt and racism, namely, the capitalist /imperialist systems that use debt as a leverage, or club against Caribbean  governments to impose their neo-liberal policy agenda of deregulation, privatization and the minimalist state to keep us as neo-slaves within the racist dependent capitalist system.

The fact is that since slavery until now monopoly capital has subjugated our peoples on the basis of a stratified racist system with Afro-Caribbean peoples at the bottom and whites at the top and typically the so-called mullatoes in the middle who acted as intermediaries between the powerful classes and the marginalized and dispossessed black majority. The neocolonialists have never seen us as equals and as a result they have used racism as a means to an end to divide us, subjugate us and exploit us as sub-humans to foster the capital accumulation process using us as unpaid laborers under slavery and as cheap labor today.

Though debt is a powerful tool that is used by imperialism ( the former colonializers) to sustain our dependency on them for funding, for markets for our exports/imports, technology etc,  it is but one as they use culture, education and other means to shackle our minds and if we are not careful our bodies will be shackled too.

To conclude, it’s critical that we recognize that colonialism and neocolonialism are the origins of the indebtedness of Jamaica and the Caribbean as accurately posited by the late Thomas Sankara of Bokina Faso.

Afterall, it is colonialism and neocolonialism that have implanted dependent capitalism in the Caribbean in order to dominate Caribbean economies by making them dependent on imperialism for finance, markets, technology and a lot more. Evidently, colonialism and neocolonialism never worked to benefit the African decendants in the Caribbean because they were never designed to benefit them just like slavery before never benefited our ancestors for the same reason.

Consequently, not only must we fight to cancel our unpayable collective debt that has made us poor and underdeveloped  as Afro West Indians. However,  we must also struggle to end the racist structures that have demeaned and denied us resources because of our African ancestry even as  our labor subsidized and continues to subsidize the creation of wealth to finance industrial capitalism in Europe and North America. Thus, morally, politically and economically as Afro decendants, we who have been crushed, brutalized , cheated and exploited to create wealth like our ancestors before us for the heirs of our collective enslavers have no choice but to fight for Reparations to correct multiple historical injustices. The latter includes the robbery of our resources through debt, trade, technological transfers, underpaid labor and forfeited opportunities.

However above all else, we must radically transform the dependent capitalist system that has been imposed on Caribbean societies and that has disproportionately improverished and marginalized the Afro decendants of enslaved Africans. Indeed, the COVID19 pandemic has exposed the gross inequities in health, income-wealth, education and so many other social indices that only confirm the historical roots of these inequities.

For these reasons and more, the debt must be canceled so as to free up financial resources to fund an internally driven growth process to power a radical development path with the Afro descendants as its principal decision makers and beneficiaries instead of being its agents. The time has long past for this transformation that is required to complement the correction of the historical injustices meted out to our African ancestors and their descendants in the Caribbean!

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BLACK WORKERS OF THE WORLD CELEBRATE BELIZE UNION VICTORY

We, the undersigned labour organisations from the Caribbean, the African Diaspora, the African continent, and other territories, sign this letter to express our solidarity with the Belize Christian Workers Union (C.W.U.), Belize’s workers, and labour movement.

The CWU has recently won a tremendous achievement: they signed a 3-year collective bargaining agreement for Belize City’s stevedores. The CBA comes after 16 years, and an intense 6 months of labour organising by the majority Black longshoremen*.

The Christian Workers Union is a Belize City and Belmopan-based union made up of 1,300 members. They are from two major cities spanning industries as diverse as: the Statistical Institute of Belize, the National Institute of Culture and History, Citrus Products of Belize Ltd., St. Martin’s Credit Union, the Central Bank, the Social Security Department, the Belize City Council and the Port of Belize’s offices and stevedores.

The CWU, an umbrella union, serves a leadership role in Belize’s labour movement. The majority of the workers in the Central American and Caribbean nation of 400,000 people, are employed on a seasonal basis and often under precarious conditions. The era of neoliberalism has ravaged our communities with a vicious assault on labour codes, trade unions, and workers’ rights. Before the global COVID 19 pandemic- and during- organised labour has been on the frontline, protecting working families against corporate greed, persecution of grassroots leaders, mass lay-offs, and insufficient subsidies and social protections.

 

The CWU fights for dignified working conditions, dignified wages and benefits, year-round. They fight for these rights across different trades. The members build multi-sectoral labour power and worker solidarity. We need strong labour unions and strong labour laws and the CWU is a model for the global movement for labour, justice, and #BelizeSupportsBLM.

 

THE BLACK STEVEDORES OF THE CWU

Belize City’s longshoremen are indispensable to the country’s economy. Many of them have been stevedores for most of their lives after taking on the difficult trade from their forefathers in their youth. The job, by tradition, is held by Black or African-descendant Belizeans. It is one of the few in which labourers are able to earn income that approximates a living wage – not without great risk. They handle shipping cargo at ports and operate heavy machinery with expertise, under rain or shine, to move goods in and out of the country. The workers play an important role in African-Belizean livelihoods, history, culture, and well-being. Dock workers are the heart-beat of the working class of Belize City’s Black communities.

 

A HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENT BY THE CWU AND STEVEDORES

On the 2nd of August, after a harrowing 16 years of labouring without a collective bargaining agreement, the stevedores have signed a 3-year collective bargaining agreement. The CWU finalised the marathon of negotiations with the Port of Belize Ltd (PBL), a Michael Ashcroft-owned corporation that took over receivership of the port in 2012. Since the neoliberal privatisation of the Belize City port in 2004, successive government administrations have sided with multinational interests over the welfare of the workers. They failed to ensure fundamental labour protections for the longshoremen.

 

The struggle continues, but today we celebrate: the workers have been victorious! The CBA provides legal protections for health coverage, retirement, earnings, and benefits, and shows the strength of Black workers’ collective power.

CWU President Evan “Mose” Hyde Jr. was the lead negotiator along with long-time labour organisers Mr. Guy Neal, Mr. Kenton Blanco, Mr. Raymond Rivers, Mr. James Neal, Sr., Mr. Wendell Wittaker, Mr. Windfield Dennison, Anthony Sylvester (attorney at law) and CWU Sec. Gen. Floyd Neal.

We hope this will be trend-setting in Belize and in the global labour movement and fight for Black workers and Black lives. Long live strong labour codes and workers’ rights in the face of the global pandemic, and beyond.

 

WE STAND WITH BELIZE’S WORKERS AS THE FIGHT CONTINUES
This victory has not been without serious warning signs of the continued neoliberal attacks against unionisation efforts. The historic antecedents of this trend include when, in 1995, the Belize government sided with multinational interests against banana-growing migrant workers who attempted to unionise. The Central American workers, many of whom were Indigenous and Mestizo, were met with persecution, detention and deportation.

 

This year, the CWU signalled concerns over the impact to port workers that the monopolisation of the sugar export industry might have. In 2015 the Florida-based multinational American Sugar Refineries/Belize Sugar Industry (ASR/BSI) broke up the united front of the northern Belize’s small sugar cane farmers or cañeros/as. Today, the ASR/BSI and Santander, another foreign corporation, have made indications that they may export out of a southern dock, where workers have not yet unionised. CWU President has warned that leaving Belize City’s port will result in  “devastating economic losses to one hundred and fifty stevedores, approximately almost a third of which will become unemployed, and those that remain will have their annual earnings reduce by 40%”*. Workers across the country are being forced to organise against continued threats to their livelihood.

 

On the 22nd of July, we were horrified at the state violence meted out against PBL office workers*. During a protest against PBL’s plan to reduce pay and terminate 36 workers (29 of whom are union organisers), the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) descended upon them and fired at the protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets*. The GSU, a well-funded and militarised police unit, has received consulting from the USA’s infamous William Bratton, formerly of the Boston, Los Angeles, and New York Police Departments *; Bratton is an early supporter of racist Broken Window Policies, a critic of US’s Black Lives Matter and attributed for using “the coercive arm of the state to push vulnerable people out of public view”*.

 

In the face of union-busting, brutality and repression by the GSU and other state actors, the PBL stevedores and office workers stood together in solidarity. The CWU President has said that he hopes the CBA for the stevedores “аugurѕ wеll fоr thе реndіng nеgоtіаtіоnѕ оn bеhаlf оf РВL Ѕtаff, whо fоrm а ѕераrаtе Ваrgаіnіng Unіt оf Unіоn”*.

 

We call on the Belize government to stand with the workers and the farmers at the heart of the economy and communities. We celebrate the victory of Belize’s Black stevedores and their union, the CWU. We stand with them as the Belize National Teachers Union, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, and other organised labour stands with them.

 

We join Belize workers in their call: “Let’s make it known that Belizeans deserve to have jobs, a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, a job to ensure we can support our families, a job to allow us to live in dignity.”

 

Signed,

The Global Afrikan Congress

Caribbean Peace Movement

Jamaica Peace Council

The 13th June 1980 Movement

Caribbean Labour Solidarity (UK)

We invite you to sign on and to share this with your networks. Please reach out to union signatories, particularly Black, African Diaspora, African Descendent, African Continent, Caribbean, longshoremen/stevedores, as well as every other workers’ organisation.

FMI, please email: jamaicapeacecouncil@gmail.com

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Laura Chinchilla, the better choice for IDB President – but will she break with the bank’s neo-liberal policies?

by Bongo

In the upcoming September elections for the President of the Inter-American Development Bank, the Choice must be between the interests of the US Empire and the interests of sovereignty and development in the region

As the push is made against the US reactionary Cuban-American candidate, Claver-Carone for the President of the Inter-American Development (or IDB) and for Laura Chinchilla to be its President, I believe that it is important that the IDB is put in context and not be romanticized as the solution to the region’s multiple developmental challenges.

First, it should be recognized that even if Ms. Chinchilla wins the elections in early September and becomes the IDB President, the power of the US over this regional institution should never be overlooked. The US is a major funder of the IDB and as such it is a major decision maker in the institution. The latter fact will not change and it certainly will not disappear like Trump’s wish for COVID19!

As such, even with Chinchilla at the helm, the agenda of US imperialism through the IDB will still be firmly intact. For example, the power of US imperialism to continue to exclude Cuba from being a full member of the IDB and therefore a recipient of its funding will likely continue whether the president is Ms. Chinchilla or the reactionary Cuban-American Trump supporter, Claver-Carone!

Thus, it’s imperative to ask whether Ms. Chinchilla will shake up the status quo at the regional bank or whether she will even think about raising the issue of Cuba’s exclusion and the economic sanctions against Venezuela. In other words, will Ms. Chinchilla seek to be really inclusive and stand up to the US’ anti-Cuba and anti-Venezuela positions and biases.

Finally, and more importantly, will Ms. Chinchilla continue to pursue the pro-US neo-liberal economic policies that have dominated the IDB virtually since its inception? Or, will she, should she become President of the Bank in September, study and reevaluate the economic costs and benefits of the bank’s neoliberal economic policies on the population in the region?

So as the elections for a new IDB President draw nearer to September 12th and 13th, not only should we simply encourage our CARICOM and Latin American governments to vote for Chinchilla, the apparently more inclusive and pro-development of the two candidates, but more importantly we should question whether she will pursue the failed neo-liberal policies of the IDB in the region and whether she will be sufficiently courageous to at least challenge the efficacy of the neoliberal policies of the Bank.

It’s also essential that the IDB’s decision making for loans and technical assistance on a wide range of development projects be made purely on their technical and economic soundness and not on the political ideology and sovereign orientation of countries that the US empire may not like. So the candidate who seeks the depolarization of the decision making process of the Bank is the one to be supported by CARICOM and the rest of the region. That candidate is evidently not President Trump’s reactionary pick Claver-Carone who is decidedly against Cuba’s inclusion in the IDB and who is also in full support of US sanctions against Venezuela!

These countries of the region are being punished because they have rightly chosen to exercise their sovereign right to seek development and survival rather than death by imperialism!

Further, the dependent capitalist structures in the region and their allied consequences such as the high levels of poverty, hunger, illiteracy, child poverty, income-wealth disparities, unemployment and low level of industrial development, particularly in the context of a stubborn COVID pandemic, necessitate a break from the business as usual neoliberal policies of the IDB and a president at least willing to rethink these policies.

Peace ☮️

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Jamaica and the rest of CARICOM urged to support Costa Rican Laura Chinchilla for President of the Inter-American Development Bank!

The Jamaica Peace Council (JPC) urges the Jamaican government to vote for former president of Costa Rica (2010 to 2014) Laura Chinchilla to be elected to the position of president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The  Inter-American Development Bank plays too important a role in the economies of the Caribbean and Latin American  for Cuban American Mauricio J. Claver-Carone, who is a top national security adviser  to President Donald Trump, to emerge with the mantle of leadership from the elections which will be held on September 12 and 13, 2020.

A report in The Costa Rica News states that Chinchilla has given a commitment to strengthening the entity with ‘a vision of union’ so that it may continue to be the main source of access to credit for the region and a partner for recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.  In discussing her candidacy, Laura Chinchilla described the IDB as the region’s most important financing companion and the main source of access to credit and technical assistance. She went on to share the following opinion: “To guarantee the IDB that we need in the future, it is essential to have people with a vision of effective leadership and far from any politicization. An institution and leadership above any specific political ideology, that does not divide or polarize and can summon different forces in and between countries.”

 

The current Costa Rican government which supports her candidacy highlights her ability to manage complex processes, build agreements and mobilize resources,  as well as “her solid knowledge of development challenges in the Latin American region and the Caribbean”. Neil Vigdor, in an article in the New York times, characterises Mauricio J. Claver-Carone as  “known for his hawkish positions on Cuba and the U.S. sanctions against the government of Venezuela” This is a clear indication that he would not be fit to offer the quality of leadership and build unity n the best interest of the region, based on the role that is required of the IDB.

Since the bank’s creation in 1959, its previous four presidents have been from Latin America. The election of an American would therefore be a departure from a significant established tradition. The current president is Luis Alberto Moreno of Colombia.

It is important to point out that the fundamental nature of the IDB as a tool of imperialism to manipulate and dominate the nations of the region through loan conditions will not change with Chinchilla’s election. The fact is that 48  countries contribute funds to the IDB, with  the US as the largest contributor and controlling 30% of the vote. That will not change. However, given the current intensified thrust of the Donald Trump government in the region towards isolating and destroying nations that dare to choose their own development paths and assert their sovereignty over their natural resources, Mauricio J. Claver-Carone would pose a greater danger were he to become president. For example, we see that  the US administration, to which he is security adviser, is attacking Cuba’s medical assistance to the world through the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade, characterising it as human trafficking and pressuring countries to refuse the critical life-saving support. There is no doubt that a Mauricio J. Claver-Carone  presidency would greatly facilitate the translation of such Monroe Doctrine inspired fascist US foreign policies into conditions for IDB loans, with the ultimate result of further endangering peaceful cooperation within the region.

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Join Jamaicans in Paying Tribute to Comandante Fidel Castro and The Henry Reeve Medical Brigade on August 16, 2020, 11 a.m to 1:00 p.m.

It is so fitting that we are saluting the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade on the occasion of the celebration of Comandante Fidel Castro’s 94th birthday. It is in fact the 15th year of noble service across the globe by the Henry Reeve Brigade which was a brainchild of Comandante Fidel. The Jamaica Cuba Friendship Association has arranged a programme that all will enjoy. Please join us wherever you are on the planet to participate in the celebration.

When: August 16, 2020, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

How to attend: Click on this Zoom meeting link: bit.ly/31aEkHc Meeting ID: 898 6052 2848 Passcode: 319519

You will also enjoy a variety of Jamaican cultural performances. Please share the flyer and this message with your friends so that they can join us.

 

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On the 75th Anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki martyrdom we shall strengthen the struggle against nuclear weapons – Socorro Gomes, President World Peace Council (WPC)

Thursday, August 6, 2020

This August 6 and 9, humanity remembers one of the greatest tragedies in history, which was even more nefarious because it was caused by human action, that of US imperialism. The inauguration of nuclear weapons by the United States against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, towards the end of World War II, concluded the most horrendous episode of the 20th century, foretelling the terror and the threat of total annihilation that would befall the world, imposing immediate and protracted, immeasurable suffering to Japanese civilians.

Fatal victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, which had lasting consequences, amount to nearly 200,000. As is known, the power of the A & H bombs pulverized all that was hit and immediately killed 70,000 people in Hiroshima, where dozens of thousands more died up to………. the end of that year, due to sustained injuries. The second, dropped on Nagasaki, killed about 35,000 to 40,000 people and wounded many more. Besides directly victimizing the Japanese people, the novel level of devastation provoked by the bombs terrified every nation, inaugurating a new era based on threats to the very survival of humankind and of the planet by US imperialism.

Expressing solidarity with the Japanese people victim of this heinous crime, the World Peace Council mobilized those opposing war and launched its first document and campaign, the Stockholm Appeal, in 1950, gathering hundreds of millions of signatures worldwide. It made clear that humankind repudiated the perspective of repetition of that tragedy and the consolidation of an international system based on intimidation, threats and terror as pillars of the United States’ power and military hegemony.

The peace-loving forces’ resistance and resilience, including that of our member the Japan Peace Committee, also inspired the strengthening of our unwavering opposition to the existence of nuclear weapons, whose abolition we demand also in commitment to the victims of the atomic bombings, as well as to life and the construction of an international community based on cooperation and mutual respect.

We once more express our sincere homage to the victims and survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and our solidarity with the peace-loving forces dedicated to the struggle against nuclear weapons, which we joined as a founding impulse of our very World Peace Council. May this dreadful anniversary reinforce our determination and the international commitment with the abolition of these instruments of terror and destruction.

For peace,

Socorro Gomes,

President of the World Peace Council

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PEACE BEGINS WHEN THE HUNGRY IS FED – End wasteful expenditure on nuclear weapons Now!

The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

 

As we celebrate with the rest of our nation the 58th anniversary of our Independence, the Jamaica Peace Council (JPC) also must commemorate with deep regret the 75th anniversary of the barbaric atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US Government under President Harry Truman. Humanity will always remember the loss of tens of thousands of lives and the horrific destruction of property in this senseless and totally unnecessary act of aggression against the Japanese people by US imperialism. The threat of war, especially nuclear war, has serious implications for the attainment of our aspirations as a sovereign nation.

 

We will continue to learn and share the lessons of these horrific acts of violence which gave rise to the formation of international bodies and integration movements aimed at promoting peaceful cooperation between nations which is the most civilized behavior to which humanity can aspire. There is an urgent necessity for the peoples of all nations, including Jamaica, to fight against the barbaric practice of bombing nations into submission or oblivion for the furtherance of imperialist objectives.

 

During this first week of August 2020, we witnessed the continuation of the horrific bombing of the Palestinians in the Gaza strip by Israel. In our own region of Latin America and the Caribbean, there have been at least seven imperialist military attacks from the 1950s. The U.S. Special Representative to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, in testifying to the US Senate on August 4, 2020, bragged about continuing efforts to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, the democratically elected president of Venezula. According to an article in the publication Common Dreamsa disturbing new document outlines plans for a US regime-change scheme against Nicaragua’s elected government.  Imperialist regime change efforts use many strategies which include manipulation through aid, destabilization, direct interference in internal affairs and military intervention. Military intervention is always on the table if other efforts fail. Our nation and the peoples of the region must remain vigilant in defending our region as a zone of peace, knowing full well that the imperialists have nuclear weapons in their arsenals and will unleash them if it suits their purpose.

 

Against this background, we also unreservedly call upon all countries that possess nuclear arsenals – including the united States of America, France, China, Russia, North Korea, Britain and Israel – to dispose of these deadly weapons and redirect to positive human development the trillions of dollars they waste on manufacturing arms. We in the JPC fervently believe that the wealth created by the working people in these nuclear armed countries should not be invested in weapons of mass destruction that could end up killing not only them but every human being on the planet.

 

Further, we take note of the fact that COVID19, poverty, hunger, homelessness and growing income-wealth inequalities are startling realities in all the nuclear possessed countries.  Given the dependence of the developing countries on the imperialist nuclear weapons possessing countries, the effect is worst for us, even if our COVID-19 cases are low. Thus, we must educate our people about the situation so that they can add their voices to the demand for all countries with nuclear weapons to divert the resources, including their tax dollars and brain power, to investment in solutions to eliminate the socio-economic disparities within their own countries and across the globe. They must invest in fighting the worsening climate crisis which also threatens human existence on earth. They need to be persuaded that “peace begins when the hungry is fed”.

End nuclear weapons NOW!

Stop nuclear wars!

Stop imperialism!

Defend World Peace!

Peace ☮️

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Judge dismisses lawsuit against Carnival for doing business with Cuba


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French workers resist COVID-19 layoffs

By G. Dunkel July 13, 2020

Some big companies with major operations in France have been using the impact of COVIC-19 on their business as an excuse to lay off thousands of workers, even though they have received major subsidies to maintain payrolls.

On July 8, the three unions representing workers at the Airbus facility near Toulouse — France’s Silicon Valley — called for a march from the Airbus facility to the local airport and back. An estimated 6,000 to 9,000 workers showed up for the march to the airport, where they occupied a runway, forcing some flights to divert.  Airbus is a pan-European company and the main competitor of Boeing in the multibillion-dollar aeronautics market. It is planning to lay off 5,000 workers in France by the middle of 2021.

The layoffs at Airbus will have a ripple effect on the whole economy in the region.  Workers at subcontractors, such as parts suppliers as well as service companies, will be devastated. Airbus order sheets are filled for the next 10 years, but 40% of the airlines, which are its direct customers, have postponed taking delivery of new planes. (FranceTVinfo, July 13)

The Finnish company Nokia, which supplies much of the telecommunications equipment in the European Union, has a major operation in France. It is threatening to lay off thousands of its employees. In response, the unions representing workers at a research center in the French region of Brittany leased a train to Paris, filled it and marched to the sound of bagpipes from the Paris train station to the Invalides, headquarters of France’s military. Many of the signs read, “Hired in March, let go in June.”

At the Invalides they listened to speeches from Fabien Roussel, national secretary of the French Communist Party, and Eric Coquerel, a deputy from another left party called La France Insoumise, as well as other political figures. Then they marched back through Paris to the train station, again to the sound of bagpipes.

A lot of union agitation is also happening at Sanofi, a major transnational pharmaceutical and vaccine company based in France.

Attacks on bus drivers

Social tensions, exacerbated by public health measures required to combat the coronavirus plague, have led to increasing attacks on public service workers.  On July 5, in Bayonne, a small city in southwestern France, Philippe Monguillot, a bus driver who asked two passengers to put on masks now required on French mass transportation, was subject to a shockingly brutal attack.

The passengers grew so angry at this request that they pulled Monguillot off the bus, beat and kicked him in front of the other passengers and then fled before the cops came. He later died of his injuries.

On July 8, his family led a march of 6,000 people, dressed in white, from the bus stop where the attack had taken place to the police station investigating the crime. Bayonne is a city of 50,000 people. Buses in many French cities, including Bordeaux, Rennes, Nantes, Strasbourg and Mulhouse, stopped for a minute of silence when the march took off.

The minister of the interior, who is in charge of all the cops in France, and the minister of transportation came to a workers’ meeting at the bus yard where Monguillot worked and pledged justice would be done.

One of Monguillot’s colleagues, with tears in his eyes, told a FranceTV2 reporter that the driver “was a tiger in opposing injustice.” The workers are demanding the state provide more security to prevent future attacks.

France is not the only country where public service workers who request that people wear masks are being attacked. On July 5, in Brooklyn, N.Y.,  bus driver Anthony Reid, who is Black, was assaulted and suffered an eye injury after he asked a passenger to put on a mask.

 

Source: https://iacenter.org/2020/07/14/french-workers-resist-covid-19-layoffs/

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Declaration from Online Reparations Reasoning

“For the only great men among the ‘unfree’ and the oppressed are those who struggle to destroy the oppressor”. Walter Rodney

1. The Struggle for Reparations is Just

We declare that the struggles for Reparations are not only just, but are also necessary to effect reparatory justice for the crimes of the kidnapping and trading in Africans for enslavement, actual enslavement of Afrikans, colonialism and genocide that were directly perpetrated against Afrikan peoples by Europeans, and the resultant structural underdevelopment and dependency that persist to plague our Afrikan decendants in the Caribbean, Afrika, Latin America and elsewhere in the forms of indebtedness, poverty, landlessness, technological and economic inequalities. This also applies to our brothers and sisters who are still living under colonialsm. We advocate their independence plus reparations.

2. Compensation is a Must

We also declare that reparatory justice requires that the former European and North American enslavers and colonizers of Afrikan peoples must be made to compensate Afrikan decendants to develop viable health care, education, housing and other social investments to tackle the social, cultural, technological, psychological and economic consequences of structural underdevelopment and dependency that were and are the direct outcome of centuries of exploitation, theft and primitive accumulation of wealth through the unpaid labor, humiliation and abuses of Afrikans during the trafficking in Afrikans (slave trade), enslavement of Afrikans and colonial rule in the Caribbean, Afrika and other former colonial states.

3.Elimination of all Debt

We also declare that reparatory justice requires that the European and North American enslavers and oppressors of Afrikan peoples in the Caribbean, Afrika and elsewhere eliminate the indebtedness of these regions which is a direct result of structural dependency in finance, markets and technology that cheats us of resources through onerous and unsustainable debt/GDP servicing ratios to finance our social and physical infrastructure without which development is a lost cause.

4. Investment in Research, Re-education and Healing of our People

We also declare that reparatory justice against our collective enslavers and colonial oppressors demands that the appropriate psychological, mental and cultural research be financed that not only critically interrogate the current status of our children and peoples but that also funds our scholars, educators and therapists to rethink, rewrite and re-educate our peoples to learn, understand and know our history and culture as made by us and to heal our collective trauma from colonial slavery and its aftermath.

5. Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples and Nations asserting their Right to Self-determination

We declare our unflinching solidarity with all the indigenous peoples of the world and those peoples in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Palestine and Nicaragua and elsewhere who are fighting to assert their sovereign rights to choose their own paths to development against the same colonial enslavers who exploited, plundered and enslaved and underdeveloped Afrikans and Afrika.

6. Demand for lifting of the Blockade against Cuba, an end to Economic Terrorism  against Sovereign Nations and Compensation for the Effects

We declare without apology that the US economic blockade against Cuba and the vicious economic sanctions against Venezuela and Nicaragua, and other nations outside our region, are illegal acts of economic terrorism that imperialism has imposed on these sister peoples that are intended to destroy their capacity to develop and progress, We further declare that they should be paid compensation for the social and economic injuries including deaths that they have suffered, solely for exerting their right to self-determination.

7. Support for the Struggles against Wars and Environmental Pollution

We are fully conscious that our struggles for Reparatory Justice are inseparable from the struggles of humanity against wars to control the natural resources of the world, environmental racism such as the poisoning of the earth with chemicals, pollution, bacteriological and chemical warfare and the climate crisis that threatens human existence itself.

8. Enslavers owe a debt to Humanity

We are fully committed to the Reparations Movement as we are cognizant that Reparations and its allied Reparatory Justice will never be materialized without the tireless and uncompromising struggles of our peoples to make them the center of the development strategy that is so central to our Reparations Agenda that has eluded us for centuries. We are further committed to the movement for Reparatory Justice because not only do the colonial enslavers owe Reparations to the Afrikan peoples but they also owe a debt to humanity and as such they should be held accountable.

Drafted by Bongo on behalf of the Reparations Reasoning orgainsers

 

The Reparations Reasoning was organised by the Caribbean Peace Movement, the Christian Workers Union of Belize, Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, 13th June 1980 Movement, Jamaica Peace Council and the Global Afrikan Congress and other civil society groups.

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Reparations Reasoning, Sunday, July 12, 2020, 11:00 a.m. – more speakers confirmed

The new CARICOM chairman and Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Hon.Ralph Gonsalves headlines an array of passionate speakers from Britain, Africa and several Caribbean countries on the subject of “Reparations for Afrikans (Diaspora and Continental) and Indigenous Peoples” on Sunday July 12, starting at 11:00 a.m.

The other speakers are:

  • Professor Verene Shepherd, Director of the Centre  for Reparation  Research (UWI);
  • Roger Wareham a US attorney-at-law who is active in the Black Lives Matter and the Reparations Movements;
  • Bella Nazaire, an artiste and interpreter representing Martinique’s National  Committee for Reparations;
  • James  Finies leader of Foundation We Want Bonaire Back Bonaire Human Rights Organisation;
  • Pambana Bassett, a project organiser and peace activist with ties to Africa, USA, the Caribbean and Latin America;
  • Paul Works, organiser at the Union of Clerical Administrative and Supervisory Employees  (UCASE);
  • Kandis Sebro, of the Trinidad Oilfield Workers Union;
  • Thérèse Belisle-Nweke , a Belizean journalist and writer based in Lagos, Nigeria as the Media and Communications Director of the art foundation, the Anatsui Art Initiative (AAI);
  • Andrea King of the Barbados Chapter of the Global Afrikan Congress;
  • Glenroy Watson, Secretary of the Black Solidarity Committee within the railway union RMT; and
  • Hugh Johnson, leader of the Bernard Lodge Farmers group and president of the Small Business Association of Jamaica.

There will also be other trade unionists and reparation advocates from the Caribbean Community in the United Kingdom and across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Please register online now to secure your place in the Zoom room by clicking on this link: https://bit.ly/3fLeLSJ After registering you will receive a confirmation email with a link that you will use to log in on the day of the event.

Kindly log in between 10:30 and 10:45 a.m. on July 12 so that the programme may begin promptly at 11:00 a.m.

The Reparations Reasoning is organised by the Caribbean Peace Movement, the Christian Workers Union of Belize, Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, 13th June 1980 Movement, Jamaica Peace Council and the Global Afrikan Congress and other civil society groups.

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Challenges to the World of Work from COVID-19…305 million jobs lost… 1.6 billion workers’ livelihoods jeopardized…Work is a Sacred Right and Value – Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canei at the ILO Global Summit

Statement by President of Cuba, at the Global Leaders’s Day of the ILO Global Summit on COVID-19 and the world of work

 

Statement by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba, at the Global Leaders’s Day of the International Labor Organization Global Summit on COVID-19 and the world of work.

Mr. Director General;

Excellencies, Heads of State and Government;

I feel honored to bring into this virtual Summit the voice of Cuba, a small developing country, where workers in power struggle on a daily basis to achieve all the justice, which was the dream and commitment of the founding fathers of our nation.

Today, as has been always the case throughout the last 61 years, Cuba is sharing the new and serious challenges facing the International Labor Organization as it enters into its second century of its existence.

The impact of COVID-19 adds to the challenges that the world of work was already facing under the tough rules of the market, which will have undeniably devastating consequences on the various crises generated by this pandemic in all countries’ economies.

Unemployment has increased several times over. Lack of social protection is on the rise, and so are inequality and poverty.

But we should not deceive ourselves.  The terrible impact and nefarious consequences of the pandemic all over the world are not only a result of this lethal virus. Years of neoliberal policies and wild capitalism, subject to market laws, are the root cause of the serious global situation.

According to experts, 305 million jobs have already been lost and the livelihoods of 1.6 billion workers are being jeopardized. Hundreds of millions of persons will soon be joining the ranks of those who are already suffering from the inequalities of an unjust international economic order, whose survival is certainly at stake.

These times are dramatically serious and demand concerted actions. Neither governments, nor workers or employers, can afford standing by doing nothing. The colossal endeavor we must devote ourselves to demands solutions in the higher interest of workers’ rights.

Those who create jobs, particularly small and medium producers, will also require assistance.

It is imperative to consolidate social dialogue in the process of defining and implementing policies to confront and recover from the pandemic.

Mr. Director General:

Cuba, a small nation that has been coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, is suffering from the brutal and opportunistic tightening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade policy imposed by the United States, aimed at severely curtailing our trade and our access to fuels and hard currency.

Despite the ever-growing worldwide appeal against it, the blockade imposed on Cuba not only has been maintained since this epidemiological threat broke out in the entire planet, but it has been escalating its criminal harassment against a whole people, viciously punishing all Cuban families.

In the midst of this suffocating economic warfare, our government has implemented actions to protect the health of the entire people; maintain employment rates and defend labor rights and guarantees for all, for these have been the main pillars of our social project.

A total of 36 labor, salary and social security measures have been implemented. Distance working and tele-working are increasing; some workers have been re-assigned to other jobs and salaries have been guaranteed to workers who have remained at home, caring for their younger children and elders, as well as persons with poor health or who have failed to be reassigned to another job; more than 240 thousand self-employed workers have been exempted from paying their taxes; the payment of pensions has been maintained and social workers are paying special attention to families in need, among other actions.

Nobody has been left unprotected.  There are now appropriate conditions to initiate the recovery process and move towards the new normality, based on the widest possible participation of the people in the decision-making process.

Mr. Director-General:

International cooperation and solidarity are today more necessary than ever. Nothing is worth more than a person’s life.  That is a fundamental principle of the Cuban Revolution, which is at the basis of our international cooperation in the fields of health and education as well as in every other area that contributes to enhance human dignity.

That is why we strongly reject, condemn and repudiate all unilateral coercive measures imposed against sovereign nations like Cuba, Venezuela and others that are today suffering from the most cruel and massive punishments for having chosen a political or social system different from those of the dominant economic powers. Those measures are inhuman and should be eliminated, all the more so in the context of the current pandemic, when sanctions are pointing to genocide.

The International Labor Organization, with an all-encompassing work in favor of social justice, the promotion of decent employment and the protection of the human rights of workers can contribute, within its mandate, to help the world of work leave behind the crisis caused by COVID-19.

Cuba, as a founding country of this Organization, reiterates its willingness to continue strengthening the indispensable multilateralism, solidarity and international cooperation, and remains committed to continue guaranteeing the protection of workers’ rights and move on towards the construction of a more just world.

Work is a sacred right and value.  As was expressed by the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, and I quote: “…only by working will it be possible to move forward; only by working will it be possible to produce the goods that the country needs; only by working will it be possible to produce more food; only by working will it be possible to address the country’s most pressing challenges.

Thank you, very much.

 

Mr. Director General;

Excellencies, Heads of State and Government;

I feel honored to bring into this virtual Summit the voice of Cuba, a small developing country, where workers in power struggle on a daily basis to achieve all the justice, which was the dream and commitment of the founding fathers of our nation.

Today, as has been always the case throughout the last 61 years, Cuba is sharing the new and serious challenges facing the International Labor Organization as it enters into its second century of its existence.

The impact of COVID-19 adds to the challenges that the world of work was already facing under the tough rules of the market, which will have undeniably devastating consequences on the various crises generated by this pandemic in all countries’ economies.

Unemployment has increased several times over. Lack of social protection is on the rise, and so are inequality and poverty.

But we should not deceive ourselves.  The terrible impact and nefarious consequences of the pandemic all over the world are not only a result of this lethal virus. Years of neoliberal policies and wild capitalism, subject to market laws, are the root cause of the serious global situation.

According to experts, 305 million jobs have already been lost and the livelihoods of 1.6 billion workers are being jeopardized. Hundreds of millions of persons will soon be joining the ranks of those who are already suffering from the inequalities of an unjust international economic order, whose survival is certainly at stake.

These times are dramatically serious and demand concerted actions. Neither governments, nor workers or employers, can afford standing by doing nothing. The colossal endeavor we must devote ourselves to demands solutions in the higher interest of workers’ rights.

Those who create jobs, particularly small and medium producers, will also require assistance.

It is imperative to consolidate social dialogue in the process of defining and implementing policies to confront and recover from the pandemic.

Mr. Director General:

Cuba, a small nation that has been coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, is suffering from the brutal and opportunistic tightening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade policy imposed by the United States, aimed at severely curtailing our trade and our access to fuels and hard currency.

Despite the ever-growing worldwide appeal against it, the blockade imposed on Cuba not only has been maintained since this epidemiological threat broke out in the entire planet, but it has been escalating its criminal harassment against a whole people, viciously punishing all Cuban families.

In the midst of this suffocating economic warfare, our government has implemented actions to protect the health of the entire people; maintain employment rates and defend labor rights and guarantees for all, for these have been the main pillars of our social project.

A total of 36 labor, salary and social security measures have been implemented. Distance working and tele-working are increasing; some workers have been re-assigned to other jobs and salaries have been guaranteed to workers who have remained at home, caring for their younger children and elders, as well as persons with poor health or who have failed to be reassigned to another job; more than 240 thousand self-employed workers have been exempted from paying their taxes; the payment of pensions has been maintained and social workers are paying special attention to families in need, among other actions.

Nobody has been left unprotected.  There are now appropriate conditions to initiate the recovery process and move towards the new normality, based on the widest possible participation of the people in the decision-making process.

Mr. Director-General:

International cooperation and solidarity are today more necessary than ever. Nothing is worth more than a person’s life.  That is a fundamental principle of the Cuban Revolution, which is at the basis of our international cooperation in the fields of health and education as well as in every other area that contributes to enhance human dignity.

That is why we strongly reject, condemn and repudiate all unilateral coercive measures imposed against sovereign nations like Cuba, Venezuela and others that are today suffering from the most cruel and massive punishments for having chosen a political or social system different from those of the dominant economic powers. Those measures are inhuman and should be eliminated, all the more so in the context of the current pandemic, when sanctions are pointing to genocide.

The International Labor Organization, with an all-encompassing work in favor of social justice, the promotion of decent employment and the protection of the human rights of workers can contribute, within its mandate, to help the world of work leave behind the crisis caused by COVID-19.

Cuba, as a founding country of this Organization, reiterates its willingness to continue strengthening the indispensable multilateralism, solidarity and international cooperation, and remains committed to continue guaranteeing the protection of workers’ rights and move on towards the construction of a more just world.

Work is a sacred right and value.  As was expressed by the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, and I quote: “…only by working will it be possible to move forward; only by working will it be possible to produce the goods that the country needs; only by working will it be possible to produce more food; only by working will it be possible to address the country’s most pressing challenges.

Thank you, very much.

 

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A Grass Roots Perspective on Reparations – A Caribbean and Latin American Peoples’ Virtual Forum, Sunday July 12, 2020

Please register for the July 12 Reparations Reasoning by clicking on this link: https://bit.ly/3fLeLSJ

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d1/Ralph_Gonsalves_2016.jpg/220px-Ralph_Gonsalves_2016.jpg

 

Photographs:
Hon. Ralph Gonsalves,Prime Minister of St Vincent and The Grenadines; Professor Verene Shepherd, Director of the Center for Reparation Research

As the struggle against systemic anti-black and other forms of racism continues to reverberate  across the world,  peoples acros the Caribbean and Latin American region are being  strongly encourage to participate in a virtual reasoning entitled “Reparations For Afrikans (Diaspora and Continental) and the Indigenous Peoples  of the Americas – a Grass Roots Perspective’’, slated for Sunday July 12, starting at 11AM – 3.15PM.

A panel of speakers drawn from across the region will share their perspectives on this very topical issue. They include: incoming chairman of CARICOM and Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonzalves; Professor Verene Shepherd, Director  Centre  for Reparation  Research (UWI); Roger Wareham a US attorney-at-law who is active in the Black Lives Matter and the Reparations Movements; Isabelle Sabine Nazaire, an artiste and interpreter representing Martinique’s National  Committee for Reparations; James  Finies leader of Foundation Take Bonaire Back; Pambana Bassett, a project organiser and peace activist with ties to Africa, USA, the Caribbean and Latin America; Paul Works, organiser at the Union of Clerical Administrative and Supervisory Employees  (UCASE);and Hugh Johnson, leader of the Bernard Lodge Farmers group and president of the Small Business Association of Jamaica. There will also be other trade unionists and reparation advocates from across the Caribbean Community in the United Kingdom and across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Photographs: (left) James Finies, Chair of Foundation Take Bonaire Back; Paul Works, Organiser, Union of Clerical Administrative and Supervisory Employees  (UCASE)

“This reparations reasoning will focus mainly on the debt owed to Africans in the Diaspora and on the African continent for the destruction of African civilisation, stealing of land and natural resources, the cruel human trafficking of Africans for the purpose of enslavement, and the enslavement of Africans in the Americas,” said Cikiah Thomas, Co-Chair of the Global Afrikan Congress.

It also takes into account the disastrous impact the arrival of Columbus had on the indigenous peoples – seizure of their land and natural resources, destruction of their civilization, and genocide. In addition, the reasoning will treat with the devastating effect of cruel economic sanctions which cripple the development of countries which exercise the right to choose their own development paths.

Photographs:
(left) Isabelle Sabine Nazaire, artiste and interpreter representing Martinique’s National  Committee for Reparations; Pambana Bassett,Pambana Bassett, a project organiser and peace activist 

“All speakers are called upon to adopt a grassroots perspective on the issue of reparation in order to facilitate an inclusive discussion across our societies, taking into account the fact that the majority of our people are in dire circumstances and therefore need to be engaged in the conversation on how to advance the struggle for reparation and how it can address our situation in practical and sustainable ways,” further added Mr. Thomas.

 

 

The discussion usually takes place at a very academic level in language that is sometimes not clear and easy to understand. This results in a lack of engagement of the majority of people whom it should benefit.

This event will be the second in a series of virtual forums hosted by a coalition of organisations across the region. The coalition includes the Caribbean Peace Movement, the Christian Workers Union of Belize, Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, 13th June 1980 Movement, Jamaica Peace Council and the Global Afrikan Congress and other civil society groups. The first virtual forum by this coalition on May 31 focused on the Caribbean And Latin American People’s Online Conference on the COVID-19  Experience and Lessons’ with a view towards creating and sustaining a  regional peoples’ network supporting integration, peaceful cooperation and resilience against environmental and health threats. The declaration from that online conference committed the organisers and participants to supporting the Reparations Movement and other just struggles in the region and across the world.

Please register for the July 12 Reparations Reasoning by clicking on this link: https://bit.ly/3fLeLSJ

After registering you will receive a confirmation email with a link that you will use to log in on the day of the meeting.

Please register before July 12 to secure your place and ensure a smooth login process on the day of the event.

Kindly log in between 10:30 and 10:45 a.m. on July 12 so that the programme may begin promptly at 11:00 a.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reasoning: “Reparations for Africans (Diaspora and Continental) and the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas – A grass roots perspective” – July 12, 2020 11:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. (GMT5 Jamaica time)

Please register for the July 12 Reparations Reasoning by clicking on this link: https://bit.ly/3fLeLSJ

Please register for the July 12 Reparations Reasoning by clicking on this link: https://bit.ly/3fLeLSJ

After registering you will receive a confirmation email with a link that you will use to log in on the day of the meeting.

Please register before July 12 to secure your place and ensure a smooth login process on the day of the event.

Kindly log in between 10:30 and 10:45 a.m. on July 12 so that the programme may begin promptly at 11:00 a.m.

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Video: Bob Marley – Get Up, Stand Up (Live at Munich, June 1. 1980) — Guyanese Online

Bob Marley – Get Up, Stand Up (Live at Munich, 1980) – 40 years ago Bob Marley And The Wailers performing ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ live at The Open Air Festival in Munich, Germany on the 1st of June during the 1980 Uprising Tour. The audio and video have been carefully restored to ensure the […]

via Video: Bob Marley – Get Up, Stand Up (Live at Munich, June 1. 1980) — Guyanese Online

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Chile’s Covid 19 Cases 90,000

30/05/2020

LATIN AMERICA

A health worker transports a COVID-19 patient at San Jose Hospital in Santiago, Chile, May 20, 2020. Chile’s COVID-19 Cases Surpass 90,000
People at La Latina neighborhood, Madrid, Spain, May 29, 2020. Spain: Tourist Activities Will Gradually Resume in July
Casa Nariño, the government Colombia: 13 COVID-19 Cases at the Presidency’s Headquarters

WORLD

A policeman stands guard outside the Supreme Court, Washington, U.S. US Supreme Court Rejects Church’s Demand, Supports Confinement
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, Teran, Iran, 2020. Iran Condemns US Removal of Nuclear Deal Exemptions
Citizens protest against the murder of George Floyd outside CNN, Atlanta, U.S., May 29, 2020. US: Man Shoots Detroit Protesters From Car and Kills Young Man

SPORTS

FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at a press conference during the football federation FIFA Chief Warns Against Restarting Football Too Soon
FC Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo to Donate Ventilators to His Hometown
NBA logo NBA Suspends Season After Player Tests Positive for Coronavirus

CULTURE

Luis Eduardo Aute, the voice of several generations in Spain Spanish singer-songwriter Luis Eduardo Aute dies at 76
Withers in 1976 Bill Withers, Soulful Singer of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ Dead at 81
The 79-year-old has been accused by multiple women of unwanted verbal and physical contact. Placido Domingo Sexual Harassment Claims ‘Credible’: LA Opera

OPINION

The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega The Strenght of the Sandinista Model
New York police officers scuffle with protestors during a protest in response to the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died while in the custody of the Minneapolis police, in New York, USA, 28 May 2020. Venezuela’s Racist Opposition Wants to Import Trump’s Model
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Cuban foreign minister condemns death of African-American in US – Via Prensa Latina — The Cuban Window

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Thursday described as a brutal assassination the death of African-American George Floyd, who was a victim of a white police officer who pressed his neck with his knee in the US city of Minneapolis.

via Cuban foreign minister condemns death of African-American in US – Via Prensa Latina — The Cuban Window

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Endorse the May 31, 2020 Caribbean and Latin American Peoples’ Online Conference Declaration Now!

Please read and endorse this conference declaration by sharing  a comment on this post or sending an email to the jamaicapeacecouncil@gmail.com with “Endorse the May 31, 2020 Caribbean and Latin American Peoples’ Online Conference Declaration” as the subject.

Declaration

The peoples of Latin America and Caribbean have a common history.  Despite our differences in language which are legacies of colonialism that tend to divide and keep us apart, our history unites us around the common goal of overcoming the vestiges of domination by the metropoles. These vestiges of colonialism include the plundering of our natural resources, under-development of our economies, and the deliberate distortion of ‘our story’ in order to keep us in our places as the ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’.

It is in this crucible to reclaim our rightful place among humanity, that leaders such as Toussaint L’ Ouverture, Simon Bolivar, Jose Marti, Bussa, Nanny, Sam Sharpe, Paul Bogle,  Marcus Garvey, Augusto César Sandino, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez emerged to unite our people, as a critical step towards integration and cooperation which are indispensable components of our struggle to move forward and bring into reality genuine peoples’ development for Our Americas.

We, therefore, outline in this declaration the following commitments towards carrying forward the mission handed to us in the legacy of our ancestors:

  1. Build unity among the social forces and peoples’ movements with regard to plurality, diversity and the right to freely choose their own form of organization;
  2. Strengthen the integration movement by linking and mobilizing broad sectors of societies across the region, especially the farmers, trade unions, students, youth, women, unemployed and other groupings for coordinated action and in solving problems they have in common.
  3. Develop a communication strategy to bypass the traditional media blackout on issues affecting the daily lives of the peoples within the region, in order to draw us closer together through the use of new communication technologies, including social media. In so doing, we will keep each other abreast of our common challenges and experiences while advocating peaceful solutions for our social and economic development.
  4. Encourage the broadening and strengthening of the mechanisms of cooperation, integration and communication between countries in the region which we have been forced to utilize for the containment of Covid -19 pandemic.
  5. Acknowledge Cuba’s internationalist assistance in the global deployment of medical personnel from the Henry Reeves Brigade (currently 26 brigades in 23 countries) and the development of medicines to safely treat Covid-19 patients, based on their fundamental principle that all lives matter and should be saved whenever possible. This Global Medical Mission to save humanity was also seen in action in Cuba’s medical intervention in West Africa which helped to stem the Ebola epidemic. Cuba was the first country to respond with medical and other support tothe Haitian people after the massive 2010 earthquake.
  6. Join the rest of world in endorsing the proposal and campaigning for Cuba to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for outstanding contribution to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic
  7. Encourage and support measures to build resilience against food insecurity, environmental and health threats.
  8. Endorse the United Nations and World Health Organisation’s call for discontinuation of all military aggression, the dedication of available resources to saving humanity and for the removal of cruel and illegal sanctions against nations such as Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran, Zimbabwe, which are among at 39 countries  facing such a cruel obstacle to peaceful development.
  9. Cooperate with necessary measures to end or contain the pandemic while being vigilant in ensuring that the situation is not used as an opportunity to undermine our hard won democratic rights by enforcement of measures that are not in the interest of the majority, such as the unbridled use of force by agents of the state and bypassing of court rulings on the unconstitutionality of previously proposed regulations.
  10. Advocate economic growth strategies that benefit the majority of people and effectively utilize our available labour and talent, thereby eliminating poverty and unemployment.
  11. Place a high priority on the protection of workers’ rights across the region, ensuring that violation of our labour laws are not sacrificed on the altar of encouraging investments, whether foreign or local, which have never benefited the majority of people.
  12. Protect women and children across the region and raise our voices against the increasing murders of women in rising incidents of domestic violence in particular countries in the region and right across the globe during the COVID -19 lockdowns, which has left many women and children at the mercy of their abusers.
  13. Ensure that our region remains a ‘Zone of Peace’, in accordance with our CARICOM fundamental principle and the Tlatelolco Treaty of 2014, by resisting any attempt to divide and rule our countries in order to satisfy the interests of foreign powers and multinationals.
  14. Resist any attempt to violate the United Nations’ international law guaranteeing our inalienable right to self-determination, national sovereignty and non-interference in our internal affairs by external powers as has occurred in Honduras and Bolivia, and is being attempted in Venezuela and Nicaragua.
  15. Support and participate in the just demand for reparations for the enslavement of African people in the region and lobby for the elimination of its lingering effect which is manifested in the uneven distribution of resources and development opportunities.
  16. Monitor and support peoples’ struggles globally against all forms of “human wrongs” such as sexism, classicism, systemic racism, apartheid, genocide, xenophobia and repression, which, in the Americas, affect Black and indigenous peoples to the greatest extent, as reflected in the death toll from Covid 19, unemployment rates, homelessness, incarceration and incidents of excessive use of force by police and the criminal “injustice” system and war .
  17. Monitor and support the struggles for decolonization and economic independence of all countries within the region and elsewhere across the globe.