On 20 November, the EU and Cuba held their second dialogue on advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Organised by videoconference, this dialogue, established under the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA), took stock of the progress that Cuba and the EU have made and challenges they face in pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The session gave special attention to three complex issues: (i) climate change, (ii) the path towards an inclusive, knowledge-based economy, and (iii) health systems and the development of biotechnology in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The participants also looked at how to align EU-Cuba cooperation activities more closely with the SDG agenda and at how to work together in multilateral fora to continue to monitor and further develop the global SDG agenda.
In the margins of the dialogue, the two sides signed the project: “Saving lives and mitigating the health impact of the COVID-19 emergency in Cuba” to be implemented by the Pan-American Health Organisation. €1,5 will million strengthen national capacities to fight the pandemic.
On the EU side, the dialogue was opened by Stefano Sannino, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service and Koen Doens, Director-General, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission, and subsequently co-chaired by Jolita Butkeviciene, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean in DG DEVCO, and Javier Niño Pérez, Deputy Managing Director for the Americas in the EEAS. On the Cuban side, the dialogue was opened by Ana Teresita González Fraga, Vice Minister for Foreign Trade and Investment, and then chaired by Rodolfo Reyes, Director-General for Multilateral Issues and International Law at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Dialogues were preceded by a civil society seminar where representatives of Cuban and European civil society exchanged views on advancing our shared development agenda.
The Dialogue on Sustainable Development was held under the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA), which was signed in December 2016 and entered into provisional application on 1 November 2017.
The present session completes the second cycle of the five political dialogues launched under the PDCA in May 2018. The other political dialogues cover the topics of human rights (last held on October 2019 in Brussels), unilateral coercive measures (last held on 29 November 2019 in Havana) and illicit arms trade and non-proliferation (last held on 14 October 2020 by videoconference).