July 18 (Granma) “The rights that women here in Cuba enjoy are praiseworthy; an example for the Americas and the world. We always use Cuba as a reference,” said Rafael Cuestas, international coordinator of the United Nations Population Fund Program (Unfpa) in Cuba, in an exchange with the specialized press on these issues.
Cuestas also recognized the important presence of women in the Cuban National Assembly; the right of women to decide when to have children or not; and the country’s impressive life expectancy rate, all attained despite the negative effects of the blockade on the economy and daily life. He also recalled the role of Vilma Espin at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo (1994).
Addressing the country’s achievements, the UN representative stated, “Cuba has a very progressive, very open society” and has advanced a great deal, noting that a demographic population pyramid very similar to that of developed countries exists here, a result of improvements in living conditions and guarantees such as universal and free health coverage,.
Later in his remarks, Cuestas acknowledged that there have been setbacks in population issues in some regions, thus “the objective is to strengthen the struggle and not take a step back. I think it is very important to reaffirm the commitment to maintain a relevant agenda for the world.”2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of Unfpa, the 45th of the first cooperation program in Cuba and the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo.In November, a summit commemorating the Cairo conference will be held in Nairobi, where Cuba will present its accomplishments related to population issues.World Population Day this year takes place in Cuba within the context of a new Constitution, and the priority that the state gives to the issue of aging and demographic dynamics.