Caribbean States laud Cuba's efforts at ensuring human rights for all citizensListen /
In Geneva, more than 130 countries participated in meeting for the Universal Periodic Review of Cuba.
In fact, there were so many countries listed to speak that delegations were limited to slightly less than a minute to make their comments.
Among those speaking were Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.
Barbados: The Government of Barbados extends a very warm welcome to the delegation of Cuba. We wish to commend them for the strides they have made in the promotion of human rights since their last review. We commend in particular, the recent policy decisions aimed at improving access to justice, the cooperative efforts with UNICEF aimed at raising awareness of the rights of the child, the completion and update of the national plan for persons with disabilities, the recent amendment of the general housing act and other measures aimed at improving the housing stock and the ongoing efforts to implement a new agricultural policy aimed at enhancing the right to food. Considerable progress has been made on key social indicators. We urge the international community as well as the UN to support the efforts of the Cuban government and we also urge Cuba to strengthen to continue its efforts to strengthen the promotion of human rights.
And The Trinidad and Tobago welcomed the Cuban delegation and expressed appreciation for the national report.
Trinidad and Tobago: The report establishes that Cuba has worked diligently to implement measures proposed during its first review to strengthen its legal and institutional framework for human rights. These include in 2009, ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; and improvements related to the Rights of the Child; Persons with Disabilities and Gender Equality. Cuba's consistently strong performance with respect to the MDGs places it in a strong position to contribute substantively to sustainable development goals in the context of the post-2015 development agenda. Mr. President, my delegation recommends that Cuba continues to strengthen measures focused on employment for persons, particularly women with disabilities.
Earlier, Cuba's Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla told the Human Rights Council that Cuba is a country where there are no children lacking quality education; no ill persons lacking a dedicated medical assistance or senior citizens devoid of social protection. He said Cuba is a nation where there are no workers, peasants, intellectuals or students whose rights are not protected by law; a place where public safety is guaranteed; where there is no organized crime or drugs.
This is Donn Bobb reporting.