Castro was "symbol of resistance and inspiration" for Global South

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Peter Thomson (left). UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The former Cuban President Fidel Castro, who died last month aged 90, was "a symbol of resistance and inspiration" for millions around the so-called Global South and beyond.

At the beginning of a special commemorative event at UN Headquarters on Tuesday, the President of the General Assembly, Peter Thomson, added that he had embodied the struggle for "independence, justice and development" for millions around the world.

Andita Listyarini has more.

In the General Assembly Hall, where Fidel Castro broke the record for the longest ever speech in 1960, Mr Thomson paid tribute to the Cuban leader and revolutionary, describing him as "one of the 20th Century's most iconic and influential leaders."

"For many he embodied the struggle of the Global South, for independence, justice and development. His activism in pursuit of a fairer and more just world, made him a symbol of resistance and inspiration to people across the world, in Latin America, Africa and beyond."

Mr Thomson said that arguably, Fidel Castro's greatest achievement had been to bring Cuba's illiteracy and infant mortality rates, to amongst the world's lowest.

In a tribute read out on his behalf, the UN chief Ban Ki-moon said that the Cuban leader's 50-year record of leadership had left a "major imprint on his country, and global politics."

The Secretary-General added that Fidel Castro had been "deeply concerned about the future of humanity and the challenges of our times" up until his final days.

Andita Listyarini, United Nations.

Duration: 1’05″

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