The event began to the contagious rhythm of songs by the children’s theater group La Colmenita, an example of cultural promotion with children and adolescents in Cuba. The children made the delegates dance at the plenary.
At the inauguration of the meeting, sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Cuban Minister of Culture Alpidio Alonso said that representatives of 75 countries are participating, including 57 in person and 18 virtualy.
In his speech, Alonso warned that humanity is witnessing a panorama plagued by a multi-system crisis that impacts all sectors of social and economic life, including culture.
He charged that for Cuba, the main obstacle to development is the economic, financial and commercial blockade that the United States has imposed for more than 60 years.
In this regard, he stressed that Washington’s hostility against Cuba is also the biggest obstacle to cultural development, so promoting culture as a global public asset and transcendental human right is a priority.
In a recorded message to the meeting, UNESCO Deputy Director of Culture Ernesto Renato Ottone expressed in similar terms and called on the G77 plus China to join the proposal to establish a defined and structured objective dedicated to culture as part of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The director of the Lazare Assomo Cultural Heritage Center drew attention to the social and economic precariousness left by the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the financing of the cultural sector.
He highlighted the importance of creativity and the promotion of artistic expressions as a source of resilience and solidarity. Likewise, he noted the leadership of this meeting for sustainable development.
The meeting is being chaired by Cuban Deputy Prime Minister Ines Maria Chapman, Deputy Foreign Minister Anayansi Rodriguez, and the director of the UNESCO Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Anne Lemaistre.
Representatives of institutions and organizations linked to Cuba’s cultural system are participate as well.