Cuba: The most sustainably developed country in the world, new research finds

Source:  Morning Star Online

November 29 2019

The Capitol building in Havana

Cuba is the most sustainably developed country in the world, according to a new report launched today.

The socialist island outperforms advanced capitalist countries including Britain and the United States, which has subjected Cuba to a punitive six-decades-long economic blockade.

The Sustainable Development Index (SDI), designed by anthropologist and author Dr Jason Hickel, calculates its results by dividing a nation’s “human development” score, obtained by looking at statistics on life expectancy, health and education, by its “ecological overshoot,” the extent to which the per capita carbon footprint exceeds Earth’s natural limits.

Countries with strong human development and a lower environmental impact score highly, but countries with poorer life expectancies and literacy rates as well as those which exceed ecological limits are marked down.

Based on the most recent figures, from 2015, Cuba is top with a score of 0.859, while Venezuela is 12th and Argentina 18th.

The SDI was created to update the Human Development Index (HDI), developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and used by the United Nations Development Programme to produce its annual reports since 1990.

The HDI considers life expectancy, education and gross national income per capita, but ignores environmental degradation caused by the economic growth of top performers such as Britain and the US.

“These countries are major contributors to climate change and other forms of ecological breakdown, which disproportionately affects the poorer countries of the global South, where climate change is already causing hunger rates to rise,” Mr Hickel said.

“In this sense, the HDI promotes a model of development that is empirically incompatible with ecology and which embodies a fundamental contradiction: achieving high development according to HDI means driving de-development elsewhere in the world. For a development indicator that purports to be universal, such a contradiction is indefensible.”

Britain, ranked 14th in 2018’s HDI, falls to 131st in the SDI, while the US, 13th in the ul Haq index, is 159th out of 163 countries featured in the new system.

Mr Hickel added: “The SDI ranking reveals that all countries are still “developing” – countries with the highest levels of human development still need to significantly reduce their ecological impact, while countries with the lowest levels of ecological impact still need to significantly improve their performance on social indicators.”

The SDI is available at

Higher Education and the 2030 Agenda to be discussed in Havana

Source:  Granma

More than 2,000 international participants from 60 countries, and more than 500 Cuban researchers, are set to attend Universidad 2018

by: Lissy Rodríguez Guerrero |

February 6, 2018 09:02:55

higher education conference in havana 2018.jpgFaced with the challenges of meeting the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the education sector, and in the context of the centennial of the Argentine university reform of 1918, Cuba will once again host researchers, academics and university professors, at the 11th International Congress of Higher Education, Universidad 2018, which will run February 12 through 16, in Havana’s International Conference Center.

Providing a space to share knowledge and exchange between different higher education institutions from around the world, the slogan for this year’s Congress is “The University and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” This is one of the main regional events in the field, according to Cuban Minister of Higher Education José Ramón Saborido Loidi, not only because of the high number of participants and the quality of the works presented, but because of the novel themes that are discussed.

2,000 international participants from 60 countries

More than 2,000 international participants from 60 countries, and more than 500 Cuban researchers, are set to attend Universidad 2018. The event will also see the attendance of Education ministers and deputy ministers, public policy secretaries, more than 300 rectors of some of the leading universities in the world, directors of international organizations and academic networks, and more than 100 speakers, according to María Victoria Villavicencio Plasencia, director of International Relations of the Ministry of Higher Education.

Speaking during a press conference this Monday, February 5, she noted that among the main personalities to participate are the Argentine political scientist Atilio Borón; Spanish journalist Ignacio Ramonet; General Secretary of the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture, Paulo Speller; and David Atchoarena, director of the Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems at UNESCO, among others.

An extensive program published on the event’s website ( includes the holding of keynotes lectures, round tables, panels, workshops, courses, visits and an associated exhibition, which reveals the work of international organizations and Cuban and foreign universities, as revealed by the Organizing Committee.

Opportunities for cooperation

In addition to the broad scientific exchange, Villavicencio said the event is a space to sign agreements, identify opportunities for cooperation, and establish alliances between different Higher Education institutions.

It was also reported that the selection process of papers by Cuban researchers was conducted across the universities and provincial workshops of the entire country; while the nations with the largest participation are Nicaragua, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, Germany, Spain, France, Angola and Mozambique, while more than 70 delegates from the United States will attend.

Marta del Carmen Mesa, deputy minister of Higher Education, commented on the relationship between the themes of Universidad 2018 and the objectives of the 2030 Agenda, which demonstrates Cuba’s will to ensure the sustainable development goals are met, as “one of the few countries that came close to meeting all the Millennium Development Goals.”

On the centennial of the Argentine university reform of 1918, Saborido added that Cuba is preparing its framework of action to present to the Regional Conference on Higher Education, to be held in Argentina in June, and for which this event will undoubtedly be a fundamental step.

Raul: We cannot remain indifferent to disturbances in Latin America and the Caribbean

Source:  Granma
June 4, 2016

Full text of remarks by Raul Castro Ruz, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, opening the 7th Association of Caribbean States Summit, June 4,2016

by: Raúl Castro Ruz |

7th acs summit Havana.jpg

Photo: Alejandro Ernesto

Distinguished Heads of State and/or Government,

Esteemed Ambassador Alfonso Munera Cavadia, Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States,

Distinguished delegates and guests,

CUBA-HAVANA-ACS-SUMMITFor the seventh time, we are meeting as Heads of States and/or Government, alongside other high representatives of the States and territories of the Association of Caribbean States, ACS. On this occasion we have gathered for a deep exchange on the theme “Together to confront the challenges of sustainable development, climate change and peace in the Caribbean”.

Our deliberations will also be aimed at strengthening the organization on the basis of its foundational principles, as a mechanism of coordination, cooperation and concerted action.

We welcome the French Overseas Collectivity of Saint Martin, a new Associate Member, and salute the adherence as Observers of the Multinational State of Bolivia, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Eastern Republic of Uruguay and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA-TCP), the same as the presence of representatives of nations and organizations as Observers.

Puerto Rico

We hope one day to be able to count with the adherence of all of the Caribbean territories, including the sister island of Puerto Rico, as an independent and sovereign nation.

When in July 1994, the Heads of States and/or Government of 25 independent nations met in the city of Cartagena de Indias, along with delegates from other Caribbean territories, embracing the historic initiative of CARICOM to establish the Association of Caribbean States, it was our purpose to work together in defense of our identities, cultural heritage and common interests; to reinforce political coordination and cooperation; and to advance with sustainable development, and the integration of our peoples.

The Program Declaration of our 1st Summit in Trinidad and Tobago defined Tourism, Transportation and Commerce as strategic areas. Then, cooperation to cope with natural disasters was later added to these. The Declaration of the 6th Summit held in Merida, Mexico, in April 2014, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the ACS, and the Petion Ville Plan of Action adopted at the 5th Summit the year before in that city of the Republic of Haiti, reaffirmed unquestionable achievements but also enormous challenges still ahead.

The high cost and economic difficulties of connecting by air and sea

The issue of connection by air and by sea, its high costs and economic difficulties, largely the consequence of the global crisis– jeopardize commerce and investments between our countries. Therefore, it is urgent to find creative and viable solutions beneficial to all, mindful of the special and differentiated treatment required by smaller states.

The development of multi-destination tourism, the diversification of markets, increases in the quality and diversity of tourist services and the training of skilled personnel also stand as priority areas.

Allow me to avail myself of the occasion to underline that Cuba is especially interested in enhancing and consolidating cooperation with our Caribbean brothers and sisters in the tourism sector.

Climate change 

On the other hand, the occurrences associated to climate change, such as the rising of sea level that threatens the very existence of small islands; the more frequent and increasingly powerful hurricanes; and, the intensive rainfalls, coastal erosion and extensive droughts bring considerable human and economic damage to our nations. That is why the development of cooperation to reduce the risks of disasters, and mitigate their effects, is a pressing necessity for our governments, and should take central stage in our plan of action for the future.

The agreement reached at the Paris Summit on Climate Change stands as a significant starting point, but we should continue our work to have it implemented, and to enlarge its scope, always on the basis of common but differentiated responsibilities, and recognizing the vulnerabilities of the least developed countries, particularly the small island states.

Irrational production and consumption patterns

We advocate the principle that irrational production and consumption patterns should be modified, and insist that the political will of the industrial nations is required to cut down emissions of greenhouse effect friendly gases, and to make serious pledges in terms of funds and technological transfer.

Sovereignty over our natural resources

Another issue demanding priority attention concerns sovereignty over our natural resources, which constitute a guarantee for the future and a source of wealth for our peoples. Allowing their unrestricted exploitation by foreign interests, with negligible profits for our nations, is tantamount to compromising development and adding to existing dependence.

In the past few years, the ACS has concentrated its main efforts on advancing cooperation in the previously mentioned strategic areas. This is certainly positive, and we should continue working on it, but never losing sight of the fact that the current circumstances pose severe challenges that we also need to confront together.

The imperialist and oligarchic counteroffensive unleashed against popular and progressive governments

We cannot remain indifferent to disturbances in Latin America and the Caribbean resulting from the imperialist and oligarchic counteroffensive unleashed against popular and progressive governments, which emerged after the failure of the neoliberal wave. This constitutes a threat to peace, stability, unity and indispensable regional integration.

The situation demands the reinforcement of consultation and coordination mechanisms in conformity with the precepts contained in Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by the Heads of States and/or Government attending the 2nd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (CELAC), held in Havana in January 2014. We should also urge others to respect those principles in their relations with our countries.

The commitment to not interfere, directly or indirectly

The commitments of States in the region to not interfere, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any other State, and to abide by the principles of national sovereignty, equality of rights and the free determination of the peoples; to promote friendly and cooperative relations between them, and with other nations; to exercise tolerance and live in peace; and, to fully respect every State’s inalienable right to choose its political, economic, social and cultural system are unavoidable conditions to peace, harmony, development and the integration of our countries.

Unconditional solidarity with the legitimate government of President Nicolas Maduro

I reaffirm our strongest and unconditional solidarity with the fraternal people of Venezuela, with the legitimate government of President Nicolas Maduro, and with the Bolivarian Revolution initiated by Commander Hugo Chavez Frias. They are firmly resisting the destabilizing thrust, and the economic and media warfare undertaken by those who intend to sweep away the political, economic and social conquests that have brought benefits to millions of people who for centuries lived in conditions of poverty, injustice and inequality.

It is a source of deep concern, the unacceptable attempt by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States to apply the so-called Inter American Democratic Charter to interfere with the internal affairs of Venezuela. The statement published by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains Cuba’s position and releases me of offering details.

The OAS is, and will continue to be, an instrument of imperialist domination

I would only reiterate our view that the OAS, from its inception was, as it is and will continue to be, an instrument of imperialist domination, and no reform whatsoever can change its nature or its history. That is why Cuba will never return to the OAS.

Solidarity to the Brazilian people and their Constitutional President Dilma Rousseff

We also extend our solidarity to the Brazilian people and their Constitutional President Dilma Rousseff, who is bravely confronting the parliamentary coup d’état promoted by the right-wing and neoliberal oligarchy, intent on reversing the social achievements scored during the governments headed by the Workers Party.

I reaffirm our satisfaction with the progress attained in the Colombian peace process, and reiterate that we shall keep up the effort to contribute to achieve the completion of an agreement that can definitely put an end to the armed conflict in that sister nation.

Peace, justice, equity and the sustainable development

The preservation of peaceful coexistence and stability makes it indispensable to prevent the aggravation of territorial disputes inherited from colonial days. These should be settled through dialogue and negotiation, and with the full awareness of the historic responsibility that we have to our peoples for the future of peace, justice, equity and the sustainable development that we all aspire to build.

This conference offers propitious occasion to restate our steadfast determination to continue cooperating and sharing our modest achievements with our Caribbean brothers and sisters, despite the economic challenges we face.

Commitment to Haiti

Likewise, we are fully committed to support the reconstruction and development of the fraternal Republic of Haiti, the birthplace of the first revolution for independence and slave emancipation in Our America.

I reaffirm our support for the legitimate demand of countries of the Caribbean Community to be compensated for the horrors of slavery and slave trade. By the same token, I reiterate our resolute support for the right of small and vulnerable states to be accorded a special and differentiated treatment, in terms of access to commerce and investments, and their just demand to receive cooperation according to their real needs and not on the basis of indexes of per capita income that classify them as middle income countries, thus preventing their access to indispensable financial resources.

We shall never forget

We shall never forget that when the ACS was established, in July 1994, our Caribbean brothers and sisters defended our membership in the bosom of this united family. At the time, Cuba was undergoing an extremely challenging situation, since our economy had fallen by 35%, due to the sudden loss of its major markets, in the aftermath of the demise of the European socialist camp and mounting imperialist pressures to corner and destroy the Revolution.

The blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States

We shall neither forget the unrelenting support that every government represented here has provided to our just demand for the removal of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States; a blockade that remains in force, despite the fact that it has been rejected 24 times at the United Nations General Assembly, and other important fora, like the Summit of the Americas held in Panama last year; and despite positive but insufficient measures adopted by the current U.S. Administration.

US Naval Base in Guantanamo

We also appreciate the support displayed at the 4th CELAC Summit with respect to our demand for the return of the Cuban territory unlawfully occupied by a U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo, against the will of our people and government.

Norman Girvan

Before concluding my remarks, I wish to pay tribute to the memory of an outstanding Jamaican intellectual, Professor Norman Girvan, a restless combatant for progress in the Caribbean, and for regional integration, and a great friend of Cuba, who served as Secretary General of our Association.

fidel girvan arthur.jpg

Photo:  Norman Girvan (centre) with Fidel

We should also acknowledge at this point, the remarkable work of Ambassador Alfonso Munera Cavadia in these four years as Secretary General of the ACS, and express our satisfaction over the election of Saint Lucia’s Ambassador June Soomer, the first woman to assume this responsibility, and to whom we wish the greatest success.

Now, without further delay I pronounce the 7th Summit of the Association of Caribbean States open.

Related information


Achievements of the 6th BRICS Summit

brics 6th summitBrazil hosted, on the 14th, 15th, and 16th July 2014, the 6th Summit of Heads of State and of Government of BRICS, held in Fortaleza and Brasília. The Summit adopted the Fortaleza Declaration and Action Plan, the Agreement on the New Development Bank, the Treaty for the Establishment of a BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement and agreements among BRICS Development Banks and Export Credit Insurance Agencies (available here)

At its 6th Summit, the BRICS emphasized social inclusion and sustainable development. The debate was be informed by the theme “Inclusive growth: sustainable solutions”. The Summit inaugurated the second cycle of BRICS. Each member country has hosted one meeting of Leaders.

The Fortaleza Summit showcased BRICS accomplishments and the discussions leading to the realization of its vast potential. Since its first Summit, in 2009, BRICS has consolidated its position as a positive force for the democratization of international relations and for the enhancement of existing institutions of international governance. It has also forged an impressive partnership carrying out cooperation initiatives in more than 30 areas between its members.

Read more here:  Brazil hosted the 6th Summit of Heads of State

Related articles: 

‘A New World Order for Living Well’

Evo Morales’ message of global solidarity

Address at the opening of the Group of 77 Special Summit


Democracy means subordination of rulers to the decisions of the ruled.

Democracy is not a personal benefit vested in the rulers, nor is it abuse of power. Democracy means serving the people with love and self-sacrifice. Democracy means dedication of time, knowledge, effort and even life itself in the pursuit of the well-being of the peoples and humanity . . . . Morales

For a Global Brotherhood Among the Peoples

Evo Morales Ayma

President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia and pro-tempore President of the Group of 77 plus China


Fifty years ago, great leaders raised the flags of the anticolonial struggle and decided to join with their peoples in a march along the path of sovereignty and independence.

The world superpowers and transnationals were competing for control of territories and natural resources in order to continue expanding at the cost of impoverishing the peoples of the South.

In that context, on June 15, 1964, at the conclusion of an UNCTAD[3]meeting, 77 countries from the South (we are now 133 plus China) met to enhance their trade bargaining capacities, by acting in a bloc to advance their collective interests while respecting their individual sovereign decisions.

South-South cooperation

During the past 50 years, these countries went beyond their statements and promoted resolutions at the United Nations and joint action in favor of development underpinned by South-South cooperation, a new world economic order, a responsible approach to climate change, and economic relations based on preferential treatment.

In this journey the struggle for decolonization as well as for the peoples’ self-determination and sovereignty over their natural resources must be highlighted.

Notwithstanding these efforts and struggles for equality and justice for the world’s peoples, the hierarchies and inequalities in the world have increased.

Continue reading

Group of 77 Declaration: For a New World Order for Living Well

Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Group of 77
For a New World Order for Living Well
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Plurinational State of Bolivia, 14 and 15 June 2014

official declaration group of 77 june 2014


Part I: Overall context

1.       We, the Heads of State and Government of the member States of the Group of 77 and China, have gathered in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Plurinational State of Bolivia, for the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Group.

2.       We commemorate the formation of the Group of 77 on 15 June 1964 and recall the ideals and principles contained in the historic Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Developing Countries, signed at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), held in Geneva.

3.       We recall that the first ever statement of the Group of 77 pledged to promote equality in the international economic and social order and promote the interests of the developing world, declared their unity under a common interest and defined the Group as “an instrument for enlarging the area of cooperative endeavour in the international field and for securing mutually beneficent relationships with the rest of the world”.

4.       We also recall the first Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77, held in Algiers from 10 to 25 October 1964, at which the Group adopted the Charter of Algiers, which established the principles of unity, complementarity, cooperation and solidarity of the developing countries and their determination to strive for economic and social development, individually or collectively.

5.       We highlight that the Group of 77 has provided the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective social and economic interests and enhanced their joint negotiating capacity within the United Nations system, and note with satisfaction that the Group has established a permanent secretariat at United Nations Headquarters in New York and chapters in Geneva, Nairobi, Paris, Rome, Vienna and the Group of 24 in Washington, D.C., and that its membership now stands at 133 member States.

6.       We also recall the successful holding of the first South Summit of the Groupof 77 and China in Havana in April 2000 and the second South Summit in Doha in June 2005, at which the status of the Group of 77 and China was elevated to the level of Heads of State and Government and at which important declarations and plans of action were adopted that have guided our Group and constitute the fundamental basis for the construction of a new world order and an agenda owned by the countries of the South for the establishment of a more just, democratic and equal system that benefits our peoples.

7.       We pledge to continue the tradition of our countries on building national development and uniting at the international level, towards the establishment of a just international order in the world economy that supports developing countries achieve our objectives of sustained economic growth, full employment, social equity, provision of basic goods and services to our people, protection of the environment and living in harmony with nature.

8.       We are proud of the legacy and great achievements of the Group of 77 and China in defending and promoting the interest of the developing countries over the past 50 years, which have contributed gradually to greater strength and influence on economic, social and environmental issues. We pledge to build on this foundation and continue making progress towards a world order that is just, equitable, stable and peaceful. Major landmarks in this regard have been the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order in 1974, the Declaration on the Right to Development in 1986 and several other historic declarations that recognize and address the needs and interests of developing countries and constitute an utmost priority.

9.       We believe in the peaceful settlement of conflicts through dialogue.

10.     We also note that, despite five decades of achievements, there are still serious shortfalls in fulfilling our Group’s objectives, and that our countries individually and collectively now face ongoing and emerging challenges, including the slowdown of the global economy and its effects on our countries and the lack of adequate systemic action and accountability to address the causes and effects of the global financial and economic crises, thus creating the risk of continuing with the pattern of crisis cycles.

11.     We also note the gaps in many of our countries in meeting the needs of employment, food, water, health care, education, housing, physical infrastructure and energy of our people, as well as the looming environmental crisis, including the negative impacts of climate change in developing countries, the increasing shortage of drinking water and the loss of biodiversity.

12.     We stress that imbalances in the global economy and the inequitable structures and outcomes in the trading, financial, monetary and technological systems led to the establishment of our Group. Nevertheless, these imbalances still prevail today in some ways with even more adverse effects on developing countries. Therefore, we pledge to continue and intensify our efforts to strive for a fair, just and equitable international order oriented towards the fulfilment of the development needs of developing countries.

Continue reading

Cuba Proves There Is an Alternative to IMF … Cuban Ambassador to Portugal


JohanaTablada Cuban Ambassador to PortugalWhile European and Latin American countries are suffering from the consequences of IMF loans, Cuba has proven that there is an alternative to the IMF, said Cuban Ambassador to Portugal Johana Tablada.

Interviewed by Portuguese newspaper Avante, the Ambassador recalled that in the 90s the alternative to surrender was the reorganization, without selling the country or giving up the public control of resources and social justice.
Cuba rejected the offers of packages of measures similar to those the IMF later imposed in Latin America, whose consequences are also known today by many Europeans, Tablada stated.

The international movement of solidarity, many Portuguese people, and particularly the Portuguese Communist Party, understood that our people resisted to maintain the right to build an alternative system to the one which the United States and its allies want to impose on us.

Continue reading

The United Nations Praises Results of Cuba’s Environmental Actions

July 13

Claudio Tomasi UNDPCuba’s efforts and results in the field of the environment were praised on Friday Havana by officials of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Claudio Tomasi, representative of the UNDP on the island, pointed out that Cuba is a reference both at a regional an continental level in the integration of policies and actions related to sustainable development.  (Photo: Claudio Tomasi)

Continue reading

Cuba’s Commitment to Sustainable Development Highlighted by the UNDP

Barbara Pesce-Monteiro.The attention given by Cuba to studies on climate change and the high scientific rigor and multidisciplinary nature of its results were highlighted by the representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to the island, Barbara Pesce-Monteiro.
 In Cuba, there’s a firm political will to advance towards a sustainable economic Continue reading