30.04.2018 - UNESCO Havana/ Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

UNESCO present in Cuba-Health 2018

© UNESCO Havana/E. Suárez. UNESCO representative, Olga Rufins Machin (on the left) during her presentation. Chairing the event were the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Cuba, Consuelo Vidal, and PHO/WHO representative, Cristián Morales.

On 26 April, the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean participated in the panel “Interagency work to promote the SDGs. Health Opportunities” with the presentation “Promoting health from Education, Science, Culture, Communication and Information”. The panel was conducted by representatives of the agencies of the United Nations system (UNS) as part of the programme of the 3rd International Convention Cuba-Health 2018.

Mr Cristián Morales, PHO/WHO representative, moderated the panel, which counted with the participation of the UNS Resident Coordinator in Cuba, Ms Consuelo Vidal Bruce, who delivered the closing speech of the event.

In her presentation, the Official in Charge of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture, Olga Rufins Machin, brought to mind how the Organization, since its constitution in 1945, has placed human beings at the centre of its daily work based on its foundational principles.

Likewise, she referred to the “UNESCO Strategy on Health, Education and Well-being: Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals”, launched in 2016, which articulates the Organization’s commitment to promoting better health and well-being for all children and young people, as it stresses UNESCO’s Education Sector contribution to ending AIDS as a public threat by 2030.

Lastly, she shared three experiences, global, regional and national, respectively, where important synergies have taken place between the intersectoral actions undertaken by UNESCO and the field of health.

The first experience was the special contribution of the Member States in preparing the report “Culture Urban Future. Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Development”, presented during the Third Conference of the United Nations on Health and Sustainable Development (Habitat III), held on October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador.

Although the report focuses on Culture as a strategic asset for creating cities that are more inclusive, creative and sustainable, it also shows, through case studies, the reflections of experts and recommendations, the multisectoral nature of all these initiatives, aimed at ensuring the people’s development and comprehensive well-being.

At the regional level, she referred to the SIDACULT Project, implemented by the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture between 2007 and 2011, seeking to explore and stimulate the new cultural and social responses generated in Latin America and the Caribbean to the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

At the national level, the UNESCO official shared information on the pilot project “Safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage expressions of Quiviján, in Guantánamo, Cuba, relative to natural and traditional medicine”. As part of the project, the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture and the PHO/WHO Office in Cuba, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and the National Council for Cultural Heritage of Cuba, as well as the local authorities involved, have joined their efforts since 2015.

Some of the main results of the project include an inventory of the plants with curative properties used on a daily basis by the community, as well as of the ways they are processed, made by the bearers of this knowledge, and the booklet “Folk Wisdom and Health”, currently under edition for its final publication.

In their presentations, representatives of the agencies of the United Nations system dealt with themes using different approaches, thereby illustrating the interagency work conducted to fulfil the SDGs. The papers include “HIV as a challenge to development: opportunities for intersectoral and interagency work in the projects of the World Fund” (UNDP), “UNICEF and cooperation in the field of health in Cuba” (UNICEF), “Sexual and Reproductive Health for adolescents and young people” (UNFPA), “Nutrition-sensitive programmes and their contribution to the health of the most vulnerable” (WFP) and “Putting an end to hunger and all forms of malnutrition require innovative approaches in public policies that reach families in the territories” (FAO).

The International Convention Cuba-Health 2018 was held from 23 to 27 April at the Havana International Conference Centre.




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