On 29 November, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova met with the President of the Republic of Cuba, Mr Raul Castro. Also present at the meeting were the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Bruno Gonzalez Parrilla, the Vice President of the Council of Ministers, Mr Miguel Diaz Canel, and the Director of UNESCO’s Office in Havana, Mr Herman Van Hooff.
Among other themes, the President and the Director-General discussed the global agenda, particularly in relation to climate change, south-south cooperation and solidarity. In this regard, the President underlined the challenges currently facing Cuba as a consequence of climate change and in relation to water issues. He talked about the extensive interdisciplinary studies, carried out by Cuban scientific institutions, on the impact of the rising sea water level. Cuba is ready to share the methodology and results of this study with other countries in the region. The President made reference to the Humboldt National Park as an example of the Government's policy to give priority to the protection of the environment.
President Castro also referred to recent orientations of the Cuban national agenda. He said that one of the major challenges for the country is to continue guaranteeing the sustainability and quality of social services, such as education, health, culture, sports and social security.
On the same day, the Director-General inaugurated a photo exhibition, entitled “Diving into History”, dedicated to the underwater cultural heritage in the Castillo de la Real Fuerza museum in Old Havana, a site inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1982.