On the second day of her official visit to Cuba, 28 November, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, met with the UN Country Team and the UN Resident Coordinator for Cuba, Barbara Pesce Monteiro.
The Resident Coordinator made a presentation on the current situation in Cuba and the overall cooperation and role of the UN. There are 15 UN agencies, funds and programmes active in Cuba, and 6 of them have resident representatives developing projects in the country.
Referring to the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2008-2012 for Cuba, the UN Resident Coordinator said that it has been extended until 2013 in agreement with the Cuban Government. The five main areas of cooperation are local human development, natural disasters and risks, environment and energy, health and food security. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and gender issues operate in a transversal manner. She pointed out that the second UNDAF for Cuba has been undertaken and that it has been led in close cooperation with the Cuban partners and authorities to establish a Road Map for Cuba.
Making reference to the presence of the UN in Cuba for many years, the UN Resident Coordinator underlined the importance of the work of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in the country.
In this respect, the Director-General underlined that Cuba has a strong historical intellectual tradition and past and is building on this actively to develop its cultural policies. Referring to her visit to the Museum of Literacy, the Director-General underscored the importance of quality education, especially teacher education. She highlighted the vital role that the UN, and especially UNESCO, has to play in supporting Cuba to tackle this issue.