Human rights issues discussed in int'l congress of higher education in Cuba

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-17 07:36:51|Editor: Lifang
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HAVANA, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- The role of universities in the defense of human rights contemplated in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been one of the key issues debated this week at an international gathering of higher education experts in Cuba.

The 11th International Congress of Higher Education, "University 2018," has not only served as a meaningful venue for academic discussions but also as a political platform for different nations which are determined to face the hegemony of the United States.

Washington's recent actions against nations like Venezuela and Palestine, whose higher education ministers attended the event, were broadly discussed.

"We are taking the opportunity at this event to deplore U.S. intervention and meddling in Venezuela. It is intended to suffocate our people, deny them resources to access medicine and food while an economic blockade has also been implemented," Hugbel Roa, Venezuelan minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, said in an interview with Xinhua.

Meanwhile, Sabri Saidam, minister of higher education of Palestine, told Xinhua that his presence in University 2018 was not only to exchange experiences about the role of universities in contemporary societies but also to condemn the U.S decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

On Dec. 6, Trump announced the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"The most important thing now is to resist that decision and exhort our friends and other nations around the world to not give in to Washington's pressures to change their initial position of support for Palestine," he said.

Cuba has hosted this international congress since 1998 to promote dialogue on the most pressing issues facing higher education in Latin America and around the world.

This year, the event has drawn more than 2,000 international delegates from 60 countries, and 900 from Cuba, as well as 11 ministers and 39 representatives of international organizations.