President Michael D Higgins has said he welcomes Cuba's commitments on human rights during a state visit to the Latin American country.

The President also said that Cuba is an illuminating example in its provision of health and education.

President Higgins, delivering a keynote speech at the University of Havana, said that Cuba should be free to shape its own path to development.

He said the dramatic failures of IMF/World Bank policies in Latin America and elsewhere has demonstrated the fundamental importance of the state in providing basic services, such as education, healthcare and housing.

He said Cuba had proved its ability to consistently deliver such fundamental social goods even during times of adversity.

"Neither the collectivised, authoritarian state systems of the 20th century nor the financialised version of global capitalism that has become hegemonic since the fall of the Berlin Wall are appropriate to our needs, or adequate for the civilisation of sustainable sufficiency our humanity so urgently needs," said Mr Higgins.

He said the world is facing extreme instability.

"Old certainties are crumbling; previous models are shaken. For all the perils inherent to such a volatile world, we must, together, seize upon the real opportunities that exist to create new forms of cooperation, drawing on the capacity of our states to plan for the long term," said Mr Higgins.

The President said he welcomed the commitment Cuba had made towards human rights as part of the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement which was signed in December 2016.