New York, 14 October 2020. The representative of Cuba to the United Nations, Second Secretary Indira Guardia González, participated today in the debate of Item 81 “Crimes against Humanity” of the Sixth Commission of the United Nations.
The diplomat highlighted that Cuba has been a historic defender of respect for international law and its principles, especially for international criminal law. She noted that the fight against impunity of crimes against humanity has great significance and importance in the current international context, which is why Cuba considers that the draft articles prepared by the International Law Commission is a valid contribution to the efforts to concretize international prevention and repression of this type of crimes and will contribute to the efforts to reinforce the international criminal justice system.
She called for a Convention on this matter to reflect, as a fundamental principle, that the primary responsibility to prevent and punish serious international crimes that take place under its jurisdiction must fall, first of all, on the State in question.
All of this, she affirmed, in accordance with one of the main principles of international criminal law which claims that States have the sovereign prerogative to exercise, in their national courts, jurisdiction over crimes against humanity committed on their territories or by their nationals. The application of other prosecution mechanisms should be considered only when States are unable or unwilling to exercise jurisdiction over these crimes, she expressed.
Guardia González said that a future Convention will be widely accepted by the international community only if its drawing-up takes into account the differences between several existing national systems of law, as well as those States that are not Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
She stressed that said Convention must avoid conflicts with international instruments already adopted, in order to ensure that there is coherence with current regulations and institutions of international criminal law, as well as avoid the legislative dispersion of this issue in the international system.
Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations