STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. ABELARDO MORENO FERNÁNDEZ, DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AT THE HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT TO COMMEMORATE THE THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DECLARATION ON THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT
New York, 71 UNGA – 22 September, 2016.
Thirty years ago, we took an important step forward when considering development not only as a goal, but a right for all. We then acknowledged that this right may be applied regardless of our birthplace, social condition, color of the skin or affiliation to a social group.
Nonetheless, current world realities prove that its enjoyment is an illusion for the majority of the world population and, it will remain likewise as long as the 836 million people still living in extreme poverty; the 795 million people without enough food to enjoy a healthy life; the 103 million young people without minimum literacy levels or the 663 million people that do not have access to drinking water, continue to be statistics that do not mobilize decisive world-wide action.
Solutions shall not be postponed. It is a problem involving every one of us and not only developing countries. Real political will of industrialized world governments is required.
We do not need paternalisms but rather training of human capital and access to markets and technology. We do not need the imposition of foreign formulas, cultures or models to favor our development, but rather change the rules governing international economic relations and promote a just, equitable and non-exclusive international economic order, so that our peoples may exercise the right to define their own models, and policies that meet their realities.
To that end, efficient policies are certainly required at national level, but above all international cooperation and a favorable global- level atmosphere.
The right to development cannot continue to be denied among the family of human rights or its true priority be disregarded. Similarly, the use of technicisms to hamper the setting up of a Convention on the Right to Development that paves the way to its materialization should end.
Furthermore, it is necessary to eliminate the irrationality and unsustainability of the production and consumption patterns underpinning unequal development; the real term contraction of the official development assistance; the limited and conditioned technology transfer; the restrictions of the more advanced economy markets on poor-country exports, as well as, the exponential and onerous growth of the foreign debt, despite it has already been paid for several times.
In order to make the right to development a reality, it is also indispensable to transform the international political order and halt the privileges of resources devoted to war to the detriment of those allotted to development; the threats and aggressions against the sovereignty and free determination of the peoples and the imposition of unilateral coercive measures, that smother peoples and are an obstacle to the exercise of their rights.
Cuba has endured for more than 50 years an economic, commercial and financial Embargo which violates massive, flagrant and systematically the human rights of an entire people, particularly that of the right to development. Our country will continue struggling to overcome the obstacles it faces and will contribute, to the extent of its modest possibilities, for the solution of the most pressing problems of other peoples.
We do so under the conviction expressed by the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, in this Plenary, 37 years ago, when stating: “It is time for all to unite in the task to bring complete nations and hundreds of millions of human beings out of backward state, misery, malnutrition, disease and illiteracy which deprive them of fully enjoying the dignity and pride of calling themselves men.”
Thank you very much.