US blockade hinders the work of the United Nations System in Cuba

New York, 5 October 2020. Cuba representative to the United Nations, Second Secretary Juan Miguel González Peña, participated today in the debate of the Second Committee on agenda item 24 “Operational Activities for Development”, of the United Nations Second Committee. In that event, he expressed that with the upcoming Quadrennial comprehensive policy review related to operational activities (QCPR), Cuba hopes that the pillar of development and the enshrining of the principles guiding the System's operational activities, its neutrality, its intergovernmental character and its objective strictly linked to development are strengthened.

The diplomat pointed out that the United Nations System must ensure the decisive participation of the countries of the South in the System´s governance. She reiterated that regular, predictable and unconditional resources are the cornerstone of the System's financing architecture, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities between developing and donor countries, and their distinction with the financing mechanisms agreed on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

In the case of Cuba, he noted that the tightening of the policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the US government for 60 years against Havana hinders the implementation of projects of the UN System entities and the promotion of sustainable development in the country.

Considerations by the Office of the Resident Coordinator in Cuba, reflected in the Report of the Secretary General A/74/91 rev.1 indicate that the restrictions imposed by the blockade cause critical difficulties for the implementation of the United Nations programs and projects, particularly in the acquisition and purchase of products for humanitarian and development purposes, even if they are acquired through multilateral cooperation. Moreover, the report underlines that the financial proposals and projects of the UN entities in Cuba should include in their designs a longer timeframe for the processes of procurement as well as additional financial resources, which could otherwise be allocated to development activities.

González Peña recalled that United Nations Development System must continue to strengthen its contribution to the national development priorities of the Country Programmes, in accordance with the mandates of each entity. This includes that full respect for national sovereignty and leadership of national governments over their own processes must continue to be shown, including for the Resident Coordinator, whose mandate must be focused on sustainable development and on meeting national needs and priorities, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework. 

Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations

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