72 UNGA: Statement by the Cuban Delegation at the general debate on Item 67: Report of the Human Rights Council. New York, 2 November 2017

Mr. Chairman,

The Human Rights Council was a result of the need to address double standards, political confrontation and manipulation of the former Commission on Human Rights. The Council should avoid the recurrence of the negative practices that discredited the Commission, which we strongly reject.

We reiterate our concern for the trend to impose selectivity and double standards in the Council in addressing human rights situations, which has been reflected in the report of the Human Rights Council submitted to us. Political manipulation in dealing with country situations must be brought to a halt. Cooperation and respectful dialogue should steer the work of this body.

Cuba reaffirms that the Universal Periodic Review has become the only existing universal mechanism to comprehensively analyze the human rights situation in all countries. It is the Council's principal distinctive feature in relation to the former Commission. This mechanism has proved to be a means for international cooperation on human rights through constructive dialogue and respect for the principles of universality, objectivity, impartiality and non-selectivity.

These principles should also be adhered to by the special procedures of the Council and the human rights treaty bodies. Special procedure holders should also observe the Code of Conduct adopted during the institution-building process of the Human Rights Council.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba believes that as long as an unjust and exclusive international economic and political order persists the Council must continue to speak out in favor of a democratic and equitable international order.

As long as unilateral coercive measures and blockades such like the one suffered by Cuba for more than 55 years are imposed, the Council must continue to reject and demand the end of these practices.

The Council should also ensure that the demand for the right to international solidarity becomes imperative, in order to face the serious challenges posed by the profound economic, financial, energy, environmental and food crises that affect the planet.

We regret the adoption by vote in the last session of the Human Rights Council of a number of resolutions which have enjoyed the consensus of Member States for several years, such as the Right to Food. In this UNGA session, my delegation will again present the said resolution, hoping that such an important initiative will have the constructive spirit of all delegations to achieving a consensus on such a crucial issue.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba will continue working to promote the rights of peoples to self-determination, peace and development, the realization of the right to food, the establishment of a democratic and equitable international order in fighting racism, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination, for realizing cultural rights and respect for diversity.

Cuba ratifies its unwavering commitment to the promotion and respect for all human rights for all.

Thank you very much.