73 UNGA: Statement by Cuba at the General Assembly Meeting to Commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. New York, March 25, 2019

Madam President,

My delegation thanks you for the convening of this commemorative meeting marking the celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

My delegation recognizes and reaffirms the results of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and other Related Intolerance, held in Durban, and considers it a transcendental milestone in the struggle for equal rights among all human beings.

The full implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action remains a pending issue. There is still a lack of political will among several powers to move forward the mandate received since then.

Unfortunately, today we continue to discriminate against ethnic groups, nations and entire communities. Governments and political parties with a racist, xenophobic and anti-immigrant platform persist and are increasing. Social exclusion and marginalization of peoples, minorities or other categories of social groups and individuals prevail.

Faced with this undeniable reality, it is urgent to achieve the full implementation of the postulates, goals and actions agreed in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, as well as in the Final Outcome Document of its Review Conference. It is urgent that we adopt new practical measures to eliminate contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance; to remove the root causes that generate them including underdevelopment, poverty and social exclusion and to establish a new international order based on equity, solidarity and social justice.

Madam President,

We reiterate our commitment to continue supporting this effort and, in this regard, we reaffirm our willingness to continue to implement the Programme of Activities of the International Decade for People of African Descent at the national level and to support the work of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent and of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Madam President,

Access to free and universal culture, health care and education has led to the process of dignifying and  defending the rights of Cubans, regardless of the colour of their skin, together with the full recognition of the legacy of the main ethnic components of the Cuban nation.

The commitment of the Government of Cuba to the total eradication of racial discrimination is based on the fact that the Cuban people feel extremely proud of their African roots, which are present in our idiosyncrasy and in our cultural manifestations. Cuban culture and nationality emerged nourished by the African heritage. Cuba, moreover, has given the sweat and blood of hundreds of thousands of its sons to contribute to the emancipation of Africa, a continent from which all humanity will always be indebted.

Cuba upholds its unchanged willingness to support and promote all actions taken to drive the implementation of the Durban commitments.

Thank you very much.