75 UNGA: Statement by Ambassador Pedro L. Pedroso Cuesta, Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations, Open debate of the Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East, Including the Palestinian Question. New York, 26 October 2020.

Mr. President,

We support the statement delivered by Azerbaijan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

A global epidemic has drastically changed everyday life. The effects of COVID-19 demand from us a dynamic, concerted, efficient response, based on complementarity, cooperation and solidarity. The long-desired right of humankind to live in peace and security, with justice and freedom, which is the basis of coexistence among nations, is constantly threatened.

We reiterate our deep concern about its impact on Middle East countries, and we call upon to prevent any action which might lead to a greater deterioration of stability and security in that region, in particular on the Palestinian people whose situation is increasingly deteriorated.

Israel continues the occupation of the Palestinian territory, its annexation policies, the increase of illegal and colonizing practices and measures, including the construction and expansion of settlements on the occupied Palestinian territory, the punitive demolitions, the seizure of resources from Palestinian institutions, the forced displacement of hundreds of civilians and the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

We demand a just solution to the Middle East conflict, based on the effective exercise of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to establish its own State on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This implies a responsible behavior by the United States and an end to the impunity of Israel´s crimes and annexation policy.

We reject Israel´s attempts to annex new West Bank territories, which is a threat for the future of the Palestinian State after long years of negotiation, in clear violation of international law and human rights.

Mr. President,

We once again call on the Security Council to abide by the responsibility vested to it by the UN Charter to maintain international peace and security and to demand that Israel immediately and completely end all its colonizing policies and practices. It is worrying that no measures have been taken in the last period to end the Israeli military aggression and occupation of the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, in accordance with resolution 2334 (2016), adopted by this Council, which remains silent while Israel consolidates its policy of expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and threatens to annex the Palestinian territories in the Jordan Valley and other regions of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

We regret the precarious situation in which the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East finds itself as a result of the withdrawal of the United States financial support.

We express our unwavering solidarity with the Palestinian government and people and the support for Palestine's entry as a full member into the United Nations.

Mr. President,

The aggressive, unilateral and unjustified actions by the United States in the Middle East severely undermine the legitimate interests of the Arab and Islamic nations and lead to a dangerous escalation in the region.

We reiterate our rejection of the so-called "Deal of the century", drawn up by the current United States government, which ignores the two-State solution that has been historically supported by the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other international actors.

The unilateral action of the United States government to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to establish its diplomatic representation in that city, showing disrespect for its historic status, as well as the decision to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Syrian Golan, constitute flagrant violations of the United Nations Charter, international law and the relevant resolutions adopted by the Security Council.

We demand once again Israel's total and unconditional withdrawal from the Syrian Golan and from all occupied Arab territories.

Mr. President,

We ratify our full support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran and our rejection to the withdrawal of the United States from the agreement, its attempts to disregard the validity of resolution 2231 (2015) endorsed by the Plan, the re-imposition of unilateral sanctions and the military threat against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

We support the search for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the situation imposed on Syria, without external interference and with full respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We reiterate our strongest condemnation of the United States´ sanctions and the implementation of the Caesar Act, which affect the reconstruction of that country, after nine years of war, an undertaking which is even more difficult in the complex scenario of COVID-19. These measures constitute a gross and flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, international law and the human rights of the Syrian people.

It is unacceptable that some countries suffer the application of arbitrary unilateral coercive measures, contrary to international law and the United Nations Charter. We demand the immediate end, with no political conditions, of the illegal unilateral measures imposed on sovereign States that, besides their permanent effects on the countries affected, hinder the fight against the pandemic.

Mr. President,

In this complex scenario, the United States unfolds a foreign policy aimed at eroding multilateralism and stirring up and promoting conflicts, divisions, chauvinism and supremacist and racist positions; disregards the call for joining efforts to tackle the pandemic and withdraws from the World Health Organization.

We endorse the urgent call of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to end armed conflicts, hostilities and the sickness of war and instead open opportunities to diplomacy and cooperation. All forms of war, including unconventional and low-intensity warfare, must cease.

To Cuba, upholding the right to peace remains a fundamental priority. It is the duty of all States, and particularly of the members of the Security Council, the defense of multilateralism and the purposes and principles of the Charter, including the respect for the sovereign equality of States and their political independence, territorial unity and integrity; peaceful resolution of conflicts, non-interference in the internal affairs of States and refrain from the use or threat of use of force in international relations.

Thank you.