75 UNGA: Statement by the delegation of Cuba under Item 89 "Protection of persons in the event of disasters”. New York, November 11, 2020

Mr. Chairman,

       Cuba reaffirms its endorsement of the efforts made by the International Law Commission to improve the protection of persons affected by disasters.

         We thank the Secretary-General for the presentation of his report A/75/214, to which Cuba contributed with its commentaries relating to the draft articles drawn up by the Committee.

       In this regard, our delegation pointed out a number of issues that it believes should be taken into account in the elaboration of a future convention based upon the aforesaid draft articles, since the final wording of the draft articles must continue to be discussed by governments so that a text supported by the overwhelming majority can be adopted.

       To this end, Cuba reiterates that the primary role in ensuring the protection of persons, the provision of relief and assistance in its territory, in the event of disasters, rests with the affected State. In the event that a disaster exceeds the national response capacity, that State has the right to request or accept bilateral or international assistance.

       Likewise, Cuba considers that the offer of international disaster assistance cannot be made under conditions, pressure, or driven by elements that are harmful to the sovereignty of the affected State.

Mr. Chairman,

         Cuba also considers that disaster risk reduction measures should include, interalia, the conduct of risk studies; the collection and dissemination of risk and past loss information; the observance of the technical standards in investments to favor resilience enhancement by reducing future vulnerabilities; the introduction of climate change adaptation and mitigation actions with emphasis on safe water, food security and health, among others. Likewise, the preparedness of the population at risk and the installation and operation of early warning systems must be taken into account.

       To conclude, Cuba reiterates that we cannot consider the CDI, by itself, as a kind of legislative body responsible for establishing norms of international law.

         Its merit lies in documenting the issues upon which States have elaborated norms of significance to international law and in proposing those matters on which States might be interested in studying the possibility of elaborating them. The elaboration of these draft articles is not an exercise of codification of customary international law, but rather an effort in the progressive development of the law.

         In this connection, once again Cuba expresses its readiness to work together with all member States to achieve a consensus convention.

Thank you very much.