71 UNGA: Cuba at the Joint Debate of the items Prevention of Crime and Criminal Justice, and International Drug Control.

Mr. Chairman,

First of all, our delegation associates itself with the statement made by the Dominican Republic of behalf of CELAC, and in our national capacity we would like to highlight the following elements.

The current international context demands for crime prevention to remain a task of first priority. Every country, regardless their socio-economic characteristics, is vulnerable to the different manifestations of crime, including the emerging forms.

Fighting transnational trafficking in persons, drug dealing, money laundering operations, arms smuggling or terrorism requires robust international cooperation, on the basis of full respect to sovereignty, territorial integrity of States and in accordance with national laws. This is essential to effectively prevent and combat such scourges, as rightly recognized in the Palermo Convention and its protocols.

Crime confrontation itself does not ensure its eradication. The fight against underdevelopment must go hand in hand with the struggle for the establishment of a more just, democratic and equitable international order to achieve more just and inclusive societies.

We attach great importance to the Congresses for Crime Prevention as these are the frameworks that have facilitated the exchange of information and good practices among States and professionals associated to this area, as well as for their impact on crime prevention and international criminal justice.

Mr. Chairman,

None of the forms of transnational organized crimes faced by humanity today reaches the magnitude and the cost in social and humanitarian terms, as drug trafficking does.

Drug abuse and dependence is not only a serious problem for human health, but also a threat to security and economic and social progress. The cost of this scourge is enormous as it reproduces the cycles of poverty, violence, various forms of criminal behavior and social exclusion. Consequently, we believe this problem must be tackled in a comprehensive, balanced and multidisciplinary manner, in which international cooperation plays an essential role.

Nowadays, the principle of common and shared responsibility is more important than ever. It will be very hard to resolve production and trafficking from the impoverished South without eliminating the demand in the developed North. This problem will neither be solved by militarizing countries or knocking country people out, nor by legalizing drugs or assuming drugs as harmless substances.

Drug control policies should include a perspective of people´s wellbeing and prevention of violence and crime, which complements the legal-criminal confrontation. Drug abuse is also a public health problem that requires policies prioritizing prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and social integration. Such elements are not new, and no modification of the international legal framework is required for their implementation.

We have consistently pointed out at the United Nations that we must be careful and avoid using ambiguous terms, whose definition and scope are not clear for all Member States. Such is the case of the “new approaches”. Accordingly, Cuba does not favor the introduction of terms and actions whose implications or backgrounds might affect the current drug supervision and control regime. We support the existing legal framework on this matter and the provisions established in the three international conventions on the topic. Similarly, we highlight the significance of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs as the main body of the United Nations to address the World Drug Problem.

We welcome the adoption of the outcome document of the thirtieth session of the General Assembly, entitled “Our joint commitment to effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem”. The said document reaffirms the necessity to strengthen the compliance of the existing legal commitments and of the three International Conventions on drug control. It also recognizes that the world drug problem remains a common and shared responsibility that must be faced up within a multilateral environment through a more intense and effective international cooperation.

Mr. Chairman,

At a national level, Cuba has a zero tolerance policy on drug production, consumption and trafficking. Our territory will never be used as a drug deposit, storage, transit or destination.

Cuba, through a joint effort of the public health, education, justice and internal order institutions and the participation of various social organizations, has developed prevention programs with positive results. The strategies aimed at treating consumers mainly base on health care, rehabilitation and social reintegration as ways to counteract drug dependence.

Our country meets all its international obligations in terms of international cooperation and fight against the organized crime with an outstanding record in confronting crimes of higher incidence, such as international terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundry, piracy, trafficking in persons, among others. All these crimes are regulated and punishable under the current Cuban legislation.

Cuba is State Party to 16 international instruments on combating terrorism. We have a comprehensive law against terrorist acts. Moreover, our country rigorously complies with the provisions under Resolution 1373 of the Security Council, by virtue of which we have submitted numerous reports to the said body.

As we have denounced in previous occasions, 3 478 Cuban citizens have died and other

2 099 have been maimed by terrorist acts against my country for more than half a century. Several of the confessed perpetrators of those actions are living with impunity.

The Cuban territory has never been used nor will ever be to organize, finance or carry out terrorist acts against any country. Accordingly, we reiterate our readiness to cooperate with any State, in the prevention and confrontation of terrorism on the basis of mutual respect, sovereign equality and the principles and rules of International Law.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba rejects the compilation of unilateral lists of countries that supposedly commit violations linked to transnational organized crime, for these are actions contrary to international law.

The Cuban Adjustment Act and the so called “wet-foot/dry-foot policy” against Cuba remain in force. These policies are aimed at encouraging illegal and unsafe migration and the trafficking of Cuban citizens to the United States. This has caused a large number of deaths since its promulgation and has generated difficulties to countries of the region.

Cuba reaffirms its unwavering commitment to continue fighting transnational organized crime in all its manifestations and the world drug problem and related crimes.

Thank you very much.