71 UNGA: Statement by the Cuban delegation at the Fifth Committee under item “Proposed Program Project for the Biennium 2016-2017” and Thematic Cluster: “Special and Personal Envoys and Special Advisers of the Secretary-General.”

Mr. Chairman,

We thank Controller Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Assistant Secretary-General, for her presentation of the Secretary-General´s reports on the estimates in respect with special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the General Assembly or the Security Council. We likewise thank Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu for the related reports of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.

Cuba associates itself with the statement delivered at the time by the distinguished delegation of Ecuador on behalf of CELAC. In like manner, we share many of the concerns relating to the financial requirements of the Special Political Missions expressed by the delegations of Singapore on behalf of ASEAN, Tanzania on behalf of the African Group, Qatar on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Mexico in its national capacity.

Mr. Chairman,

The position of the Cuban delegation on the lack of sustainability to continue financing Special Political Missions through the UN Regular Budget is well known. The creation mechanism of these Missions is already highly questionable because in the vast majority of cases the Special Political Missions are initiated by decisions taken at the Security Council. It is therefore inconsistent that the permanent members of the Council do not assume their special responsibilities for financing peacekeeping operations. The SPM should be financed in the same way as peacekeeping operations, including the use of its scale of assessments and an account exclusively dedicated to them.

It is noteworthy once again that the level of resources allocated to the Special Political Missions represents more than 20% of the regular budget, with a rising historical trend.

These events continue to demonstrate the imbalance of resources allocated to the different priorities established by the General Assembly. Additionally, in our view no explicit mandate of the General Assembly provides for several topics to be addressed by the special political missions, and the current approval and follow-up procedure of these missions restricts all actual supervision possibilities of the General Assembly.

Mr. Chairman,

Same as in previous occasions, Cuba would like to refer to the estimates for Thematic Cluster I: Special and Personal Envoys and Special Advisers of the Secretary-General, contained in document A/71/365/Add.1, particularly section II C relating to the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide.

The Cuban delegation disagrees with the Secretary-General´s proposal to include activities and findings relating to the concept of “responsibility to protect” in the estimates of the Special Political Missions; specifically under the proposal concerning the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. Once again, we reject this inclusion.

We believe that no intergovernmental agreement of the General Assembly can justify the creation and maintenance of the post and activities of the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, under the umbrella of the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. The General Assembly had no voice or vote in creating the post of Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect.

On August 31 2007, in a letter addressed to the President of the Security Council, (S/2007/721), the Secretary-General stated his intention to appoint a Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect.In his letter to the Security Council he argued that the new Special Adviser would expand the office of the Special Representative on the Prevention of Genocide, aiming at increasing the efficiency of its operations and considering the connection existing between large-scale atrocities and the threats to international peace and security.

Mr. Chairman,

Long-standing international problems, historical injustices and inequalities, poverty and underdevelopment cannot be solved through sanctions and interventions, which in many cases generate more violence. In this complex scenario, it is even worse to manipulate these realities to promote and consolidate concepts, such as the concept of “Responsibility to Protect”. The foundations of the so-called “Responsibility to Protect” undermine International Law and jeopardize the sovereignty of the State and its primary responsibility for the wellbeing of its people. This is the main motivation driving Cuba to oppose the concept of “Responsibility to Protect” and the political manipulations that it is usually conducive to. Therefore, Cuba rejects the creation and maintenance of the post of Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect.

The position assumed by my country on this matter should in no way be viewed as the rejection to the work of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. Nevertheless, it is our understanding that the appointment of a Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect is a deviation from the letter and the spirit of operative paragraphs 138 and 139 of UNGA resolution 60/1 (2005 World Summit Outcome Document)

There is no legal basis for the implementation of activities relating to the “Responsibility to Protect”. Let us recall that in paragraph 2 of resolution 63/308, the General Assembly decided to “keep the responsibility to protect under review”. As we have stated on previous occasions, it is our view that no formal intergovernmental debates or reviews have been developed in this regard. Moreover, no concrete definition on this concept has been adopted yet by the General Assembly. Therefore, no reference should be made to the “Principle of Responsibility to Protect”.

Mr. Chairman,

In line with the elements outlined, my delegation will actively involve itself once more in question-and-answer sessions and will make specific proposals to modify the presentation of the Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide. In the framework of informal consultations, we will further go into additional elements and will make concrete draft amendments to the Secretary-General's proposal. Same as in previous sessions, we would put them to the vote, if necessary.  

Thank you very much.