71 UNGA: Statement by the Permanent Representative of Cuba at the High-Level Meeting to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the adoption of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from En

Mr. Chairman,

We are grateful to you for convening this meeting to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, in line with General Assembly Resolution 70/160. 

The adoption of the Convention marked an important step forward in the international efforts to prevent this practice worldwide. Up to the present day, 96 States have signed the Convention; 56 of them are Parties thereof. In this regard, we welcome the efforts of the United Nations agencies and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to promote knowledge and universalization of this international instrument.

Let wars and their supporting military spending be eliminated; let us work for the rule of law at the national and international level; let us recognize the need for a new just international order focusing on the eradication of poverty and inequality; let us fight against impunity and let us eliminate selective and discriminatory policies as well as double standards. Consequently, material and legal guarantees will be granted in order to comply with the provisions on article 1 of the Convention: ensuring that no one will be subjected to enforced disappearance.  

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba was actively involved in the negotiations which led to the adoption of the Convention. Likewise, our country was one of the major co-sponsors of the General Assembly resolution that approved this instrument and was among the countries that signed it on February 6, 2007 in the solemn ceremony held in Paris. Similarly, on February 2, 2009 we proceeded with the deposit of the ratification instrument.

The rights to life, freedom and security of people have always been cornerstones in the actions of the Cuban Government, its authorities and the functioning of society in general. In its domestic and foreign policy, Cuba implements the respect for human physical and moral integrity, particularly in defending the legitimate interests of citizens. This allows the country to ensure that within the country –excluding the territory illegally occupied by the United States Naval Base in Guantánamo- there are no cases of disappearance, torture, secret detentions nor are other serious violations of human rights committed. In virtue of the above, there are no reports of enforced disappearances, legal proceedings or sentences passed due to such acts.

We Cubans have legal structures regulating and protecting the rights of individuals. Accordingly, our legislation not only sets out the universally recognized fundamental legal safeguards relating to the protection of human rights, but also provides material guarantees for the genuine and effective exercise of all human rights, which includes civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

In compliance with obligations under the International Convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearances, Cuba has presented the Committee on Enforced Disappearances with its report on the measures taken to fulfill the obligations of the Convention, under reference code CED/C/CUB/1.

Mr. Chairman,

Considering that enforced disappearance is an affront to human dignity, contrary to the objectives of the United Nations Charter and a serious and flagrant violation of human rights, Cuba will remain committed to the full observance of the Convention, guided by the deep yearning of José Martí, our National Hero, who expressed and I quote: “…the fundamental law of our Republic must be the tribute of Cubans to the full dignity of man".

Thank you very much.