73 UNGA: Statement by Cuba at Segment on Permanent Sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of Arab population in occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources. New York, 0ct 24, 2018.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba endorses the statement by the distinguished delegation of Egypt, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

The founding objective of the United Nations is to foster peace through political and negotiated settlement of conflicts; to promote development and well-being for all peoples and the promotion and protection of human rights for all, including the right to development.

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires leaving no country or people behind, including those under foreign occupation; as well as the rational use of natural resources.

However, Israel deprives the Palestinian people of their right to development by stripping them, among other things, of the sovereign right over their natural resources.

Cuba appreciates the report submitted by the Secretary-General on Agenda item 65, which confirms the 51 years of Israeli occupation and its detrimental effect on the social and economic development of the population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan. This constitutes the irrefutable expression of the deprivation of the Palestinian people's right to development, since they cannot have sovereign rights over their natural resources.

Among the harmful effects that this causes are:

• Israel maintains almost total control over water. The scarcity of this resource continues to affect life and hinders the development efforts of the Palestinian people.

• The restrictions imposed by Israel, land confiscations and violence prevent the Palestinians and Syrians of the Golan from having access to and using agricultural land.

• The destruction of forests as well as of hydraulic and electric structures has contributed to the deterioration, not only of the provision of basic services to the population, but also of the environment.

• Marine ecosystems are constantly deteriorating; 108 million liters of untreated or partially treated wastewater are discharged into the Mediterranean Sea from Gaza daily, and 73% of the Gaza’s coastline is polluted with these waters.

It is clear that the occupation has caused a serious deterioration in the social and economic conditions of the Palestinian people, which prevent them from achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda.

In Gaza, about 2 million Palestinians continue to live under the Israeli blockade. The global poverty rate of 29% in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is alarming, reaching 54% in Gaza, increased by the precariousness of medical supplies and services, lack of food or lack of access to drinking water. Certainly disturbing are the precarious living conditions of refugees in Gaza who live in camps where the average density is almost 40,000 people per km2 and where 140,000 children under 5 suffer from malnutrition and chronic growth retardation.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba condemns Israel's continued military occupation of the Palestinian territory; the Israeli illegal policies and colonizing practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan; the human rights violations; and the systematic war crimes that cause immense suffering to the people.

We reaffirm the unwavering solidarity of Cuba with the Palestinian people and our full support in its Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China for the year 2019.

Thank you very much.