Cuba associates itself with the statements delivered by the distinguished delegations of Egypt on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, El Salvador for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, and the Maldives for the Alliance of Small Island Developing States, respectively.
Fidel Castro Ruz, historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, in his speech at the opening session of the South Summit held in Havana in April 2000 said: "Globalization has been held tight by the patterns of neoliberalism; thus, it is not development that goes global but poverty; it is not respect for the national sovereignty of our states but the violation of that respect; it is not solidarity amongst peoples but ''every man for himself'' in the unequal competition prevailing in the market”.
In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world that faces growing challenges to the current multilateral order, the role of the United Nations in promoting development and the need for multilateralism has never been so relevant. We reject the unilateral, protectionist and exclusionary actions of the United States against existing multilateral treaties and agreements, promoting strictly national interests, to the detriment of necessarily global and multilateral solutions to the problems and challenges facing humanity. A transparent, open, non-discriminatory and inclusive multilateral system that maximizes the benefits of globalization while minimizing its costs is therefore indispensable.
Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development presupposes recognition of and respect for the diversity of approaches, views and models chosen by each people, taking into account their diverse circumstances, capacities and national priorities.
We are facing, however, another reality: the development gap that separates the North from the South continues to grow. Global problems such as poverty, chronic hunger, illiteracy, unemployment and death from preventable and curable diseases are perpetuated. The resources to confront these problems exist. What is lacking is the political will to transform this sad reality.
Moreover, Cuba reiterates the need for a New International Economic Order based on equity, sovereign equality, common benefit and cooperation among all States, to correct current inequalities and injustices and guarantee fair economic and social development for present and future generations. Developing countries must therefore achieve technological sovereignty, greater access to financing, investment, capacity-building, creation of infrastructure and transfer of intellectual property and technology.
My country is struggling and working for its development, subject to the unjust and criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the Government of the United States of America against Cuba for almost six decades. It is the most unjust, severe and prolonged system of unilateral sanctions that has ever been applied against any country. This policy remains the main obstacle to the development of the Cuban economy and the full enjoyment of all human rights of the Cuban people, posing a serious challenge for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.
The blockade constitutes a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of the entire Cuban people and qualifies as an act of genocide under the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It violates the Charter of the United Nations and International Law, and constitutes an obstacle to international cooperation.
Nevertheless, Cuba has made significant achievements in its economic and social development, thanks to the efforts of our people and the cooperation provided by sister countries in our region and across the world. Furthermore, we seek to globalize cooperation and solidarity, which is why we have more than 50,000 workers in 65 countries of the world and 407,000 Cuban health professionals have provided services in 164 countries on all continents since 1963.
Cuba continues and will always continue to uphold its supreme commitment to equity, social justice and the full development of all peoples and every human being.
Thank you very much.