73 UNGA: Statement by Jorge Alberto Ferrer Rodríguez, Minister Counsellor, member of the Cuban delegation, at the 4th ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development. New York, 18 April 2019.

Madam President,

The Cuban delegation endorses the statements made by the State of Palestine, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, Belize, on behalf of AOSIS and the Russian Federation, on behalf of a group of countries, respectively.  

While discussions held at the Forum on Financing for Development have increasingly gained quality and relevance as a follow-up Forum of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, these remain incomplete and biased. Many of the speakers have provided various recipes for development financing. However, they have ignored some critical issues and the root causes of others. 

  They have offered us the mobilization of internal resources to finance our development, but have ignored the fact that the majority of the transnational corporations from the developed countries pay little or zero tax for their investment revenues in the developing countries, despite the call of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda in this regard.

They tell us about facilitating private and foreign investment, but do not mention that almost the majority of the private sector of the developing countries, except for the so-called emerging economies, do not have cutting-edge technologies or large financial resources. Nor have they explained to us that those who could do more to ease investment and technology transfer through tax exemptions and incentives are the developed nations whose transnationals have huge capitals and expensive technologies, which are necessary for sustainable development.

They refer to the current challenges of protectionism and trade wars, but overlook that the Doha Round for development, launched by WTO 18 years ago, have not yet been concluded and that developed countries, primarily responsible for its standstill, do not even want to hear speak about its continuation.

Madam President,

It is barely mentioned that the Official Development Assistance in 2018 decreased 2.7 % in real terms, accounting for the 0.31 % of the Gross Domestic Product and that only 5 donor countries attained or surpassed the commitment to allocate 0.7 % of their GDP to meet this goal.

We cannot speak about Financing for Development without seeing how numerous resources are dilapidated for the world’s military spending, which grew in 2018 for the fifth consecutive year, reaching the figure of 1.78 trillion dollars, surpassing the record set in 2010, that 24 of 29 NATO members increased their military budgets in 2018, and that 9 NATO countries will allocate 2 % of their GDP to military expenditures in 2019, whereas in 2014 there were only four.

At the same time, unilateral coercive measures against developing countries remain in place and are intensified, contrary to the United Nations Charter, international law and multilateral trade rules, which limit sustainable development and financing. The unjust and illegal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States Government against Cuba for almost 60 years aimed at overthrowing the government of my country and condemned by the overwhelming majority of the General Assembly for 27 consecutive years, continues to be strengthened by the current US government, affects the sustainable development of the Cuban people as well as the interests of third States and must be lifted unconditionally.

Amidst the current situation, the speech delivered by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, at the 34th session of the General Assembly, as President of the Non-aligned Movement remain valid, and I quote: “Enough of words. We need deeds! Enough of abstractions. We want concrete action! Enough speculating about a new international economic order which no one understands. We must now speak of a real and objective order that everyone understands!” End of quote.

Thank you very much