73 UNGA:Statement of the delegation of Cuba at the segment on Information and communications technologies for development (Item 16) Second Committee. New York, October 19, 2018.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba endorses the statements by Egypt on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and by the Maldives on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States.

We thank the Secretary-General for the report presented on the item under discussion.

According to estimates made in 2017 by the International Telecommunications Union, the current development of ICT is driven by the expansion of mobile broadband services whose subscriptions have grown more than 20% annually in the last five years. The study shows that in developed countries there are 97.1 mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 people, compared to 48.2 in developing countries and 22.3 in least developed countries. The broadband speed in developed countries is much higher than in developing countries and the cost of access is usually lower in relation to the average household income.

The proportion of households with Internet access in developed countries has doubled that of developing countries and only 15% of households in the Least Developed Countries have this service.

Although the study shows progress in relation to previous years, also reflects the deep gaps and inequalities that will increase if a group of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, the blockchains, cloud computing and artificial intelligence are not properly managed and implemented. These technologies are based on global digital platforms and will radically transform the business, government and social sectors during the next decades, so we must work on the development of the necessary policies in order to use them safely.

At a global level, there are necessary resources to eliminate the digital divide and to promote a broad, fair and equal access and development of these technologies for all. This requires political will and commitment from developed countries in terms of financing, investment, training, infrastructure development, knowledge dissemination, as well as intellectual property and technology transfer.

Mr. Chairman,

ICT should be used to increase the capacities of the peoples in order to achieve economic and social development, promote peace, knowledge, and eradicate poverty, illiteracy and social exclusion, based on strict respect for the Charter of the UN and International Law. They should never be instruments to promote war, interventionism, destabilization, subversion, unilateralism or terrorist actions.

The establishment of a New World Information and Communications Order is an urgent need for developing countries to successfully assume the commitments agreed upon at the World Summit on the Information Society and to contribute to the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda.

Cuba expresses great concern for the covert and illegal use, by individuals, organizations and States, of the computer systems of other nations to attack third countries, due to their potential to provoke international conflicts. The only way to prevent and face these threats is joint cooperation among all States.

Cyberspace and Internet access should be considered strategic resources and common goods of all humanity. The Internet must have international, democratic and participatory governance, based on international law and multilateralism, in order to achieve a peaceful, safe, open and cooperative cyberspace that contributes to the sustainable development of our peoples.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba works on the basis of a national economic and social development plan including priority areas to be applied until 2030 for the development of an inclusive information and knowledge society focused on the person, and oriented towards sustainable development.

These efforts have been carried out under the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba for more than half a century. In the field of communications and information technology, from May 2017 to May 2018, telecommunications have been the most affected by the impact of the blockade reporting damages amounting to over 60 million 143 thousand dollars.

To conclude, we reiterate Cuba's commitment to the fight against inequality, underdevelopment, discrimination and manipulation; and to the establishment of a fairer and more equitable international order, which really focuses on human beings, their dignity and well-being.

Thank you very much