74 UNGA: Statement by Cuba at the Segment on Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, and of Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources. NY, 22 Oct 20

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba wishes to endorse the statement delivered by the distinguished delegation of Palestine on behalf of the G77 and China.

Mr. Chairman,

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an opportunity for countries and their societies to embark on a new path focused on improving the lives of all, leaving no one behind. Its objectives seek to eliminate poverty, tackle climate change, provide quality education, achieve women's equality, and work towards the defense of the environment and the design of our cities. Its implementation is a sovereign right of each people, including those under foreign occupation. To accomplish this, not only do we need human and material resources, but also their natural resources.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba appreciates the report submitted by the Secretary-General on agenda item 62, which confirms the persistence of Israeli practices and policies that constitute a violation of human rights and of the international humanitarian law, which are affecting the social and economic conditions of the Palestinian people and the occupied Syrian Golan, being, in addition, an irrefutable expression of the deprivation of the right to development of those territories, since they cannot have the sovereign right over their natural resources.

Among the actions undertaken by the occupying power in this period unfortunately, stand out:

 

  • The promotion of retroactive legislative initiatives in their settlements, as well as their illegal expansion to consolidate their occupation and control of the lands in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

 

  • Palestinians living in areas of the Occupied Palestinian Territory have a differentiated access to health services and to different levels of freedom of movement.

 

  • In 2018, the demolition or confiscation of Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank increased by 10 per cent.

 

  • Water shortage is worsening. The scarcity of this resource continues to disrupt daily life and hinders development interventions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

 

  • In East Jerusalem, water, sanitation and hygiene services are inadequate, with only 59 per cent of residents legally and adequately connected to the supply network.

 

  • Food insecurity affects almost one third of the population (1.56 million people).

 

  • Access to quality education in a safe environment is a major challenge for children.

 

  • More than 1 million people in the West Bank and Gaza need help to access affordable and quality medical services.

 

  • The residents of the occupied Syrian Golan continue to face difficulties owing to Israel´s discriminatory policies on land, housing and development.

 

  • In this region, it is almost impossible to obtain building permits, which has exacerbated overcrowding in the villages, limiting development opportunities.

Mr. Chairman,

The occupation of the Palestinian territory and the Syrian Golan continues to affect negatively the living conditions of the populations of these territories. Current social and economic trends indicate that, if the current conditions do not change radically, it will be difficult to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

Cuba condemns Israel's continued military occupation of the Palestinian territory; the illegal Israeli 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 have caused immense suffering to the people.

We support the Syrian Government's demand to recover the Golan Heights, seized by Israel in 1967, and call once again for Israel's total and unconditional withdrawal from the Syrian Golan and from all occupied Arab territories.

Cuba calls for the adoption of the necessary decisions and demands Israel to put an immediate end to the occupation of the Palestinian territories and to the aggressive policies and colonizing practices, as well as to comply with the resolutions adopted by that body on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

We reject the unilateral action of the United States government to establish its diplomatic mission in the city of Jerusalem, in blatant disrespect for international law and the United Nations resolutions.

We express our strongest condemnation of the recognition by the government of the United States of the occupied Syrian Golan as a territory of Israel, which is a grave and flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations, the International Law and the relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution 497 of 1981.

Mr. Chairman,

Allow me to conclude by reaffirming Cuba's unwavering solidarity with the Palestinian and the Syrian people.

Thank you very much.