74 UNGA: Statement by the Cuban delegation at the Segment on Operational Activities (Item 23). Second Committee. New York, 21 October 2019.

Cuba associates itself with the statements delivered by the distinguished delegations of the State of Palestine on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, Bolivia on behalf of CELAC and Belize on behalf of the AOSIS.

Mr. Chairman,

The United Nations Development System is undergoing an ambitious reform process, at the threshold of the upcoming QCPR, which requires the effective implementation of the mandates undertaken in resolutions 71/243 and 72/279 of the General Assembly.

Cuba hopes that such efforts and commitments will translate into the strengthening of the development pillar and the reaffirmation of the principles guiding the System's activities, its neutrality, its intergovernmental character and its objective strictly linked to development.

The United Nations Development System must continue to strengthen its contribution to the national development priorities of the Country Programs, in accordance with the mandates of each entity and based on flexible and inclusive policies.

Full respect for national sovereignty, the self-determination of peoples and the leadership of the national governments over their own processes, must continue to be shown. In particular, the figure of the Resident Coordinator must show total attachment to his mandate focused on sustainable development.

The United Nations System must also ensure the decisive participation of the countries of the South in the System´s governance. In this regard, we call for the need to strengthen the distinctive roles of ECOSOC and UNGA in relation to the operational activities and, in doing so; we urge the United Nations Sustainable Development Group and the United Nations Development Coordination Office (DCO) to strengthen transparency and accountability towards member States.

In addition, we reiterate that predictable and unconditioned regular resources are the cornerstone of the System's financing architecture, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities between developing and donor countries, and their distinction with the financing mechanisms agreed in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

Mr. Chairman,

It is regrettable that there are still pending issues regarding the reform of the System in key areas such as the review at regional level and the Multi-Country Offices. Cuba calls for the necessary achievement of such processes, which implementation stage should, in the first instance, emerge from a broad and transparent process of intergovernmental consultations to discuss in depth the scope of each proposal.

Mr. Chairman,

The tightening of the policy of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. government for almost 60 years against Cuba, and the recent activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, hinders the implementation of projects of the UN System organizations and the promotion of the sustainable development in Cuba.

Considerations offered by the Office of the Resident Coordinator in Cuba, reflected in the Report of the Secretary General on the Blockade, 2019, indicate that the restrictions imposed by the blockade cause critical difficulties for the implementation of the United Nations programs and projects, particularly in the acquisition and purchase of products for humanitarian and development purposes, even if they are acquired through multilateral cooperation.

Moreover, the report underlines that the financial proposals and projects of the UN organizations in Cuba should include in their designs a longer timeframe for the processes of procurement as well as additional financial resources, which could otherwise be allocated to development activities1.

Mr. Chairman,

In contrast to this unilateral policy of the government of the United States, Cuba continues to advocate an effective global alliance for sustainable development based on mutual respect. We will continue to promote the close ties of cooperation with the UN System and reaffirm our firm commitment to South-South Cooperation, all of this as an ongoing reaffirmation of the universal right to development.

Thank you very much.

We have positive expectations for the effective execution of the implementation plan for strengthening the Resident Coordinator System, and the implementation of the agreements undertaken.