74 UNGA: Statement by the delegation of Cuba on Agenda item 111: "Measures to eliminate international terrorism" . New York, 9 October 2019.

Mr. Chairman,

First and foremost, allow me to extend our appreciation to you and to the members of the Bureau on your well-deserved election and to assure you the full cooperation and support of our delegation for the development of a fruitful seventy-fourth session of the Sixth Committee.

Cuba associates itself with the statements delivered by the delegations of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of NAM and by Bolivia on behalf of CELAC.

We thank the Secretary-General for presenting his report A/74/151 and for the valuable information sent by Member States and international organizations on this important subject.

Our country reiterates its will to combat terrorism and its deepest rejection and condemnation of all terrorist acts, methods and practices, in all their forms and manifestations by whomever, against whomever and wherever they are committed, regardless of their motivations, including those in which States are directly or indirectly involved.

Terrorism must be addressed in a holistic manner, through direct confrontation and prevention and with concrete actions to eradicate its root causes.

Cuba reiterates that terrorism cannot and should not be linked to any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.

We condemn any action aimed at encouraging, supporting, financing or concealing any terrorist act, method or practice.

We reaffirm the value of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the primary responsibility of Member States to implement it, in a transparent manner. At the same time, Cuba supports multilateral efforts aimed at consolidating the central role of the General Assembly in implementing the aforementioned Strategy.

Cuba also supported the proposal of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, by virtue of which the new United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) was created in 2017.  

Cuba supports the work of Mr. Vladimir Voronkov and the team he leads in the most effective, balanced and comprehensive implementation of the four pillars of the Strategy, without undermining the central role of the Member States in its implementation. At the same time, it appreciates the work of the new structure in promoting international cooperation to effectively prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, particularly through the holding of the High-Level Conference of Heads of National Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States last year, as well as the preparatory work for the second edition of said Conference and the First Congress of Victims of Terrorism, to be held in 2020.

We are also in favor of the Office's actions always being based on full respect for the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, in particular respect for sovereign equality and non-interference and non-intervention in the internal affairs of States.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba is a State party to 18 international conventions on terrorism and reaffirms its commitment to continue working in order to strengthen the central role of the United Nations in adopting measures and developing a comprehensive legal framework in the fight against international terrorism.

We reiterate our support for and commitment to the adoption of a comprehensive convention on international terrorism to overcome  existing legal loopholes in the definition of terrorism, which is an imperative in order to fill the gaps and omissions in the existing legal framework; as well as to take international action against this scourge, in a coherent and joint manner, which would contribute to promoting the implementation of the Global Strategy and, in a general sense, the progress made by the international community in dealing with terrorism. For Cuba, the Convention must establish an exact, clear and precise definition of the crime of international terrorism that covers all its aspects, including State terrorism. Thus, for the purposes of the adoption of this Convention, we also favor the convening of an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations to provide an organized response to the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

On the other hand, Cuba is pleased to have joined, last year, one of the initiatives that attracted the greatest international support when it signed the "Code of Conduct towards achieving a world free of terrorism" on 28 September 2018 at the United Nations Headquarters. We are grateful to the Government of Kazakhstan for this initiative.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba considers that the harmful practice by certain States of financing, supporting or promoting subversive acts of "regime change", as well as messages of intolerance and hatred against other peoples, cultures or political systems, through the use of modern information and communication technologies, violates the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law.

Cuba reiterates its strong condemnation of the unilateral acts and mechanisms of certain Governments, such as the United States, which claim to be in the right to certify behaviors and draw up politically motivated lists, contrary to international law, since such acts undermine the central authority of the General Assembly in fighting terrorism.

We draw attention to the fact that the international community cannot accept that, under the banner of a supposed fight against terrorism, certain States carry out acts of aggression, directly or indirectly against sovereign peoples, and flagrant violations of human rights and international humanitarian law are committed.

Likewise, we strongly reject the manipulation of such a sensitive issue as international terrorism so that it can become a policy instrument against any country.

We also condemn the United States Government's rhetoric of anger and hatred, which has exacerbated the levels of racism and xenophobia in the U.S. society, leading to situations such as the one that took place last August in Texas, and we join the Organization in calling for positive measures to be taken to eradicate discrimination in this nation.

Mr. Chairman,

It is widely known to the international community that Cuba, in defending its independence, sovereignty and dignity, suffered for decades the consequences of hundreds of terrorist acts, which have taken 3,478 lives and injured 2,099 persons.

We do not forget that the self-confessed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles died free roaming the streets of Miami with the shameful complicity of the United States Government, after being the mastermind of the explosion in mid-flight off the coast of Barbados of an aircraft of the Cubana de Aviación airline, taking a toll of 73 lives. Forty-three years after this event, Cubans are outraged that justice has not been done to the victims of this horrific crime.

In this regard, Cuba's commitment to the fight against terrorism was included in the nation's new Magna Carta, approved in a referendum on 24 February 2019, after a constitutional reform process and broad popular consultation. The new Constitution, in its Chapter II dedicated to "International Relations", included in its Article 16 paragraph l) that: The Republic of Cuba... "repudiates and condemns terrorism in any of its forms and manifestations, in particular State terrorism."

Mr. Chairman,

We reiterate that Cuba has never been involved in organizing, financing or committing terrorist acts against any country, has never supported nor will it ever support acts of international terrorism. The Cuban territory has never been used and will never be used to organize, finance or carry out terrorist acts against any country.

Cuba reiterates its support for multilateral and bilateral cooperation to combat international terrorism and, consequently, maintains a firm willingness to cooperate with all countries to prevent and suppress acts of terrorism, always based on mutual respect and in accordance with the principles and norms of international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

Thank you very much.