74 UNGA: Statement by the Delegation of Cuba at the General Debate of the Second Committee. New York, October 7, 2019.

Mr. Chairman,

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

We congratulate you and the other members of the Bureau on your election to lead the work of the Second Committee. We are confident that your guidance will enable us to achieve our objectives.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba will participate in the work of the Second Committee guided by the purpose of contributing to the elimination of the obstacles, gaps and challenges which, in terms of development, the global community is facing, which particularly affects the most vulnerable countries, in particular the African countries, the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States, countries and peoples under foreign occupation, as well as the specific difficulties faced by middle-income countries.

It will only be possible to undertake this huge effort if we all reaffirm our commitment and political will to the preservation, promotion and strengthening of multilateralism and strict compliance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law. The full and timely implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will not be possible as long as unilateral, protectionist and discriminatory actions persist which only promote strictly national interests, to the detriment of the necessary global and multilateral solutions to the problems and challenges facing humanity, in particular the developing world.

We must respect the different national realities, capacities and levels of development of each country, as well as the sovereign equality of each Member State. We must prevent the international system from becoming an instrument for imposing and legitimizing unilateral measures by the strongest and most powerful over others, contrary to the multipolar world order that we need, based on rules and norms, fair and equitable.

Mr. Chairman,

The eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest challenge facing humanity and its elimination is a prerequisite for achieving sustainable development. We can achieve this only if the causes that create and perpetuate underdevelopment are eliminated.

Four years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, although progress has been reported in different areas, many morally and humanly unacceptable realities persist or worsen, among them, inequality and social polarization in the world are increasingly deepened. The opulence and concentration of income and wealth of a few people and developed countries contrasts bitterly with the poverty and underdevelopment in which a large part of the world's population lives.

The most shameful thing is that there are the resources, the technology and the capacity to reverse this reality. It is enough to note the annual military expenditure of 1.7 trillion dollars, in which the largest global military budget, that of the United States, challenges those who claim that there are no resources to eliminate poverty and underdevelopment. What has been lacking is the political will and commitment of the most powerful States to honor their international obligations.

Most developed countries have systematically failed to honor their international commitments on Official Development Assistance (ODA), honored by only five of them, an issue that is increasingly becoming a taboo if consensus is sought in a document. We need another international financial architecture and a lasting and sustainable solution to the problem of the External Debt, already paid several times.

Today's industrialized countries must recognize their historical debt and exercise the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", as well as strengthen the special and differentiated treatment of developing countries. The international community cannot continue to postpone the realization of the right to development.

Mr. Chairman,

Climate change threatens the very survival of the human species and the planet. While the Paris Agreement and its Programme of Action is not enough, we must safeguard and develop these commitments if we want to preserve our planet for future generations. No country, not even the United States, one of the main historical and global polluters, can unilaterally renounce its common international responsibility, its historical responsibility, or forget its ecological debt to humanity and future generations.

It is imperative that developed countries change their unsustainable production and consumption patterns and make effective their commitments in terms of financing and technology transfer to developing countries.

Mr. Chairman,

The international community has rejected, on countless occasions, the imposition of unilateral coercive measures that are incompatible with international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

For almost 60 years, the Cuban people have withstood the impact of the application of these measures, as a consequence of the illegal, immoral, criminal and unjust economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the Government of the United States, which has worsened this year with the activation of Title III of the Helms Burton Act, rejected by the international community. Even in the midst of such adverse circumstances, the Cuban people continue to achieve its Development Plan until 2030, in order to build an independent, sovereign, prosperous, democratic and sustainable socialist nation.

Mr. Chairman,

The spirit of working for a better world will continue to guide the actions of the Cuban delegation. In that regard, we reiterate our full support and cooperation in the work of the Second Committee.

Thank you very much.