75 UNGA: Statement by the Cuban delegation at the plenary meeting of the General Assembly to observe the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. New York, 19 March 2021.

Mr. President,

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination should be a day of reflection.

Greater political will and strengthened international cooperation are indispensable to meet the goals set at the historic Durban World Conference, 20 years ago. However, we see a disturbing wave of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia, and hate speech against migrants and people of African descent.

Mr. President,

For Cuba, it is a source of pride, to be a monoethnic and mixed-race nation, which constitutes a stronghold of our identity. We are a country with Indo-American, European, African and Asian blood. The vast majority of our population is mixed race, as are our traditions, idiosyncrasy, religiosity and folk culture.

Since the very triumph of the Revolution, a process of radical transformations has taken place in the country to eliminate the structural foundations of racism and institutionalized racial discrimination.

The array of measures adopted in the legal, economic, educational, cultural and social spheres along six decades of Revolution have made it possible to achieve significant results in the fight against racism and discrimination.

Nevertheless, despite the tremendous progress that has been made, racial prejudices still linger on in the behavior and expressions of some people. For this reason, and with the purpose of having a comprehensive work tool readily available to solve this problem, in November 2019 the National Program against Racism and Racial Discrimination was approved, coordinated by a Government Commission headed by the President of the Republic.

Its objectives include identifying the causes of discrimination; diagnosing potential actions to be carried out by territory and area of society; disseminating and making visible our African heritage; and encouraging public debate on the racial problem, as well as its presence in the mass media.

These efforts are in line with our obligations as a State party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the commitments undertaken in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, and the shared objective of the International Decade for People of African Descent.

Thank you.