75 UNGA: Statement by the delegation of Cuba at the General Debate of the Second Committee. New York, 6 October 2020

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba associates itself with the statements delivered by the distinguished delegations of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and by Belize on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States.

We commend you and the other members of the Bureau for your election to guide the work of the Second Committee. We trust that your leadership will allow us to attain our objectives, in the midst of such complex and extraordinary circumstances. We also thank the transparent and inclusive spirit promoted by the Bureau in the organization of the current session.

Cuba will participate in the work of the Second Committee guided by the purpose to contribute, with cooperation, solidarity and multilateralism, to eliminate obstacles, gaps and challenges faced by the most vulnerable countries in terms of development.

Mr. Chairman,

Five years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and at the beginning of the Decade of Action, we are off track to achieve the proposed sustainable development goals in 2030, an alarming fact preceding the COVID-19 pandemic. The socioeconomic effects of the pandemic will amplify this reality in the next years, reverting many of the progress made in the eradication of poverty and hunger, food security, human health, reduction of inequalities, among others.

In a very short time, the pandemic has exacerbated and made visible great existing structural inequalities and differences within and between the developing and developed world. When developing countries have needed the most, we have seen, however, a weaken and threatened multilateralism, and insufficient international cooperation in response to the effects of the current pandemic and the efforts to refrain it, as well as to tackle common development and environmental problems faced by humankind.

Mr. Chairman,

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that we can only revert this reality if all States reaffirm our commitment and political will to the preservation, promotion and strengthening of multilateralism, solidarity and cooperation as the foundation of relations among countries and the strict compliance with the United Nations Charter and the principles of international law. The full and timely implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework, among other framework agreements, will not be possible while unilateral, isolationist, coercive and protectionist actions persist, which only promote strictly national interests, to the detriment of the rest of humankind, in particular to the developing world.

Global problems need global, multilateral solutions, with the participation of all States and for the benefit of all, without discrimination or political, economic or any other kind of exclusions.

We must respect the different national realities, capacities and levels of development, as well as the sovereign equality of each State Member. We must prevent the international system from becoming an instrument for the imposition and legitimization of unilateral measures of the strongest and most powerful ones on others, in violation of the world order we need, based on rules and regulations, fair, democratic, inclusive and equitable.

Mr. Chairman,

We see how social inequality and polarization are worsening worldwide. The 26 richest persons in the world own as much as half of the world´s population. From 1980 to 2016, one percent of the richest persons in the world amassed 27 percent of the total cumulative growth. 783 million people continue to live in poverty and more than 11 percent of the world´s population still suffers from extreme poverty. Before the start of this pandemic, more than 820 million people were suffering from chronic food insecurity. Other 265 million people could face acute food shortage by the end of this year due to the impact of COVID-19 and 400 million jobs have been lost.   

 

We need not only immediate solutions, but also sustainable, lasting and inclusive solutions. What is embarrassing is that there are resources, technology and capacity to revert this reality. It suffices to note the annual military expenditure of $1.7 trillion, in which the US military budget, the largest at the global level, challenges those who affirm that there are no resources to eliminate poverty and underdevelopment. What has been lacking is the political will and commitment of the majority of the most developed States to honor their international commitments.

Most of developed countries have systematically failed to comply with the international commitments undertaken in terms of Official Development Assistance, honored by only five of them. We need another international financial architecture and a lasting and sustainable solution to the problem of external debt, already paid several times, an issue aggravated by the crisis caused by COVID-19.

The current pandemic cannot ignore the fact that today´s industrialized countries must accept their historical debt and exercise the principle of «common but differentiated responsibilities», as well as strengthen special and differential treatment to developing countries. The international community cannot keep postponing the realization of the right to development.

Mr. Chairman,

Climate change threatens the very survival of the human race and the planet. We must preserve and develop the Paris Agreement and its Action Program if we are to preserve our planet for future generations. No country should unilaterally renounce its international responsibility, its historic responsibility, or forget its ecological debt to humanity and future generations. We must emphasize the importance of mobilizing the means of implementation required for climate action, not only for adaptation and mitigation, but also to address loss and damage. Developed countries must change their unsustainable production and consumption patterns and honor their commitments on 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 inconsistent with international law and the United Nations Charter.

The Cuban people has withstood for nearly 60 years the effect of the implementation of those measures as a consequence of the illegal, immoral and unjust economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the Government of the United States against Cuba, which has been tightened by the extraterritorial activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act and new measures applied this year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet in such adverse circumstances, the Cuban people remain implementing its Development Plan until 2030, 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 this regard, we reiterate our full support and cooperation in the work of the Second Committee.

Thank you.