The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed, once again, and with particular harshness that we live in a globalized world where no country escapes the consequences of the current economic, environmental, energy and food crisis.
The challenge is even greater for developing nations, which must also face the unequal distribution of vaccines, the contraction of their economies, the increase in foreign debt, unemployment, extreme poverty and the unjust international financial architecture.
Against this backdrop, the Official Development Assistance should be the main channel of international cooperation. However, developed countries continue to renege on their commitment to give the 0.7 percent of their Gross National Product to contribute to the development of the most needy.
Instead of becoming aware of the danger that failing to meet the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development poses to humanity, some powers squander billions of resources in a frantic arms race and in the militarization of outer space, finance the destabilization of democratically elected governments and impose unilateral coercive measures which are contrary to the UN Charter and International Law.
An example of the above is the unjust and criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. government against Cuba for more than 60 years, which has been toughened to unprecedented levels within the context of the pandemic, with the clear objective of bringing our people to their knees by starvation and disease.
This illegal policy, resoundingly rejected by the international community at the United Nations General Assembly, is the major obstacle to my country's achievement of the sustainable development goals.
Reports issued by this forum in recent years have included references to the present challenges of international trade, but have ignored the Doha Development Round, launched by the WTO 20 years ago, frozen and far from offering special and differential treatment to the countries of the South.
There are no magic formulas to materialize the commitments for financing development, but there are viable alternatives. National efforts to fulfill the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda must be underpinned by concrete actions in terms of market access, capacity building, technology transfer, external financing on fair terms and North-South cooperation.
An immediate solution is urgently needed to the problem of the growing foreign debt, which has already been paid many times over, and whose excessive amount cripples the efforts of our countries to focus on their development.
Cuba supports the convening of a new Conference on Financing for Development aiming at assessing the progress made in the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and to outline new strategies that will enable developing countries to address current challenges and meet the SDGs. Long-lasting solutions are required, enabling a prosperous, equitable and sustainable future.
The remarks delivered by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, at the 34th UNGA session remain fully valid, and I quote: "Enough of words! We need deeds! Enough of abstractions, we need concrete actions! Enough of talking about a new international economic order that no one can understand; we have to talk about a real and objective order that everyone understands!"
Thank you very much