76 UNGA: Intervention by the Delegation of Cuba in the General Debate of the Second Committee. New York, 6 October 2021

Madam President:

Cuba associates itself with the interventions made by the distinguished delegations of the Republic of Guinea on behalf of the Group of 77 plus China and Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States.

We congratulate you and the members of the Bureau for your election to lead the work of the Second Committee. Cuba will participate guided by the purpose of contributing, through cooperation, solidarity and multilateralism, to eliminate the development gaps and challenges faced by the most vulnerable countries.

Madam President:

Six years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and within the framework of the Decade of Action, we are off course to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, a fact that predates the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the great inequalities and pre-existing structural differences within and between countries, between the developing and developed world, reversing much of the progress that has been made. When developing countries have needed it most, we have seen weak and limited multilateralism and insufficient international cooperation. The very unequal global access to vaccines against COVID-19, and the insufficient support to developing countries in this context, illustrate this sad and unjust reality, which affects the well-being of billions of people on our planet.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that we can only reverse this if we are able to translate into action, among all States, our commitment and political will to the preservation, promotion and strengthening of multilateralism, solidarity and international cooperation as the basis for relations among nations, as well as strict observance of the Charter of the United Nations 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 for Action, among other framework agreements, will not be possible as long as persist unilateral, isolationist, protectionist actions, coercive measures and economic warfare actions, which only promote strictly national interests, to the detriment of the rest of humanity.

Global problems need global, multilateral solutions, with the participation of all States and for the benefit of all. We must respect the different national realities, capacities and levels of development of each country, as well as the sovereign equality of States. We must prevent the international system from becoming an instrument of imposition and legitimization of unilateral measures of the strongest and most powerful over others, contrary to the world order we need, based on rules and norms, just, democratic, inclusive and equitable.

Madam President:

Humanity today has the knowledge and resources to end poverty, achieve sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development and environmental protection. However, the political will of a majority of the most developed States to honor their international commitments has been lacking, compounded by the existing unjust international order. Without adequate means of implementation, the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs risk becoming mere political statements.

Most of the developed countries have systematically failed to comply with their international commitments to Official Development Assistance, honored by only five of them, while trillions of dollars are squandered on military expenditures. We need a different international financial architecture and a lasting and sustainable solution to the problem of the external debt, already paid several times over, whose excessive amounts prevent the countries of the South from focusing on their development and facing the health and socioeconomic crisis created by COVID-19.

Today's industrialized countries must recognize their historical debt and strengthen special and differentiated treatment for developing countries. The achievement of the right to development can no longer be postponed.

Madam President:

Climate change threatens the survival of the human species and the planet. We must safeguard the Paris Agreement and its Program of Action if we are to preserve our planet for future generations.  It is time for developed countries to take supportive leadership in reducing emissions and providing the necessary means of implementation to developing countries, in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, mobilizing the necessary resources for climate action, not only for adaptation and mitigation, but also to address loss and damage. Unsustainable patterns of production and consumption must be changed. The pledge by developed countries to mobilize $100 billion per year to support mitigation and adaptation in developing countries must be fulfilled. The next COP 26, which we hope will be successful, must achieve concrete results in all these areas.

Madam President:

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

For more than 60 years the Cuban people have resisted the impact of the application of these measures, as a consequence of the illegal, immoral and unjust economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the Government of the United States, intensified with the extraterritorial activation of Title III of the Helms Burton Act, and more than 240 new measures applied since 2019, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which still remain in force. Even in the midst of such adverse circumstances, Cuba continues the achievement of its Development Plan until 2030, in order to build an independent, sovereign, prosperous, democratic and sustainable socialist nation and interprets its commitment to the 2030 Agenda as a responsibility towards the sustainable development of all nations, actively cooperating with other States, with the vision of offering solidarity aid to the most vulnerable.

Madam President:

The spirit of working for a better, more just, inclusive and equitable world will guide our actions. In this regard, we reiterate our full support and cooperation in the work of the Second Committee.

Thank you very much.