77 UNGA: Cuba on items 110: Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, 111: Countering the Use of Information and Communications Technologies for Criminal Purposes and 112: International Drug Control. New York, 3 October 2022

Statement by the Cuban delegation at the general joint debate on items 110: Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, 111: Countering the Use of Information and Communications Technologies for Criminal Purposes and 112: International Drug Control. Third Committee, 77th session of the UN General Assembly. New York, 3 October 2022.

Mr. Chairman,

The fight against crime, in any of its forms and manifestations, must go hand in hand with the struggle against underdevelopment and for a more just, democratic and equitable international order, in order to achieve fairer and more inclusive societies.

Efforts to address crime, at both the national and international levels, must be led by States and be cooperative, not punitive, in nature. It is necessary to avoid rankings among countries and to abolish unilateral lists, which only contribute to politicization and selectivity, particularly against the South, and do not help to advance in the fight against this scourge.

The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs must continue to carry out their work without prejudice in the performance of their functions or duplication by other forums that undermine their authority.

We recognize the importance of the Congresses on Crime Prevention as a key intergovernmental framework for evaluating and creating non-binding guidelines as well as facilitating the exchange of information and good practices among States and professionals in this area.

We also support, from its origin, the mandate of the Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly resolution 74/247, with a view to developing a legally binding instrument against the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes.

Information and communications technologies should be used for sustainable development, peace and the well-being of peoples. The growing use of these technologies for criminal purposes and destabilization activities is of great concern. Only by democratizing access to these technologies, including the Internet, will we put all countries in a better position to confront the use of these technologies for criminal and anti-peaceful purposes.

Cuba is well aware of the implications of the use of information and communications technologies for criminal, destabilizing purposes that are contrary to international law. For decades, my country has not only had to face the criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against our people, but also the radio-electronic aggression from U.S. territory. In addition to this, social networks are being used to incite violence and crime in the country, with the aim of generating instability and chaos, as part of the declared purpose of the U.S. government to subvert the constitutional order freely chosen by Cubans.

Although such attempts have failed thanks to the unity of our people, their sponsors have not ceased in the sterile effort to use and promote more and more intensively these technologies for their destabilizing purposes, which is also intended to distract the government authorities and our people from focusing on the policies of development and confronting the criminal economic blockade.

Mr. Chairman,

Drug abuse and dependence is a serious problem for people's health and a threat to security and economic and social development. The cost of this scourge is enormous, as it reproduces cycles of poverty, violence, various criminal behaviors and social exclusion. However, the problem will not be solved by militarizing countries, legalizing drugs or assuming them to be harmless substances.

We defend the international narcotics regime and the intergovernmental bodies that oversee it, in accordance with the provisions of the three international conventions on the subject, and we further stress the importance of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs as the principal United Nations body in addressing the world drug problem. At the same time, we maintain a policy of zero tolerance towards drug production, consumption and trafficking.

We fulfill all international obligations to combat organized crime and provide international cooperation in this area, with a remarkable record in dealing with the most prevalent crimes, such as international terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, piracy and trafficking in persons, among others.

Mr. Chairman,

Crime prevention and criminal justice are an intrinsic part of the ongoing process of updating our legal-normative framework. In order to strengthen crime prevention, improve law enforcement response capabilities, improve the protection of due process guarantees, and reinforce our justice system, several legal norms of great importance have been updated in the last two years, in light of the reality of the country, the obligations assumed and international standards. This is the case of the Law of the People's Courts, the Criminal Procedure Law and the Criminal Code. Other norms, such as the Law of the Attorney General's Office of the Republic, are in the process of elaboration and discussion.

At the cost of great sacrifices and overcoming many obstacles, we will continue to protect the tranquility of our streets against all forms of crime and destabilization, and to build an increasingly just and inclusive society for all.

Thank you.