77 UNGA: Statement by the delegation of Cuba on Item 168: “Report of the Committee on relations with the Host Country”. New York, 7 November 2022

Mr. President,

The delegation of Cuba appreciates the analysis of the Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country, contained in document A/77/26.

We have reached a new session in which the scenario of unjustified restrictions on the work of a number of delegations of Member States, which are unable to exercise their functions in this Organization on equal footing, due to the failure of the United States to comply with the obligations deriving from its role as Host Country, is repeated.

We call attention to the manifold violations committed by the Host Country, including the arbitrary imposition of restrictions on the movement of diplomats from several countries and their families; the delay and arbitrary denial of visas to members of some delegations to access the headquarters of the Organization and participate in its work; the unjustified expulsion of diplomats accredited to the UN; the seizure of property; the impediments imposed on Member States to access bank accounts and carry out transactions to meet their financial commitments, even leading to the loss of their right to vote, among others.

It is difficult to understand that almost three years after the adoption of resolution 74/195 by the United Nations General Assembly, this time has not been considered "reasonably short" by the Secretariat for submitting to arbitration disputes between the United Nations and the United States government concerning the interpretation and application of the Headquarters Agreement.

Mr. President,

The statements included in the Report we are analyzing today reflect the Host Country's violations of international provisions, disrespect for sovereign Member States and an open abuse of power through the use of its status as Host Country to fulfill its political agenda.

In the particular case of Cuba, we underscore that since November 2020, hostile demonstrations have repeatedly taken place outside the Permanent Mission of Cuba.  This has occurred without the authorities of the Host Country duly complying with its obligations under the Vienna Convention to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity. We reiterate that the inaction of the Host Country encourages the continuous occurrence of these demonstrations, which make it impossible for the personnel of our diplomatic headquarters to carry out the functions for which they are accredited, without the danger of aggression by the demonstrators.

It is worth recalling the delays in the granting and/or renewal of visas for Cuban representatives appointed to serve permanently at the Mission of Cuba to the United Nations in New York. At the same time, the additional restriction of movement imposed on Cuban diplomats as of September 2019, to a limited area of the island of Manhattan, remains in force.

Mr. President,

Cuba rejects the selective and arbitrary use of the Headquarters Agreement by the United States to prevent or limit the participation of certain delegations in the work of the Organization, which is a flagrant violation of the principle of sovereign equality among all Member States of the Organization.

The repeated and increasingly disproportionate violations committed by the Host Country, in shameful disregard of the rules of international law inherent to its obligations as host of the Organization and in blatant disrespect for the recommendations adopted in the Committee's reports, which contradicts its commitment to multilateralism, cannot continue to be permitted.

We regret that the Committee's procedures allow the United States to be the judge of what it is a Party to, and that this is the main obstacle for this Committee to be able to carry out its work objectively and in accordance with the truth of what it discusses.

As long as the Committee is not able to address situations with determination, the Organization will not be able to ensure that its Member States participate and are represented on an equal footing, which is a violation of its founding Charter.

Mr. President,

As an active member, Cuba is firmly determined to cooperate to ensure that the decisions and recommendations of this important Committee are implemented with transparency and respect for the sovereignty of Member States, and in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

To this end, we will continue to work constructively for the improvement and effectiveness of the Committee's work, through broad processes of debate, consultation, negotiation and collaboration among its Members, as well as by encouraging the active participation of other Member States, whether or not affected by the Host Country's non-compliance.

It is a moral, ethical and legal imperative for the Organization, as well as a mandate granted by UNGA resolutions, that the Secretary-General apply the provisions of Section 21 of the Headquarters Agreement regarding the peaceful settlement of any differences in the application and interpretation of the Headquarters Agreement, through which the existing profound differences can be legally settled and the violations of the Host Country can be put to an end.

Thank you.