Statement by Ambassador Gerardo Peñalver Portal, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations, at the Security Council open debate on Famine and conflict-induced food insecurity.

New York, 3rd August 2023.

Mr. Chair,

We endorse the statement of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on behalf of the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations.

At the World Food Summit, held in 1996, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, denounced the root causes of inequality and hunger when he stated, and I quote:

“It is capitalism, neoliberalism, the laws of a savage market, external debt, underdevelopment, unequal exchange, which are killing so many people in the world”, end of quote.

A profoundly unjust, undemocratic and exclusionary international order persists, which has led to an exponential growth in poverty, hunger and food insecurity.

The current multidimensional global crisis has contributed to widening the gap between the increasingly wealthy North and the ever poorer and marginalized South. Protectionist policies and speculative practices of big capital are proliferating, skyrocketing food prices.

Irrational capitalist production and consumption patterns continue to destroy the ecological balance of the planet. Trillions of dollars are invested and squandered on military expenditures instead of protecting life and contributing to sustainable development.

In this complex context, unilateral coercive measures and illegal blockades, such as the one against Cuba, are on the rise.

The U.S. government has turned the recurrent criminal punishment of millions of people into a banner of its foreign policy, through measures aimed at strangling the economies of numerous countries in order to gain political advantage.

The main obstacle to the food security of the Cuban people is the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed for over 60 years by the government of the United States, further intensified by the fraudulent inclusion of our country in the arbitrary list of States that allegedly sponsor terrorism.

This cruel policy has an overwhelming impact on all sectors of life in our country and hinders the economic and social development and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The blockade seriously, flagrantly and systematically violates the human rights of the Cuban people, including the rights to food and development. 

Mr. Chair,

The Security Council, with a small membership that barely represents the international community as a whole, must adhere to its mandate and stop interfering in matters beyond its purview.

The General Assembly is the body called upon to lead international efforts to meet the targets set out in SDG 2 "End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture".

There is an urgent need to establish a just, democratic and equitable international order, to banish the root causes of poverty and hunger, and promote sustainable development for all peoples, thereby eliminating potential conflict triggers that affect international peace and security.

More international cooperation, solidarity and multilateralism are needed to guarantee the full and universal realization of the rights to food and development. Cuba will continue to firmly defend these purposes, together with the countries of the South.

I thank you.