Statement by the Deputy Permanent Representative of Cuba, H.E. Mrs. Ana Silvia Rodríguez Abascal, at the Debate on the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism. New York, 12 February 2016.

Mr. President,

We resolutely support United Nations collective efforts in its struggle against terrorism. United Nations Global Strategy against Terrorism is a landmark in the international confrontation of this scourge, and bestows the General Assembly with the core role in these efforts, as it should be. Any effort in this matter should be under the pillars of the Strategy.

We take note of the Secretary General’s initiative contained in document A/70/674 and his effort to draft a Plan of Action to prevent Violent Extremism.

Mr. President,

Cuba is one of those countries that, for defending its independence and dignity, has suffered for decades the consequences of criminal terrorist acts organized, financed and executed outside its territory. Such acts have taken a toll of 3 478 dead and 2 099 disabled.

We reiterate our unwavering determination to fight terrorism as well as our deepest rejection of and condemnation to all acts, methods and practices of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, by whomever, against whomever and wherever committed, regardless of whatever motivation there might be, including those in which States are directly or indirectly involved.

The international community should not accept that, under the banner of an alleged struggle against terrorism, certain States perpetrate acts of aggression, interfere in the internal affairs of other States and execute or allow blatant violations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law, namely, torture, kidnapping, illegal detentions, disappearance or extrajudicial executions. Double standards and unilateral accusations contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and the principles and norms of International Law are not acceptable.

The infringement of these legal and ethical principles paves the way for terrorism and jeopardizes the legitimacy of our struggle against such phenomenon. Respect for International Law, freedom of persons and self-determination of peoples, promotion of social justice, equity and inclusion, as well as solidarity among persons and at the international level for the realization of the right to development are unwavering objectives and values of the humanist culture we champion. Opulence and selfishness, injustice and intolerance, domination and unilateralism foster terror and violence.

Mr. President,

Secretary General’s initiative on the Plan of Action is consistent and fits into the next review process of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. It is a contribution to such process; however, it should not replace the Strategy. Clearly, any decision concerning such vital matter can only be taken by consensus of the General Assembly Member States.

Terrorism is an affront to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. It undermines peace and international security, human rights and sustainable development, as it is reflected in the introduction of the Plan of Action. No country or region is immune to its effects. We should not associate any religion, race or ethnic to this phenomenon. To eradicate it, we need to address the root causes and conditions generating poverty, inequality, underdevelopment, exclusion, injustice, military interventions, foreign occupation and interference with domination pretentions, discrimination, among others that lie on the fermentation basis of violent extremism. International community efforts should include overcoming its root causes.

Our country has worked steadily in developing policies aimed at preventing the conditions for the emergence of terrorism in any form and manifestation. Evidence thereof is the fact that in Cuba there is absolute respect for all religious beliefs and there is no obstacle to practice those. In like manner, there is comprehensive social protection, high levels of education, healthcare and social security. Youth plays an important role in society and there is a strong and effective legislation regarding the struggle against terrorism.

Mr. President,

International community needs more dialogue and understanding among cultures and civilizations. A response should be provided to attacks, kidnappings and the use of modern information and communication technologies in terrorist actions and in boosting terrorism.

ICTs represent a challenge to the exercise of self-determination of peoples for they are manipulated as weapons of the regime change policies, concealed in intervention projects that follow flexible scripts outlined in the so-called strategy of the “soft coup”. These soft coups resort to terrorist actions should those are indispensable for succeeding in overturning the legitimate authorities of a country.

It is worth reiterating our denunciation and condemnation of the actions of few powerful States designing, financing and implementing actions contrary to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and International Law through internet and traditional media, such as radio and television. These actions, which could even be manifested as acts of cyberwar, appear most commonly in projects to subvert the constitutional order of sovereign States and in the distribution of messages of intolerance, hatred and lies against other peoples, their culture, political system or history.

Mr. President,

Eradicating terrorism demands all States, without exceptions, observe their international obligations, including that of prosecuting or extraditing the perpetrators of such felonies. No State truly committed to the struggle against terrorism could offer safe haven for a terrorist. No argument could legitimate such action.

We reiterate our resolute willingness and commitment to the struggle against this scourge in all its forms and manifestations and the constant determination to cooperate with all Member States guided by the goal of attaining a concerted response to terrorism. We reaffirm the central role of the General Assembly in the full and effective implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

I thank you very much.