Statement by Gerardo Peñalver Portal, Permanent Representantive of the Cuban Permanent Mission to United Nations, at UN plenary meeting on item 121 "United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy".

New York, June 22nd, 2023.  

Mr. President,

For more than sixty years, the Cuban people have been victims of innumerable terrorist actions, the vast majority of which have been planned and organized from the territory of the United States of America, with the support, protection and financing of successive governments of that country.

As a consequence of these acts, Cuba has paid a high cost in human lives and economic damages, with incalculable suffering and damage caused to the families, those affected and Cuban society in general. As a result of these actions, 3,478 people have died and another 2,099 have been disabled.

Cuba has an impeccable behavior in the fight against terrorism. It has never participated in the organization, financing or execution of terrorist acts against any country, nor has its territory been used nor will it ever be used for that purpose. It has never and will never support acts of international terrorism.

Our country is a party to the 19 international conventions related to terrorism, and has put into effect measures to confront this scourge; and it complies with and will continue to honor the commitments it has entered to in this area. Cuba’s commitment to combat terrorism was raised to constitutional rank in 2019.

Mr. President,

We strongly condemn all acts, methods and practices of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, against whomever, and wherever perpetrated, regardless of their motivation, including those in which States are directly or indirectly involved.

We condemn the unilateral measures and actions of certain Governments, such as that of the United States, which arrogate to itself the right to list countries as a means of political coercion. These actions undermine the central authority of the General Assembly in the fight against terrorism and hinder international cooperation in this area. We strongly reject the inclusion of Cuba on the U.S. State Department’s list of countries that allegedly sponsor terrorism. Such designation is a slanderous, hypocritical and opportunistic act.

It is well known that these are designations with no basis, authority or international support whatsoever, whose purpose is to defame and coerce countries. We urge the U.S. government to revoke these absurd and unwarranted designations, which are widely rejected internationally. The United Nations should speak out against such unilateral, politically manipulated lists and certifications, which are contrary to international law.

Terrorism cannot be eradicated if double standards, manipulation, political expediency and selectivity in dealing with it prevail. It is unacceptable that some terrorist acts are condemned while others are silenced, tolerated, encouraged, justified or manipulated for political and economic interests.

Mr. President,

Our delegation remains concerned about the misuse of information and communications technologies to commit, incite, recruit, finance or plan terrorist acts in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law.

Terrorism cannot be linked to any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group. Its confrontation must be comprehensive, with direct actions that include prevention to eradicate its root causes.

We reaffirm the value of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the primary responsibility of States to implement it in a transparent manner and with balance among its four pillars. We actively participated in its seventh review process to achieve a balanced text that addresses the demands and concerns of all.

We reiterate our commitment to the adoption of a comprehensive convention on international terrorism, which would include State terrorism and overcome the existing legal loopholes and plethora of rules. We urge that negotiations towards this end be resumed without delay.

Mr. President,

Finally, we would like to emphasize our firm position against terrorism, expressed in international, regional or consultative organizations, in which Cuba is a Member State and actively participates, such as: the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America - People’s Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP), the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and the GROUP of 77 and China.

Cuba maintains a firm commitment to the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, adopted at the II Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), held in Havana on January28th and 29th, 2014.

Thank you