13 November 2012
H.E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee,
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of
the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
Chair of the Coordinating Bureau of
the Non-Aligned Movement
United Nations General Assembly
under the agenda item 41
“Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and
financial embargo imposed by the United States of
America against Cuba”
13 November 2012, New York
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I have the pleasure to address the General Assembly today on behalf of the 120 Members of the United Nations that are members of the Non-Aligned Movement.
I would like first to extend a warm welcome to Mr. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cuba, and to express to him the Movement’s full support and solidarity.
I would also like to take this opportunity to extend our deep condolences to the Governments and people of all countries affected by the hurricane Sandy for the tragic loss of life and the devastation it provoked.
The Non Aligned Movement, as it has done so on many previous occasions, unequivocally rejects such blatant violations of multilateralism, which run counter to the principles of the United Nations Charter and the norms of international law. The Movement has also reaffirmed its steadfast commitment to ensure the continued viability of all the provisions of international law, which together form the core of our multilateral work and inspire our collective efforts to maintain peace and security achieve inclusive economic growth and sustainable development and ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
At the XVI Summit, held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran from 26 to 31 August 2012, The Heads of State or Government of the Non Aligned Movement reiterated their call to the Government of the United States of America to put an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba which, in addition to being unilateral and contrary to the UN Charter and international law, and to the principle of neighbourliness, is causing huge material losses and economic damage to the people of Cuba. They once again urged strict compliance with resolutions 47/19, 48/16, 49/9, 50/10, 51/17, 52/10, 53/4, 54/21, 55/20, 56/9, 57/11, 58/7, 59/11, 60/12, 61/11, 62/3, 63/7, 64/6 65/6 and 66/6 of the UN General Assembly. They expressed deep concern over the widening of the extra-territorial nature of the embargo against Cuba and rejected the reinforcement of the measures adopted by the Government of United States, aimed at tightening the embargo, as well as all other recent measures carried out by the Government of the United States against the people of Cuba. They reiterated that those measures constitute a violation of Cuba’s sovereignty and a massive violation of the human rights of its people.
For the past two decades, an overwhelming number of the States Members of the United Nations have voted in favour of the resolution calling for the lifting of the United States embargo against Cuba. Each year we have made it clear that the blockade is not only in violation of international law but it is also counter to the purposes and principles of the United Nations set forth in its Charter, of which the United States of America is itself a founding signatory. The embargo violates Cuba’s right to do business with the rest of the international community and, in the process, frustrates the country’s efforts to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.
The embargo has caused, and continues to cause, a high degree of adverse impact on the well-being of the people of Cuba. The direct and indirect damage caused by the embargo against Cuba are enormous. They affect all crucial sectors of the economy, including those most vital for the well-being of the Cuban people themselves, such as public health, nutrition and agriculture, as well as banking, trade, investment and tourism.
We salute the Cubans for what they have achieved so far including the significant progress in areas of education and health care, despite the huge difficulties they encounter. Yet we stress once again that the embargo imposed continues to impede socio-economic advances and creates unnecessary economic hardship. It is clear that the embargo denies Cuba access to markets, development aid from international financial institutions and technology transfers, which are all important for the development of the Cuban economy and for the wellbeing and advancement of its people.
The United States Administration has in the past claimed that it would reach out to the Cuban people and engage with them. Yet those words have regrettably not been translated into concrete actions. The punitive measures imposed against the whole Cuban nation persist, and with them the enduring suffering of its brave people.
Moreover, the unilateral blockade has an extended negative effect on companies and citizens from third countries, thereby violating their sovereign rights. The Non-Aligned Movement reiterates its deep concern at the harmful impact on other countries of widening the extra-territorial nature of the embargo, which we consider an added argument in favour of the prompt elimination of those unfounded sanctions.
We recall that last year 186 Member States voted in favour of the resolution 66/6. That number represented a large majority of the international community demanding the end to the five-decades-old embargo and to fully adhere to the principles of mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of Cuba. The Non-Aligned Movement believes that the continuation of the embargo is unjustifiable and runs counter to Cuba’s efforts to achieve sustainable development. The Non-Aligned Movement once again urges the United States of America to immediately and fully comply with all General Assembly resolutions calling for an immediate end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed against Cuba and, once and for all, to yield to the will of the overwhelming majority of the international community, which will today vote in favour of the of the draft resolution on the necessity of ending the embargo against Cuba. Thereby enable the valiant people of Cuba to fully prosper and enjoy their sovereignty, independence and right to self-determination.
Thank you, Mr. President