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Agenda Item 40 “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”

Mr. Chairman,

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the States members of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR). The associated States of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname also join this statement.

First, I would like to welcome the presence of Mr. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cuba.

Mr. Chairman,

Since 1992, the General Assembly has adopted every year a resolution calling for the end of the embargo on Cuba, with the support of the vast majority of Member States and world opinion. The humanitarian and economic costs it imposes on the Cuban population, as well as the anachronistic rationale behind the embargo are evident to all. Despite the repeated calls from the General Assembly, however, these resolutions remain unimplemented. Surely, Mr. Chairman, such disregard for the international community’s collective will undermines the United Nations’ credibility and weakens multilateralism.

MERCOSUR was founded on the principles of solidarity, interdependence and good-neighborly relations. We believe that tolerance is the foundation that has made possible the historic convergence on our continent of peoples from all corners of the world. We are linked to our Latin American neighbors by the desire to live in peace, promote mutual understanding, defend independence and equality among States, including sovereignty, and to promote respect for international law.

MERCOSUR and its associated States believe that the embargo against Cuba violates the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international law, in particular the sovereign equality of States, non-intervention and non-interference in their internal affairs, freedom of international trade and navigation, and the peaceful settlement of disputes.

The embargo also violates the principles of justice and human rights. It generates shortages and suffering for the entire Cuban population. It limits and delays economic and social progress, and prevents the achievement of international development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. We therefore lament the fact that the unilaterally imposed embargo against Cuba, which has been in place for over half a century, continues unchanged. We also see with concern an increase in restrictions on financial transactions between Cuba and third countries that prevent greater transparency through direct dialogue.

Mr. Chairman,

The States members of MERCOSUR and associated States reject, out of principle, unilateral and extraterritorial measures. We believe that those measures cause irreparable harm to the well-being of peoples and obstruct regional integration processes. We also condemn the application of unilateral, coercive measures that contravene the principles of free trade. In again reaffirming our unwavering support for this new draft resolution, MERCOSUR and its associated States reiterate their commitment to multilateralism as a legitimate instrument for settling disputes and an effective way to promote international cooperation and understanding among peoples.

The economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed on Cuba is nothing but an example of obsolete policies that have no place in today’s world. In this sense, MERCOSUR and its associated States believe that the time has come to end a unilateral embargo that is morally unjustifiable, legally indefensible and contrary to international law. By adopting this draft resolution, the General Assembly will prove once again its undeniable political will to defend the ideals of freedom, solidarity and respect for sovereignty and international law.

I thank you

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