STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR MOHAMMAD AAMIR KHAN, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE PLENARY OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON AGENDA ITEM 36, ENTITLED "NECESSITY OF ENDING THE ECONOMIC, COMMERCIAL AND FINANCIAL EMBARGO IMPOSED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AGAINST CUBA" (New York, 2 November 2022)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 36, entitled "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba".
I would like to thank the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report on the item we are discussing today (A/76/405 and A/77/358).
The Group regrets that the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States on Cuba for more than six decades remains in full application and continues to be enforced.
In that regard, we would like to recall here the positive steps taken by the United States Administration between 2015 and 2016, which were not sufficient to effectively end the embargo's impact but were moving in the right direction.
We regret the policy established by the recent United States Administration aimed at reinforcing the embargo on Cuba, which remains in effect despite the change in administrations, and which we believe is an obstacle to the process of achieving normalized relations between both countries.
We are deeply concerned about the widening of the extraterritorial nature of the embargo on Cuba, including the full implementation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act and the unjust inclusion of Cuba in the list of States sponsors of terrorism. We reject the United States Government's reinforcement of the financial measures it has adopted, aimed at tightening the embargo.
The Group of 77 and China reiterates its commitment to the purposes, principles and spirit of the Charter of the United Nations, particularly regarding the sovereign equality of States, non-intervention and non-interference in States' internal affairs, and freedom of international trade and navigation. We believe that it is the duty and responsibility of every Member State to strictly comply with those principles, and that any policy or action that disregards them - in this case, unilateral economic, commercial, and financial sanctions against Cuba - should be immediately repealed.
The Group of 77 and China is deeply concerned about the debilitating impact that the United States' embargo of 60-plus years has had on Cuba and its people. Between August 2021 and February 2022, the embargo caused more than $3.8 billion in losses to Cuba.
The limited foreign investment and difficulty of access to development credits translate directly into economic hardship and humanitarian suffering for the people of Cuba.
The embargo has also been a severe obstacle to the country's socioeconomic reforms. We are concerned about the possibility that if the economic sanctions continue, Cuba's development potential will be unfairly undermined in both economic and human development terms, and it will be impossible for Cuba to successfully embark on the path towards sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda to which all Member States have pledged support.
Cuba has extensively and consistently contributed to the international community for many decades, particularly through South-South cooperation. Its assistance to other countries in the context of the coronavirus disease pandemic is a great example of South-South cooperation.
We, the members of the Group of 77 and China, reiterate our strong support for the draft resolution A/77/L.5 and would like to reiterate our call for an end to the United States' economic, commercial and financial embargo on Cuba.
The urgency and necessity of lifting the blockade is even clearer considering that this will be the 30th occasion in which the General Assembly will approve a resolution to call for its end. We therefore appeal to the international community to step up efforts for the elimination of the embargo, not just to improve Cuba's prospects, but to help all members of the global community in their quest to fully realize their economic and social development.
I thank you.