With today’s meeting, the United Nations General Assembly has discussed for twenty consecutive years the necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba. By the end of today’s meeting, the General Assembly will have overwhelmingly adopted for twenty consecutive years another resolution on this issue of common concern. In this connection, my delegation associates itself with the statements on the issue made by Argentina on behalf of G77 and China, and Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
We have often heard the call for prompt actions by the United Nations and States on issues of concern of the international community. After these twenty consecutive years of UNGA’s demand against the backdrop of the half-a-century embargo, the ending of the embargo is obviously one of these issues.
Viet Nam shares the view of the international community that the United States should end the embargo against Cuba, a sovereign and peace-loving nation, for strong legal, political, economic and, what is more often talked about these days, humanitarian reasons.
As it is affirmed in the General Assembly’s resolutions on the issue, the policies and measures in pursuit of the embargo against Cuba, including the “Helms-Burton Act” go against international law and the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. They hinder the development of friendly relations among nations. The basis of these policies and measures is a violation of the right of a people to self-determination, that is the right, among other things, to determine their political system and path of development. The restrictions in trade, finance and even travel continue to have serious illegal extraterritorial effects on the sovereignty of other states, legitimate economic interests of persons under their jurisdiction, freedom of trade and navigation and efforts towards an equal and just global economic structure for the prosperity of every nation. The Government of Cuba estimates that the loss and damage caused by the embargo to the Cuban people amounts to nearly 1 trillion dollars. It is a staggering figure, but the suffering caused to the Cuban people by the embargo transcends the figure and is profound, especially to women and children.
These have also prompted the Heads of State or Government at the Ibero-American to call for an end to the embargo. In the Outcome Document of the XVth Non-Aligned Summit held in Egypt in 2009, the Heads of State or Government of the Movement “ reiteratedtheir 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.”
The discussions that we are engaged in and the action that the General Assembly is going to take today are consistent with the urge for cooperation and dialogue that permeated through the high-level general debate and the theme of peaceful settlement of disputes of this Session of the General Assembly. In this regard, we wish to recall the statement made by H.E. Mr. Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba in the General Assembly just a month ago, in which he reiterated Cuba’s willingness and interest to move towards the normalization of relations with the United States and Cuba’s proposal to begin a dialogue aimed at solving bilateral issues, including humanitarian issues, as well the offer for cooperation in numerous areas.
Viet Nam, for the foregoing, is going to support the draft resolution in consideration today and strongly urges the United States to end the economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba and begin the dialogue with the country.
I thank you, Mr. President,