Statement by Manuel Marrero Cruz, prime minister of the Republic of Cuba to the debate of the United Nations General Assembly on financing for development in the COVID-19 era. September 29, 2020.
Mr. Secretary General,
Distinguished Heads of State and Government,
The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted all countries’ health, finances, economy, employment and society; but developing nations have been hit the worst.
Due to increased health expenses to address the pandemic and the loss of income as a result of paralyzed economy and foreign trade, tax, trade and balance of payments deficits of developing countries have increased, as well as their food insecurity.
The current global crisis has been worsened by US protectionism, trade wars and coercive unilateral economic measures against sovereign states that contravene the UN Charter, International Law and multilateral trade rules.
For 60 years, Cuba has endured a cruel economic, commercial and financial blockade of extraterritorial nature, imposed by the government of the United States of America. The US blockade is the main obstacle to the economic and social development of our country. It has been stepped up amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, hindering the acquisition of vital drugs, medical equipment and inputs under these circumstances, depriving our people of its most basic right: the right to life.
Unprecedented challenges like these require urgent concrete, solidary, inclusive, fair, innovative and coordinated responses. Global problems demand global solutions, in a nondiscriminatory way, with no political, economic exclusions or of any other sort.
We support initiatives to the debt relief, albeit they are still insufficient. The unpayable foreign debt that burdens countries of the South should be eliminated, as it has now been worsened by the pandemic social and economic impacts and threatens the sustainable development of nations.
The commitments on official development assistance, increased foreign financing on a fair basis, market access and technology transfer, must be fulfilled.
The peoples of the world require effective and immediate solutions. It is high time to act. It’s time for deeds, not words!
Thank you very much