Speech delivered at the General Debate of the 78th Regular

Speech delivered at the General Debate of the 78th Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly • Workers Workers of Cuba

diaz canelPhoto: Alejandro Azcuy

(Abstracts – Presidency of the Republic)

Mister President;

Mr. Secretary General;


I bring to this assembly the voice of the South, that of the “exploited and vilified,” as I heard Che Guevara say in the same chamber almost 60 years ago.

Different peoples with common problems. We have just confirmed this in Havana, where we had the honor of hosting the Summit of Heads of State and Government and other high-level representatives of the Group of 77 and China, the most representative, broad and diverse grouping of nations in the multilateral sphere.

For two days, virtually without a break, more than 100 representatives of the 134 nations that make up the group raised their voices to demand changes in the unjust, irrational and abusive international economic order that has worsened a year later. cannot be postponed any longer. , the enormous inequalities between a minority of highly developed nations and a majority that cannot overcome the euphemism “developing countries.”

Worse still, as the United Nations Secretary-General noted at the Havana Summit, the G77 was founded six decades ago to remedy centuries of injustice and neglect, and in today’s turbulent world its members are caught up in a tangle of global crises. where poverty the number of people increases and hunger increases.

We were united by the need to change the unresolved and the situation of the main victims of the current multidimensional global crisis, the abusive unequal exchange, the scientific and technological divide and environmental degradation.

But for more than half a century, we have also been united by the inevitable challenge and determination to transform the current international order, which is not only exclusive and irrational, but also unsustainable for the planet and the well-being of all.

The countries represented in the G77 and China, where 80% of the world’s population lives, face not only the challenge of development, but also the responsibility to change the structures that exclude us from global progress and turn many peoples of the South into laboratories . new forms of rule. A new and fairer global treaty is urgently needed.

Mister President:

With just seven years remaining until the deadline for implementing the hopeful 2030 Agenda, the outlook is discouraging. This august institution has already recognized it: at the current pace, none of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will be achieved and more than half of the 169 agreed targets will remain unfulfilled.

In the 21st century, it is a violation of human nature that nearly 800 million people are starving on a planet that produces enough to feed everyone. Or that in the age of knowledge and the accelerated development of information and communication technologies, more than 760 million people, two thirds of them women, can neither read nor write.

The efforts of developing countries are not sufficient to implement the 2030 Agenda. They must be supported by concrete measures on market access, financing on fair and preferential terms, technology transfer and North-South cooperation.

We do not beg for charity or favors. The G77 demands rights and will continue to demand a profound transformation of the current international financial architecture because it is deeply unfair, anachronistic and dysfunctional; because it was intended to profit from the South’s reserves, to maintain a system of domination that reinforced underdevelopment, and to reproduce a model of modern colonialism.

We need and demand financial institutions in which our countries have real decision-making capacity and access to finance.

Recapitalization of the multilateral development banks is urgently needed to radically improve their credit conditions and meet the South’s financial needs.

Countries in this group had to allocate $379 billion of their reserves to defend their currencies in 2022, almost double the amount of new special drawing rights allocated to them by the International Monetary Fund.

A rationalization, review and change of the role of credit rating agencies is required. In addition, criteria beyond gross domestic product must be established to define developing countries’ access to concessional financing and appropriate technical cooperation.

While the richest countries fail to meet their obligation to allocate at least 0.7% of their gross national product to official development assistance, the countries of the South have to spend up to 14% of their income to pay the interest associated with external debt.

Most G77 countries are forced to allocate more resources to debt servicing than to investing in health or education. What sustainable development can be achieved with this noose around our necks?

The group today reiterates its call for public, multilateral and private creditors to refinance debt through loan guarantees, lower interest rates and longer maturities.

We insist on the implementation of a multilateral sovereign debt renegotiation mechanism with the effective participation of the countries of the South, allowing for fair, balanced and development-oriented treatment.

Once a country is affected by natural disasters or macroeconomic shocks – problems so common in the most vulnerable countries – it is imperative to redesign debt securities once and for all and include activation clauses to enable relief and restructuring.

Mister President:

No sane person denies that climate change threatens everyone’s survival and has irreversible effects.

It is also no secret that those who have the least influence on the climate crisis are suffering the most from its effects, especially small island states among developing countries. Meanwhile, developed countries, as voracious predators of resources and the environment, are shirking their greatest responsibilities and failing to meet their obligations under the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.

To give just one example, it is deeply disappointing that the goal of mobilizing no less than $100 billion per year for climate finance by 2020 was never achieved.

With a view to the 28th Conference of the States Parties to the Framework Convention (COP28), the global stocktake will be a priority for the Group of 77 countries; the operationalization of the loss and damage fund; defining the framework for the adaptation objective and setting a new climate finance target, in full respect of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

The G77 is calling for a Southern Leaders Summit to take place in Dubai on December 2nd as part of COP28. This initiative, unprecedented in a Conference of the Parties, will be a space to articulate our group’s positions at the highest level in the context of the climate negotiations.

COP28 will therefore demonstrate, beyond the speeches, that there is a real political will on the part of developed nations to reach the urgently needed agreements on this matter if they act in this way.

Mister President:

A priority for the G77 is to change once and for all the paradigms of science, technology and innovation that are limited to the environments and perspectives of the North, thereby depriving the international scientific community of significant intellectual capital.

The successful Havana Summit sparked an urgent call for nuclear science, technology and innovation towards the inalienable goal of sustainable development.

There we decided to resume the work of the Science, Technology and Innovation Consortium for the South to promote joint research projects and promote production chains that reduce dependence on northern markets.

We also agreed to promote the convening of a high-level meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization for Science, Technology and Innovation for Development by 2025.

The 17 cooperation projects launched by Cuba under its G77 presidency will help channel and triangulate the potential of South-South cooperation. We call on the richest nations and international organizations to participate in these initiatives.

Cuba will not relent in its efforts to strengthen the creative potential, influence and leadership of the G77. Our group can contribute much to the multilateralism, stability, justice and rationality that the world needs today.


To all the problems and challenges that characterize the reality of our nations and mobilize people, are added unilateral coercive measures, euphemistically called sanctions, which have become the practice of powerful states that want to act as universal judges to weaken the economy destroy and isolate and subjugate sovereign states.

Cuba is not the first sovereign State against which measures of this kind have been taken, but it is the one that has endured them the longest, despite the worldwide condemnation expressed almost unanimously in this Assembly every year, disregarded and ignored. in the express will of the government of the largest economic, financial and military power in the world.

We weren’t the first and we’re not the last. The pressure to isolate and weaken economies and sovereign states now also affects Venezuela and Nicaragua and has, at one time or another, been the prelude to invasions and the overthrow of “inconvenient” governments in the Middle East.

We reject the unilateral coercive measures imposed on countries such as Zimbabwe, Syria, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Iran, as well as many other countries whose populations suffer the negative effects of these measures.

We reaffirm our solidarity with the cause of the Palestinian people.

We support the Sahrawi people’s right to self-determination.

Let us fight for a world of peace without wars and conflicts!

Five years ago I spoke for the first time from this podium, where previously the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, and Army General Raúl Castro Ruz were present to present these truths and the ideals of peace and justice of a small archipelago , which has resisted and will resist at the height of the dignity, courage and unbreakable strength of its people and its history.

But I cannot pass by this world forum without denouncing once again that Cuba has suffered for 60 years under a crushing economic blockade aimed at depressing its income and living standards, suffering from persistent shortages of food, medicine and other basic supplies and limiting his living conditions and development opportunities.

This is the nature and purpose of the policy of economic coercion and maximum pressure that the United States government is applying against Cuba, in violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

There is not a single measure or action by Cuba that could harm the United States, its economic sector, its commercial activity or its social fabric.

There is no act by Cuba that threatens the independence of the United States or its national security, undermines its sovereign rights, interferes in its internal affairs, or harms the well-being of its people. American behavior is absolutely one-sided and unjustified.

The Cuban people are resisting and winning creatively every day against this ruthless economic war, which since 2019, in the midst of a pandemic, has opportunistically escalated to an even more extreme, cruel and inhumane dimension. The effects are brutal!

The United States government pressured companies not to provide the medical oxygen and pulmonary ventilators that Cuba needed to cope with the peak of the pandemic.

Our Cuban scientists developed the vaccines and developed the pulmonary ventilators that saved the country and that we made available to other countries in the world!

With viciousness and surgical precision, they have calculated in Washington and Florida how to inflict the greatest possible damage on the Cuban families.

The United States is pursuing and attempting to prevent the delivery of fuels and lubricants to our country, an action that seems unthinkable in peacetime.

In a globalized world, it is not only absurd but also criminal to ban access to technologies, including medical devices, that contain more than 10% American components.

His actions against the medical cooperation that Cuba provides in many countries is shameful. It goes so far as to openly threaten sovereign governments for demanding this input and responding to the public health needs of their populations.

The United States is depriving its citizens of the right to travel to Cuba in violation of its own constitution.

The tightening of the blockade affects the high migration flows registered in our country in recent years, which represents painful costs for Cuban families and negative demographic and economic consequences for the country.

The United States government is lying and doing enormous damage to international efforts to combat terrorism when it baselessly accuses Cuba of being a sponsor of this scourge.

Protected by this arbitrary and fraudulent accusation, they are blackmailing hundreds of banking and financial companies in all parts of the world, forcing them to choose between continuing their relations with the United States or maintaining their relations with Cuba.

Our country is suffering from a real siege, an extraterritorial economic war, cruel and silent. It is accompanied by a powerful political destabilization machine with millions in funds approved by the US Congress to capitalize on the deficiencies caused by the blockade and to undermine the country’s constitutional order and the tranquility of its citizens.

Despite your administration’s hostility, we will continue to build bridges with the people of the United States, as we do with everyone around the world.

We will increasingly strengthen relations with Cuban emigrants in all parts of the world.

Mister President:

The promotion and protection of human rights is a common ideal that requires a genuine spirit of respect and constructive dialogue between States.

Unfortunately, 75 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the reality is very different. This issue has become a political weapon of powerful nations seeking to subjugate independent nations, particularly from the South, to their geopolitical agendas.

No country is spared from challenges, just as none has the authority to consider itself a paradigm in human rights and to stigmatize other models, cultures or sovereign states.

We defend dialogue and cooperation as effective means of promoting and protecting human rights, without politicization or selectivity; without the application of double standards, conditions or pressure.

In this sense, Cuba has submitted to the Human Rights Council its candidacy for the period 2024-2026 in the elections that will take place on October 10. We thank you in advance for the trust of the countries that have already given us their valuable support.

If elected, Cuba’s voice will continue to be raised with a universal vision, always from the South, in favor of the legitimate interests of developing countries, from the constructive commitment and unwavering responsibility in the full realization of all human rights for all.

Cuba will continue to strengthen its democracy and its socialist model, which, even under siege, has shown how much a developing country of small size and limited natural wealth can achieve.

We will continue our transformation process in search of ways out of the siege imposed on us by US imperialism and seek ways to achieve the prosperity with social justice that our people deserve.

We will never give up the right to defend ourselves!

Mister President:

Dear heads of delegation and other representatives:

Finally, I would like to invite everyone to work together and with a sense of urgency to overcome differences and address common challenges. To achieve this, the United Nations and this General Assembly, despite their limitations, are the most powerful tool at our disposal.

Always count on Cuba to defend multilateralism and work together to promote peace and sustainable development for all!

It will always be an honor to fight for justice and share the difficulties and challenges with the people of the South who are ready to change history! And we will win!

Thank you (applause)

(Taken from presidency.gob.cu)