Statement by Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, at the Ministerial Meeting of the Seventeenth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. Margarita Island, September 15-16, 2016. “Year 58 of the Revolution.”
Esteemed comrade Delsy Rodríguez, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela;
Esteemed Ministers and Heads of Delegations;
Delegates and guests:
I would like to express my gratitude to the authorities and the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to us upon our arrival.
We welcome the presence of the Islamic Republic of Iran, whose work as President of the Non-Aligned Movement, in the midst of a complex international situation, deserves recognition and respect.
The countries of the South needed a profoundly anti-colonialist, anti-imperialist and anti-racist organization, advocating for the sovereignty and self-determination of peoples, justice and International Law, in favor of the peaceful settlement of conflicts and general and complete disarmament.
The Movement that started to take shape in Bandung and was further consolidated in Belgrade, which led to the creation of , appeared at a historical juncture marked by a process of decolonization and the subsequent emergence of new Independent States, as well as by the upsurge of the East-West conflict.
Thus, the definition of how relations should be between the powerful and the least developed nations, with full respect for the principles enshrined in the UN Charter; the preservation of equal rights for all States and the non-interference in the internal or external affairs of other States, became a priority.
While the principles adopted in Bandung and Belgrade continue to be very much valid, we live in a world which is radically different.
Therefore, in our Fourteenth Summit held in Havana in 2006, we adopted the Declaration on the Purposes and Principles and the Role of the Non-Aligned Movement in the present international juncture.
Ten years later, we have noted with concern that most of the Principles and purposes defined in Havana are not systematically observed.
Respect for peoples’ sovereignty, self-determination and equal sovereign rights not only remain unachieved; the events that violate those fundamental precepts are increasing day after day.
The peace, international security and cooperation we aspired to have not been achieved. War, aggressions, “soft coups” and regime-change attempts continue to be a regular feature.
The attempts to destabilize the constitutional government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela may serve as an example. We reiterate Cuba’s full solidarity with the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution that has kept up its struggle; with its legitimate president, Nicolás Maduro Moros and the civic and military unity of its people.
Likewise, in a different region of our planet, a cruel war is being waged against the Syrian people, taking a toll on hundreds of thousands of human lives, something that calls for a strong condemnation and overwhelming action of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Equally unfulfilled in our times remains our purpose to promote the respect, enjoyment and protection of all human rights of all human beings, while the attempts to manipulate their very nature through politicization, selectivity and double standards have continued and are on the increase.
Our full solidarity should go to the Palestinian people, whose human rights are violated with absolute impunity day after day.
We would like to express also our solidarity with the waves of refugees which are arriving in Europe, compelled by underdevelopment and the wars encouraged from abroad.
The promotion of sustainable development, which in Havana was defined as an essential precept, continues to be a pending subject. Hunger, poverty, economic backwardness and social exclusion are still gripping one third of humanity.
Nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament, are still far from being achieved, since the modernization of nuclear weapons continues unabated and military expenditures are increasing exponentially.
Full decolonization continues to be beyond our reach, since the Puerto Rican people have not been able to achieve its well-deserved independence and the right of the Saharan people to self-determination is denied.
The democratization of the United Nations, as was stated in the Declaration of Havana, has not been achieved either. The General Assembly powers have not been restored and the Security Council has not been reformed, neither in terms of its membership nor in terms of its working methods.
In Havana the Movement stated the need to abstain from exerting pressures or coercion on other countries, including the application and/or promotion of any unilateral coercive measure contrary to International Law. The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba, still persists, harms the Cuban people and is the very negation of said principle.
We have managed to preserve the Movement despite the voices that augured its disappearance; but it is our duty now to work harder to fulfill the principle of promoting solidarity as a fundamental component of relations and actions among all its members, in all circumstances, in defense of sovereignty and International Law, even if this results in an open confrontation with the hegemonic interests and desires of the big powers.
Cubais committed to support the presidency of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. We reiterate our full confidence that, under your leadership, the role of the Movement in the international arena will continue to strengthen, based on the principles of Bandung and the Declaration of Havana.
From Latin America and the Caribbean, which at the Second CELAC Summit proclaimed itself as a Zone of Peace, we emphasize the need to have a world of peace, free from nuclear weapons, where every person has access to food, health and education; a wholesome and sustainable world ensuring the future generations the possibility to live in harmony with the environment and their neighbors. That world is possible if we all work together to achieve it.
Thank you, very much.