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If we stand together, our voice cannot be ignored

bruno denunciaStatement by Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, during the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement’s Coordinating Bureau, October 9, 2020

His Excellency Mr. Djeyhun Bayramov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

Esteemed Ministers and Heads of Delegations;

Delegates and guests;

Sixty years after their adoption, the Bandung principles, which were the most immediate antecedent of the Non-Aligned Movement, remain fully valid and are ever more relevant.

We recognize the work carried out by the Presidency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Movement and its efforts to preserve and strengthen the indispensable activism of countries of the South.

The world situation is ever more dangerous. The main economic, military and technological power disregards multilateral bodies and agreements; violates International Law and the UN Charter and threatens international peace and security with its aggressive and arrogant behavior. Its attempts to impose domination and hegemony are renewed and strengthened. It promotes conflicts and unleashes wars claiming humanitarian reasons or alleged anti-terrorism struggles.

We are witnessing a continued modernization of nuclear weapons and an increase in military expenditures, instead of an increased allocation of resources to sustainable development. The gap between the North and the South is widening. It has been estimated that in 2019, the 1 percent richest owned twice as much the wealth of 6.9 billion persons. Meanwhile, very conservative data indicate that 600 million were living in extreme poverty; almost 690 million were starving and 5.2 million children below the age of five died, most of them of curable and preventable diseases.

The world’s economic situation is critical and is worsening due to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the underdeveloped world is bearing the brunt of this impact.

The irrational capitalist patterns of production and consumption are destroying the ecological balance in the planet. The unequal exchange persists and is worsening.

In some of our nations, the legitimate right to development is additionally limited by the imposition of unilateral coercive measures.

The foreign debt that suffocates underdeveloped countries, particularly under the conditions imposed by this pandemic, is unpayable and uncollectable and should be cancelled.

In this complex context, the Non-Aligned Movement, the main political coordination mechanism of the countries of the South, must assume a key role in the defense of our peoples’ demands. Since its inception, the Movement has supported struggles against colonialism, neocolonialism and apartheid, in favor of the Palestinian cause, nuclear disarmament, peace and a new and more just, democratic, equitable international economic order.

In order to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, the Movement, under the leadership of Azerbaijan, has emphasized the role of the World Health Organization and the importance of solidarity and international cooperation. Cuba takes pride in having made a modest contribution to these efforts, despite the restrictions imposed by the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States and its cynical, brutal campaign against Cuba’s medical cooperation.

Inspired by the principles of Bandung and the Principles and Purposes of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries agreed at the Fourteenth Summit held in Havana in 2006, the preservation of peace should be our most urgent goal in view of the present global context. Our movement includes the majority of all countries and UN member states. If we stand together, our voice cannot be ignored. The Movement will always be able to count on Cuba in this endeavor.

Thus, we strongly believe that, as was stated by Comandante en jefe Fidel Castro Ruz at the Seventh Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held in New Delhi, India, and I quote: “the Non-Aligned countries will continue advancing in their inalienable role as defenders of peace, national independence and development; strengthening our cohesion and unity and honorably fulfilling the difficult duties imposed on us by these critical times.”

Thank you, very much.

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