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Statement by
H. E. Dr. Desra Percaya
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations

Agenda Item 40:
Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba

68thSession United Nations General Assembly

(New York, 29 October 2013)

 

Mr. President,

Let me begin by warmly welcoming Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla and assure him of Indonesia’s unwavering support to end the embargo against Cuba. The delegation of Indonesia associates with the statement made by the representatives of Fiji and the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Group of 77 and OIC respectively.

The General Assembly, as the highest political forum of the United Nations, has consistently opposed the unilateral policy imposed by the United States on Cuba.

The majority of UN member states have expressed their concern about the economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba, and about the adverse effects of such measures on the Cuban people. While the Cuban people have endured the economic, commercial and financial embargo valiantly for 52 years, it has come at a forbidding cost.

The continued imposition of an economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba violates the principles of the sovereign equality of all UN Members and of non-intervention and non-interference in each other’s domestic affairs, international humanitarian law, the United Nations Charter, and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations among states.

The Charter is clear on the need for nations to develop friendly relations among themselves. It is equally emphatic about the need for nations to refrain from action that will threaten the political independence of others, or will lead to intervention in matters that are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state. Unfortunately, the sanctions have indirectly impacted countries that hold economic and commercial ties with Cuba. The sovereignty of other states and their jurisdiction on national legislation have been encroached in the process. 

Not only do political complications result from the embargo, but it also causes the economic, commercial and financial hardships that can hardly be justified on humanitarian grounds. This is a great burden for a developing country whose people would benefit tremendously from cooperation rather than confrontation. The embargo has caused hardship for the people of Cuba particularly vulnerable groups.

Against this background, the General Assembly must reaffirm its position once again in support of resolution 67/4. 

Mr. President,

There is immense confidence in the international community that engagement will do more than isolation to advance the noble causes that all UN Member States ascribe to. Dialogue has always been a constructive avenue to dissolve tensions.

The time is ripe for relations between the two main parties to be transformed through constructive engagement. 

Lifting of the embargo would be in keeping with the spirit of the times. It would also demonstrate unambiguous respect for the principles of non-intervention, as embodied in the UN Charter and international law. While it is true that some small meaningful changes have occurred in recent times, such as the easing of travel restrictions to Cuba and the removal of obstacles to transfer of remittances, the preferred outcome is for the embargo to be lifted completely. We all hope to see the tensions between the two countries resolved, and harmonious peaceful coexistence permeate their relations.

Mr. President,

In an international climate marked by cooperation, the embargo has become anachronistic policy.

Indonesia has repeatedly been in favor of lifting the embargo on Cuba, as an expression of Indonesia’s long standing and irrevocable commitment to the principles and purposes enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. Indonesia rejects the use of any unilateral measures to exert pressure on States. For this reason, it has never promulgated or applied any laws referred to in resolution 67/4.Indonesia does not support nor apply laws and policies of extraterritorial nature, as this would interfere with domestic affairs as well as freedom of international trade and navigation.

Indonesiaurges to renounce applyinglaws and measures of an extraterritorial nature that affect the sovereignty of other states, the lawful interests of their subjects, or of other persons under their jurisdiction, and freedom of trade and navigation from such action.

FinallyMr. President, Indonesia calls for the immediate cessation of such an embargo.

I thank you.

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