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Statement by Mr. HUANG Zhongpo, Minister Counselor of the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations, on agenda item 26: "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba", at the Plenary of the 57th Session of the General Assembly

2002/11/12

Mr. President,

In the past ten years, the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution every year calling on all states, in conformity with their obligations under the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international law, to repeal or invalidate laws and measures with extraterritorial effects which affect the sovereignty of other states, the legitimate interests of entities or persons under their jurisdiction and the freedom of trade and navigation. Despite of such a just demand by the international community, unfortunately, the country concerned has yet to honor the series of GA resolutions.

The US embargo and other sanctions against Cuba have been in place for more than four decades, with the purported goal of promoting democracy and human rights. As it turns out, the embargo and other sanctions have severely impeded Cuban efforts to alleviate poverty, to raise the standard of living, and to realize economic and social development for national construction. The US action constitutes an encroachment of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Cuban people, including their right to subsistence and right to development. Using embargo and other sanctions to force a country to abandon her chosen path of development, or even to subvert its government, is contrary to the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations as well as fundamental norms in modern international relations. It is a distortion and flagrant violation of the principle of democracy. Economic sanctions imposed by the US on Cuba have an extraterritorial character that flies in the face of international law, and the principles, objectives and rules of international trade. They also contradict the principle of trade liberalization advocated by the US itself. To date, as many as 78 countries are known to have suffered economic losses as a result of US sanctions against Cuba. There is good reason for the international community to raise serious concerns on such embargo and sanctions, justifying the call for their immediate cessation.

Mr. President,

It is the persistent position of the Chinese government that purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nation should serve as the basis for the promotion of democratization in international relations and the realization of overall development and common prosperity in all countries. Sovereign equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries remain at the core of the norms governing international relations. The sovereign right of each country to choose its own political and social systems, its development model and to manage its own affairs should subject to no transgression. Disputes among states should be resolved, on the basis of equality and mutual respect, through dialogue and cooperation. The Chinese government objects to economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the US against Cuba. We support the effort on the part of the Cuban government and the Cuban people to safeguard their national independence and state sovereignty. It is our hope that the US government joins the prevailing trend to replace confrontation with dialogue, to replace embargo and other sanctions with contacts and exchanges, and to take concrete measures to implement the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly. China supports the draft resolution sponsored by Cuba under the present agenda item.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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