At General Debate, Cuba calls for UN reform to make it ‘truly representative’ of world

Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla of Cuba addresses General Assembly. UN Photo/Jennifer S Altman

1 October 2012 – Cuba’s Foreign Minister today called for the urgent reform of the United Nations by reinforcing the powers of the 193-member General Assembly and expanding the 15-member Security Council to make it truly representative of the world as it exists today, 65 years after its creation.

“It is urgent to save the United Nations Organization while subjecting it to a profound reform to put it at the service of all the equally sovereign States, and removing it from the arbitrariness and double standards of a handful of industrialized and powerful countries,” Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla told the 67th Assembly on the last day of its annual General Debate, at UN Headquarters in New York.

“The key role of the General Assembly should be restored and a democratic, transparent and truly representative Security Council should be re-launched,” he added. According to the world body’s structures, only resolutions of the Council have legally binding force, which those of the Assembly lack.

Citing the situation in Syria, where over 18,000 people have been killed since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad erupted some 19 months ago, Mr. Rodríguez said the United States and some European government had decided to overthrow the Syrian Government, for which purpose they have armed, financed and trained opposition groups, even resorting to the use of mercenaries.

“Due mainly to the firm opposition by Russia and China, it has been impossible to manipulate the Security Council to impose the interventionist formula applied in recent warmongering adventures,” he stated, referring to the Council’s deadlock over taking united action on the Middle Eastern crisis, while also reaffirming the right of the Syrian people to the full exercise of self-determination and sovereignty without any interference or foreign intervention of any sort.

The Foreign Minister also called on the General Assembly to recognize Palestine as a full member of the United Nations with the boundaries established prior to 1967, before the Israeli occupied the territory in the Six Day War, and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“And it should do so now, with or without the consent of the Security Council, with or without the United States veto, with or without new peace negotiations,” he said.

The Cuban official strongly rejected the United States listing it as sponsor of international terrorism, which he called a spurious pretext “to increase the persecution of Cuba's financial transactions and justify the blockade policy which has caused invaluable human and economic damages that are worth one trillion dollars, estimated according to the present value of gold…

“We reiterate to the United States, on the days prior to its elections, our irrevocable vocation for peace and our interest to move on to the normalization of relations through dialogue, on an equal footing and with absolute respect for our independence,” he added.

Foreign Minister Rodríguez is one of scores of world leaders and other high-level officials presenting their views and comments on issues of individual, national and international relevance at the Assembly’s General Debate, which ends later on Monday.


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