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Permanent Mission of Cuba in Geneva
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Statement by Cuba at the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO.

STATEMENT BY H.E. MRS. ANAYANSI RODRIGUEZ CAMEJO, AMBASSADOR, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE IN GENEVA AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN SWITZERLAND, AT THE DISPUTE SETTLEMENT BODY OF THE WTO ON SECTION 211. November 25, 2015.

Mister President,

The dispute "United States-Section 211 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998”, has been under surveillance in the ordinary monthly DSB agenda for over 13 years. The Progress Report No. 155 submitted by the United States maintains the same line of previous reports and provides no indications that actions by the US government, aimed at the proper compliance on this matter, are being taken.

In September 2000, the Panel was established in the WTO and examined the complaint by the European Communities on behalf of the interests of the Havana Club Holding, a Cuban-French joint venture.

As a result of the process, since February 2002 it was found that Section 211 (2) (a) and (b) of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998 violated the obligations of National Treatment and Treatment of the Most Favoured Nation established in the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

A new Ministerial Conference of the WTO is ahead and the Members, especially developing countries and the LDCs, continue to face serious challenges to achieve a fair balance in the negotiations and in the future work that allows reaffirm the intrinsic value and effectiveness of this Organization.

In this endeavor, the role of the "System of Dispute Settlement" cannot be underestimated as a pillar of compliance with the agreements and as a tool for providing security and predictability to the multilateral trading system, as was well established in Article 3.2 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU). Another important and known provision is reflected in Article 3.3 of the DSU, which sentenced the prompt resolution of disputes as an essential requirement for the effective functioning of the WTO.

Mr. President,

As we have discussed timely, failure in this dispute responds to the existing measures in the United States which illegally make up the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, and that, despite the exception of two countries, has been rejected before the United Nations General Assembly by the WTO Members.

Cuba reiterates its request that the United States submit a progress report, in line with the rules of the Dispute Settlement Understanding, including the realization of actions that can establish an effective solution to this dispute.

In this regard, we reiterate that it has as a prerequisite the elimination of the absurd policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade against our country, which should be removed immediately and unconditionally.

Thank you

 

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