Permanent Mission of Cuba in Geneva
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"Follow up and Implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action"

Statement by the Cuban delegate, Pablo Berti Oliva, in the general debate on item 8 of the agenda entitled "Follow up and Implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action" at the 33rd regular session of the Human Rights Council. Geneva, Switzerland, September 26, 2016.

Mr. President:

Cuba attaches the greatest importance to the principles recognized by the international community about the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelationship of all human rights. The effective application of these principles is a challenge not yet overcome in the allocation of resources by the international community, in the letter of the existing international instruments on the issue and in the performance of the human rights machinery of the United Nations.

The reality is that it is far from achieving the goal of addressing the economic, social and cultural rights and the right to development, on the same footing and with the same weight as civil and political rights. In the case of the latter, now almost no one questions their justiciability and there are international mechanisms for reviewing individual complaints. However, in relation to economic, social and cultural rights, some even question their own existence and refer to them as ideals for the future. 

After 50 years of having adopted the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the "progressivity" has not favored the full realization of these rights, which is attested by millions of people worldwide.

This issue also has a real negative effect on the civil and political rights. The right to life, without which no other right can be enjoyed, is violated every day, including the challenge imposed by the denial of enjoyment of rights as the highest standard of physical and mental health and education.

The economic, social and cultural rights also impose obligations on States to protect and safeguard them. Contrary to some theories and positions expressed, they are even easier to quantify, being possible to assess the so called progressivity of its realization, both from the individual and collective standpoint. 

Mr. President:

In Vienna we also reaffirmed the right to development as a universal and inalienable right and an integral part of the fundamental human rights. On this basis, at this session of the Council, the NAM has proposed to establish a special rapporteur on the right to development. Cuba strongly supports this proposal and hopes that the new special procedure receives the necessary material and human resources support to fulfill its mandate on an equal footing with other procedures, so contributing to the work of the Working Group on the right to development, such as it has been proposed.

Thank you.


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