Permanent Mission to UN

Statement by Ambassador Rodolfo Benítez Verson, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of Cuba to the United Nations, at the Security Council Open Debate on The Situation in the Middle East including the Question of Palestine. New York, 26 July 2011.

Mr. President,

Cuba associates itself with the statement by the representative of Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The situation in the Middle East, particularly in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, remains alarming.

The great physical, economic, and social devastation caused by the illegal and destructive colonization practices in the occupied Palestinian territories is the main obstacle to a peace agreement.

The settlement policy prevents the creation of a Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders and consequently a possible just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Cuba is deeply concerned over the serious situation in the Gaza Strip. We reiterate our call for the Israeli Government to lift immediately, unconditionally, and completely the cruel and illegal blockade on Gaza, and to allow the free circulation of supplies from and to the Gaza Strip, as well as a permanent humanitarian access.

Mr. President,

The creation of two States living peacefully side by side, with recognized borders is not just a chimera. Palestinians are long owed a solution enabling the creation of their Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Likewise, the question of its refugees must be solved in accordance with General Assembly resolution 181.

However, Israel continues to hinder the conflict solution while the country that is to supposedly guarantee the peace process has not showed the required political will to give the process the necessary boost.

Cuba is ready to support the legitimate efforts aimed at a just solution to this conflict, and at the creation and recognition of the Palestinian State.

Mr. President,

The Security Council cannot remain impassive at the question of Palestine. There is no other conflict in the world more threatening to international peace and security. Nonetheless, the Council continues failing to take action.

The US veto on every draft resolution introduced on this issue has turned the Security Council into a hostage of the domestic policy of one of its members. The threat of veto continues to be a sword of Damocles over the most powerful and antidemocratic international body of the multilateral system. This situation is unacceptable and must change, because as a consequence, the impunity with which Israel acts in the occupied Palestinian territory increases.

Cuba believes it is possible to find a short-term peaceful solution. The Palestinian Authority has been assiduously working in the last months, and many States has responded positively to the call to recognize the Palestinian State. Cuba urges the States that have not done so to recognize the Palestinian State on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, as soon as possible.

Mr. President,

Cuba reaffirms that all measures and action taken, or to be taken by Israel, which purport to alter the legal, physical and demographic condition and institutional structure of the Occupied Syrian Golan, as well as the Israeli measures to impose jurisdiction and administration there, are null, void and without legal effect.

We also reaffirm that all these deliberate and unilateral measures and actions, including the illegal construction and expansion of the Israeli settlements in the Syrian Golan since 1967, constitute violations of international law, international agreements, the United Nations Charter and resolutions, and the Fourth Geneva Convention. Cuba demands that Israel fully withdraw from the occupied Syrian Golan to the borders of 4 June 1967.

Mr. President,

We are confident that the growing recognition by many countries of the Palestinian State, on the basis of the 1967 borders, will generate a new boost and will pave the way for definitive solution to the conflict.

Cuba reiterates once more its position in favor of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace for all peoples of the Middle East region, ending the occupation of all Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967 and guaranteeing the exercise of self-determination by the Palestinian people through the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Thank you


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