Permanent Mission to UN

Statement by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cuba, Ambassador Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, at the resumed Tenth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly. New York, 19 September 2003.

Mr. President:

Allow me to appreciate the convening of the Tenth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly so that Member States, before the impasse of the Security Council, are able to act, reflect and democratically express their opinions, without the sudden and authoritative restriction of their free expression, such as occurred during the recent session of the Security Council devoted to the same item, not even keeping appearances of sovereign equality in that not-at-all democratic body where even their Non-Permanent Members are discriminated against.

Mr. President:

Around 3,600 people have died since September 2000, out of which almost 2,800 are innocent Palestinian civilians. Perhaps, this constitutes one of the most massive, flagrant and systematic violations of human rights in the world today. Deliberate extrajudicial executions not only cost lives, but also dissipate any hope for progress towards longing peace. State terrorism continues with the use of modern and lethal weapons of war against the Palestinian civilian population. While a wall is being built to isolate the Palestinian people, new Israeli illegal settlements emerge and the demolition of Palestinian homes continue. The suffocation of the Palestinian economy is strengthened. The Palestinian Authority and its legitimate President, Yasser Arafat, continue under political and military siege, and their installations have virtually been destroyed.

Mr. President:

The Security Council remains handcuffed by the United States veto, repeated 26 times until today, to stop the implementation of its own resolutions, to call on chapter VII of the UN Charter, to raise an International Force to protect the unarmed Palestinian population.

The economic support and the military supplies of the United States to Israel increase; despite they are the cause of impunity of crime and the means to murder innocent civilians. President Bush considers Sharon a "man of peace".

Mr. President:

Cuba ratifies its full support to the cause of the Arab peoples, and especially to that of the Palestinian people against Israeli occupation and aggression and expresses deep solidarity with its resistance.

Just and lasting peace will not be achieved in the Middle East without the cease of Israeli occupation, or until the Palestinian people exercise their legitimate right to establish an independent State with its capital in East Jerusalem; until all the occupied Arab territories are returned and Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip, West Bank and Syrian Golan to the 4 June 1967 border; until there is an end to Israeli provocations in southern Lebanon, the return of Palestinian refugees is guaranteed and the Israeli settlements are dismantled, in accordance with Security Council resolution 465 (1980).

While it reiterates its condemnation of suicide attacks with bombs against Israeli civilians, who continue to be the innocent victims of the spiral of violence generated by the policies of their Government, Cuba rejects the manipulation of those individual acts to try to justify State terrorism and the atrocities perpetrated by an army possessing the most lethal and modern means to indiscriminately murder not only predetermined people but also other numerous victims.

Mr. President:

The Israeli Government now utters new threats against the physical integrity of the President of the National Palestinian Authority, by means of his exile, execution or capture attempting to try him as an alleged "war criminal".

Arafat's leadership has not been destroyed either by the virtual house arrest he has been under for almost a year and a half, or by the attacks against the Headquarters of the National Palestinian Authority, or by the outbreak of a pernicious press campaign aimed at demonizing him before the world public opinion.

President Arafat's integrity, even his life, are jeopardized. His deportation or arrest would not be erroneous, but a crime. It would not be a blow to peace hopes, but an act of war.

Deportation of Palestinians from their territories, including that of the President of the National Palestinian Authority are totally illegal acts carried out by the power occupying such territories and shall explicitly be rejected by the Security Council.

The Cuban delegation reiterates the need to respect International Humanitarian Law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949.

Cuba demands full respect for the physical integrity and dignity of President Yasser Arafat and demands that, in view of the evident incapacity of the Security Council to fulfill its functions, the General Assembly exercises without hesitation or delay the far-ranging powers entrusted to it by the UN Charter.

Thank you very much.

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