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UN overwhelmingly condemns US embargo on Cuba

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United Nations : India along with 190 other members of the UN General Assembly has voted in support of a resolution condemning an economic embargo imposed by the US on Cuba, saying that existence of such restrictions undermines multilateralism and credibility of the UN.

In a near unanimous vote, the 193-member United Nations General Assembly yesterday adopted the resolution renewing its call for an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the US against Cuba, while also acknowledging the restoration, after nearly 50 years, of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Israel and the US were the only two countries to vote against the resolution, which got the support of the remaining 191 UNGA members. The Assembly welcomed the resumption of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, announced last July, and the willingness of US President Barack Obama to work towards the lifting of the economic, financial and trade embargo against Cuba.

India’s Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji said the General Assembly has considered the issue of the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the US against Cuba annually for more than two decades.

“On each of these occasions, it has consistently rejected the imposition of laws and regulations with extra-territorial impact and all other forms of coercive economic measures that hurt the progress and prosperity of the people the world over,” he said in his remarks to the Assembly.

“There can be little doubt that the continued existence of this embargo, in contravention of world opinion as expressed by this august House, undermines multilateralism and the credibility of the United Nations itself,” Mukerji said, adding that the international community needs to re-double its efforts to promote an environment free from sanctions and embargoes.

Through the resolution, the Assembly reiterated its call to all states to refrain from promulgating and applying laws and measures not conforming with their obligations under the UN Charter and international law, which reaffirm freedom of trade and navigation.

The General Assembly “once again urges states that have and continue to apply such laws and measures to take the necessary steps to repeal or invalidate them as soon as possible,” the resolution said. Welcoming the restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US, Mukerji said India hopes that the positive development between the two nations would lead to an early withdrawal of the embargo.

PTI