SPEECH BY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA, H.E. MR. BRUNO RODRÍGUEZ PARRILLA, AT THE HIGH LEVEL SEGMENT OF THE UNFCCC COP16/CMP6, CANCUN, MEXICO, 8 DECEMBER 2010.
Distinguished Heads of State and of Government; Heads of Delegations:
Mighty forces state, without hesitation, that climate change does not exist, that there is nothing to worry about and that the serious problem why we are gathered here today is a complete fabrication. Those are the forces in the US Congress that oppose ratification of the insubstantial instruments controlling the proliferation of nuclear weapons in a senseless crusade whose sole purpose is to finish recovering the small part of the power they lost just two years ago.
These are the forces that want to reduce the taxes of the 10% of the population which controls 90% of wealth, the same forces that oppose the reform of the health care system, unemployment insurance and any other proposal that may signify one small step towards progress and equity.
The truth is, and we who are gathered here know it very well, that climate change along with the serious threat of a war with nuclear dimensions constitute the gravest and most imminent dangers faced by mankind in order to survive.
The absence of progress towards a real solution to both problems answers to the irresponsible attitude of those who promote and benefit from the waste, catastrophes, wars and human tragedy endured by our peoples today.
It is a duty of us all to call upon those who bear all the responsibility to stop wasting and irrationally consuming the limited resources of our planet and to devote the multi-million dollar budgets used today to wage wars for the promotion of peace and the sustainable development of all peoples.
A year ago, in Copenhagen, we failed at fulfilling the world expectation created around the 15th Conference of the State Parties to this Convention with the vision of reaching a global agreement that would fairly and effectively confront climate change.
Antidemocratic procedures and a complete lack of transparency prevailed at that Conference. A group of countries led by the United States, the greatest historical and per capita gas emitting country in the world, made off with the negotiation process and imposed an apocryphal document that does not even resolve the challenges identified by the most conservative scientific research on this subject. Regrettably, Copenhagen turned out to be a failure.
Afterwards, the US and the European Union threw themselves into a campaign of political, financial and conditional pressures on the Official Development Assistance to try to legitimize the nonexistent “Copenhagen Accord”.
The recently revealed classified American documents are of particular interest, including the one recorded as 249182, 10 BRUSSELS183 dated February 17th, 2010, which refers to actions- and I quote- to “neutralize, co-opt or exclude” a group of states among which Cuba is mentioned. I have this document here, and another one, which prove the powers’ perfidious diplomacy with regard to climate change.
Climate change is a global threat that requires global solutions as well, which are just, equitable and balanced, and include all the countries of the world. That is why we adopted, after great effort, the Framework Convention and its Kyoto Protocol and that is why their cardinal principles are as valid today as they were when we conceived them.
It is widely acknowledged that the main cause of the change in the world’s climatic system are the unsustainable production and consumption patterns which prevail in the developed countries. It is also acknowledged that the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and the respective capacities of States make up the keystone of a just and lasting solution.
The South countries are not to blame for the lack of agreement to stop climate change. We are rather the victims of the lack of progress and the selfish attitudes of those who are now enjoying the over-exploitation of the planet’s exhausted resources. The small islands, which are even more vulnerable, deserve consideration and special treatment.
The World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth held last May in Cochabamba made essential proposals that must be taken into consideration.
A long-term agreement has to ensure a sustainable development perspective for the Third World countries, not an additional and exhausting restriction to its achievement. That implies that their greenhouse gas emissions must inevitably increase to satisfy the needs of their economic and social development. The Framework Convention so establishes it and the developed countries should accept it.
In the framework of a second period of commitments within the Kyoto Protocol, the industrialized countries have to assume binding, quantifiable and more ambitious commitments to reduce their emissions.
It is necessary and imperative to adopt now, here in Cancun, concrete decisions on a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. There is a group of developed countries, in this same process of negotiations, which are trying to finish the Kyoto Protocol under the pretext that it only covers the 20 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions. Actually, the Framework Convention covers 100 per cent of such emissions and this is a mere selfish pretext.
A precise and clear path to the solution of the main problems of climate change must be at least the result of the Cancun Conference in route to the 17 COP to be held in Durban a year from now.
To fight climate change entails facing up to poverty and social inequality. It implies the obligation of transferring technology from the industrialized North towards the underdeveloped South. It requires facilitating financial resources that allow the developing economies to face adaptation and mitigation, and offering fresh funding above the already existing and increasingly precarious and conditioned commitments of the Official Development Assistance.
Although it seems viable that agreements on technology transfer and adaptation can be reached in this Conference, it is essential that we define the financing mechanism or the real significant resources to face up to the effects of climate change.
These mechanisms could not work out in the bosom of the World Bank nor in the bosom of any Bretton Woods Institution for this would involve preconditions, discrimination and exclusions. The Bretton Woods Institutions are as historically responsible for climate change as are the governments of the developed countries.
It is not about a charity gesture. It is, above all, about a moral and legal obligation resulting from the commitments adopted in the Convention. The crumbs promised in Copenhagen were extremely meager and have not even materialized. Neither the market mechanisms nor the neoliberal policies that no longer have any credibility whatsoever will help us move forward.
The severe flooding that is affecting Venezuela and Colombia right now arouses all our solidarity and evidence the urgency of the problem.
The world order is unsustainable. The human society, in order to survive, will have to organize itself in a different way. Time is running out. Another year has been lost since the Copenhagen deception. The peoples cannot wait for the powerful forces.
Thank you very much.