The United States (US) Ambassador has called on the United Nations (UN) Secretary General to condemn what she calls the unprofessional conduct of Cuban and Bolivian delegates who disrupted as US-sponsored event at the world body last week.
Diplomats from both Cuba and Bolivia protested loudly and shouted down speakers at an event to highlight the struggles of political prisoners in Cuba.
Ambassador Nikki Haley has since written to the UN Chief urging him to establish an investigation over what she calls the serious misconduct of the Cuban and Bolivian delegations.
Ambassador Haley has since written to SG Antonio Guterres calling the behaviour of diplomats outrageous and urging him to publicly condemn the appalling behaviour and destruction of UN property, a matter they put to the SG’s Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq.
“At this stage, having received this letter, we’re studying it and we’ll evaluate what kind of response can be made. You’ll have seen what we said at the time of the incident and we’ll continue to evaluate what further steps are needed.”
The letter refers to serious damage to desks in the ECOSOC chamber and insists that delegations responsible for any damage be liable for the costs but Haq seemed unsure.
“I am not aware at this stage of any particular damages for which there are costs, if that changes I will let you know.”
Cuba earlier also complained to the SG about the “Jailed for What” event that examined the plight of Cuba’s political prisoners, arguing that it was in violation of UN rules about the use of its premises.
Cuba’s Ambassador Anayansi Rodriguez Camejo says:”Cuba condemns once again and reject in the strongest possible terms, this new Cuban action by the United States government which constitutes and affront to the sovereignty of the Cuban people and disrespect of their right to self-determination.”
Awaiting further clarity on how the UN will respond, this is what Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said last week about the hosting of events by member states on its premises.
“The rules require that a proposed event must be consistent with the purposes and principles of the UN and that it has to be non-commercial in nature. As a result of this requirement the sponsoring permanent mission must certify that this is the case upon requesting the UN conference room.”
“In the implementation of the in-house regulations since their adoption in 1996, the Secretariat has relied on the responsibility of member states to proceed in accordance with the relevant regulations and the purposes and principles of the charter. The sponsoring mission is fully responsible for the content of the meeting.”
The United States and Cuba have strained relations related particularly to the continued unilateral economic embargo of the island despite multiple UN General Assembly resolutions calling for it to be lifted.