Contributing Lawyers

Canada

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

United States

Susan Kohn Ross

Australia

Andrew Hudson



17th United Nations Vote in Favour of the U.S. Lifting Cuba Sanctions

For the 17th consecutive year, the 192-member United Nations Assembly urged the U.S. to lift its economic, commercial and financial embargo, but it will have little impact on the Bush administration, which is again expected to ignore it.

As many as 185 members, including EU states, voted for the resolution. Of the 192 United nations Member States, 185 voted in favour of the resolution (against the U.S. unilateral economic sanctions against Cuba), while only three voted against the resolution 9the united States, Israel and Palua) and two abstained (Marshall Islands and Micronesia).  This result is better than the result in 2007 when 184 UN Member States voted for the resolution. The margin of support for ending the embargo has grown steadily since 1992, when 59 countries voted in favor of the resolution. The figure was 179 in 2004, 182 in 2005 and 184 in 2007.

The resolution is non-binding and has been consistently ignored by the United States.

This is an opportunity for Canada to demonstrate that it is a sovereign decision-maker and start free trade agreement negotiations with Cuba.  When the United States finally lifts its embargo, Canada will have a better position at the table if it has a signed free trade agreement.

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