72 UNGA: Statement by Cuba at the General Debate of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, under Agenda Item 52 "Effects of Atomic Radiation". New York, 2 November 2017.

Mr. Chairman,

The Cuban delegation appreciates and takes note of the Report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, contained in document A/72/46, which provides information on the work of the Committee relating to the "Developments since the 2013 UNSCEAR Report on the Levels and Effects of Radiation Exposure due to the Nuclear Accident following the Great East-Japan Earthquake and Tsunami"; the "Evaluation of health effects and risk inference from radiation exposure"; and the "Implementation of the Committee's long-term strategic guidelines", to enable support for the efforts to address the needs of the scientific community and larger groups.

We are also pleased that the Committee has considered other issues contained in the Scientific Report, such as the "Principles and criteria to ensure quality of the Committee´s assessments of epidemiological studies on radiation exposure" and the "Epidemiological studies on cancer risk from radiation at low dose rates of environmental sources".

The high scientific level of the reports produced by the Committee has allowed these reports to be used as background documents for the adoption of national and international regulations intended to protect the population against the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.

Mr. Chairman,

Seventy-two years after the monstrous attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the danger of nuclear weapons remains latent and threatens to destroy the human species.

In the midst of today's complex international scenario, the vast majority of the international community supported the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, as a result of an extensive process of multilateral discussions.

This momentous agreement is a milestone in the history of the United Nations with a view to achieving general and complete disarmament. It is an effective contribution to international peace and security.

The Cuban delegation reiterates its strong position that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only effective way of ensuring that humanity will never again suffer their terrible impact.  

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba, in the midst of its economic difficulties mainly resulting from the cruel economic, commercial and financial blockade that is being imposed on it, was able to provide modest and solidarity-based collaboration to the brotherly people of Ukraine through the "Tarará Humanitarian Program" in connection with the Chernobyl accident. This program helped rehabilitate thousands of infants who were victims of the harmful effects of atomic radiation.

In addition to its main aspect that is its humanitarian nature, the project has had a major scientific impact, since the information obtained has been disseminated in important scientific events, allowing several United Nations international bodies, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), to use such information in their assessments. The Committee has further cited Cuban works generated from this program, in publications reviewing the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident.

Mr. Chairman,

It is convenient to maintain and strengthen the bonds of collaboration between the Scientific Committee and the different United Nations agencies and institutions, including the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Environment Program. Experience to date has shown that the joint work of these actors favors the implementation of the Committee´s strategic guidelines and yields greater benefits for humanity, through the application of technological advances in various spheres of life, especially in health and environmental protection.

Mr. Chairman,

To conclude, Cuba wishes to reiterate the conviction that serious and comprehensive cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy is the only pathway to enable the elimination of the potential dangers posed by ionizing radiation.

Thank you very much.