74 UNGA: Statement by Cuba at High-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day against nuclear tests. New York, 26 August 2020.

Mr. President:

We welcome the holding of this High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly, in an international juncture characterized by serious and growing threats to international peace and security and by a progressive erosion of multilateralism, the architecture of disarmament and non-proliferation, and the multilateral disarmament forums.

In the midst of a global pandemic such as the COVID-19, it is unsettling that some countries persist in their ambitions to modernize their atomic arsenals and develop new types of nuclear weapons. It is unacceptable that millions of dollars are spent for this purpose, to the detriment of the international cooperation needed to address the current global health and economic crisis.

Mr. President:

Just a few weeks ago, another anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States was observed. It is unfortunate that 75 years after this sad event, there are approximately 13 400 of these lethal weapons, out of which 3 720 are deployed and 1 800 are on high operational alert.

Achieving the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons becomes more difficult when the same perpetrator of the atomic bombings: the United States, the only State that has used the nuclear weapon twice, the world leader in carrying out nuclear tests, and the country that invests the most in such weapons, violates the spirit and letter of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Non-Proliferation Treaty, while withdrawing from and failing to comply with other international agreements on disarmament and arms control, such as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran.

We reiterate once again our deep concern about the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, which reduces the threshold for consideration of the use of nuclear weapons, even in response to the so-called "non-nuclear strategic threats" and opens the way for the resumption of nuclear test explosions "for the safety and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear stockpile”.

Mr. President:

Within the framework of the observance of the International Day against Nuclear Tests, Cuba reiterates its position in favor of the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the goal of a world free of these weapons.

Our country, the fifth State to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, will persist in achieving its prompt entry into force and implementation. This Treaty, apart from banning nuclear weapons and the so-called "nuclear deterrence doctrine", and establishing a framework for the total and complete elimination of these weapons, prohibits all types of tests.

We support the total and effective ban on all nuclear tests, those conducted by explosion, as well as sub-critical tests and those carried out by using other sophisticated methods. We also support the closure and dismantling of all the facilities used for such purposes and their associated infrastructure.

Mr. President:

The strengthening of the role of nuclear weapons and the development of new types of nuclear weapons envisioned in the military doctrines of some nuclear-weapon States is alarming, an element that accelerates their qualitative vertical proliferation and violates the legal obligations in terms of nuclear disarmament, as well as the commitments undertaken to curtail the role of nuclear weapons in their military and security policies and contravenes the negative security assurances provided by nuclear-weapon States.

We reject those stances that place the world on the edge of a nuclear confrontation. They are unjustifiable, unacceptable and contrary to the obligations undertaken under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In like manner, we strongly reject the setting of conditions for nuclear disarmament.

Mr. President:

Our country is proud to belong to the first densely populated area in the world to be declared a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and reaffirms the validity of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, adopted at the Second Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. In this context, we fully support the establishment of a Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East, as a momentous step towards nuclear disarmament.

We reiterate that the only effective way to ensure that humanity no longer experiences the gruesome and horrendous consequences of nuclear weapons is their total elimination, in a verifiable, transparent and irreversible manner. Nuclear-weapon States must provide universal, legally binding, unconditional and non-discriminatory assurances to all non-nuclear-weapon States that they will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against them under any circumstances.

We have the moral responsibility to raise awareness about the threat posed by nuclear weapons and to work for a world free of such weapons, for the sake of present and future generations.

Thank you very much.