75 UNGA: Statement by Ambassador Pedro Luis Pedroso, Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations. Consideration of Item “Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)”. New York. 11 November 2020

Mr. Chairman,

We appreciate the presentation of the 2019 IAEA Annual Report and draft resolution A/75/L.9.

We wish to begin by acknowledging the efforts made by the Agency in support of its Member States in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We highlight the leadership and organizational resilience of the Technical Secretariat in the midst of the pandemic. Cuba also recognizes and supports its important work and its contribution to peace and sustainable development.

Mr. Chairman,

The application of the IAEA safeguards verification system is essential in the implementation of the NPT, including for certifying the peaceful nature of nuclear energy programmes.

The IAEA guarantees the promotion of development and the use of nuclear energy and its applications for peaceful purposes for the benefit of humankind, particularly in key areas such as health, food security, environmental protection and management of water resources, which is especially important for developing countries. 

Cuba attaches particular importance to the development of Nuclear Applications, IAEA Technical Cooperation and technology transfer to developing countries. In this regard, it is necessary to prioritize and redouble the Agency´s efforts to increase resources of the Technical Cooperation Program, with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as its main focus.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba takes proud in being the Chair of the Regional Cooperation Agreement for the Promotion of Nuclear Science and Technology in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARCAL) until 2021. Thus, we reflect our commitment to continue working to strengthen the existing cooperation links, create new partnerships and work towards the development of nuclear applications for peaceful purposes in our region. Under our chairmanship, 15 countries have deposited their instruments of acceptance to the Agreement to further extend ARCAL for 2020-2025, which ratifies the sustained commitment of Latin America and the Caribbean to the Agreement.

 We will continue to support the inalienable right of all States to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, without any discrimination or condition. We demand the immediate lifting of any kind of limitations or restrictions on the export of materials, equipment and technologies to developing countries for nuclear peaceful activities.

Mr. Chairman,

The IAEA is the framework for the adoption of international standards on nuclear security, which should be the result of transparent and inclusive multilateral negotiations, with the participation of all States. We reiterate that the effective management of nuclear security admits no exclusion or selectivity.

The entry into force of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material must favor greater protection of nuclear facilities and materials and facilitate cooperation among States parties to prevent and combat crimes involving the use of radioactive and nuclear materials.

Mr. Chairman,

We reiterate that nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are mutually reinforcing and the only guarantee against the use of nuclear weapons is their elimination in an irreversible, verifiable and transparent manner. 

We underscore once again the significance of the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and we support the Conference for the establishment of such zone.

We reject the decision of the US government to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and to re-impose unilateral sanctions on Iran. It is an unjustified decision, contrary to international law, which violates the rules of coexistence among States. Therefore, it can lead to serious consequences for international stability and security, moving us away from the objective of establishing a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons. 

Thank you.