The European Union and Cuba identify broad areas of agreement in the field of disarmament.
Havana, October 14, 2020.- The second dialogue on “Disarmament and Non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction” and “Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons and other Conventional Weapons” took place in a virtual format between Cuba and the European Union.
The meeting, which was held in the context of the implementation of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between our country, the regional bloc and its member States, made it possible to corroborate that, when it comes to disarmament, the European Union and Cuba have broad areas of agreement.
The delegations headed by Ambassador Rodolfo Reyes Rodríguez, Director General of the Multilateral Affairs and International Law Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba; and Ambassador Marjolijn van Deelen, Special Envoy of the European Union for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation respectively, stressed the importance of moving towards general and complete disarmament as a way to safeguard peace and international security and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals.
Both delegations exchanged views on disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The Cuban delegation emphasized that nuclear disarmament is the top priority in the area of disarmament and underlined the relevance of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, since Cuba was the fifth State to ratify it.
Likewise, the Cuban delegation reaffirmed the right of all peoples to peace and in this regard it advocated the full implementation of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, which was signed by the Heads of State and Government of the region at the Second Summit of CELAC held in Havana, Cuba, in 2014.
Experts on both sides shared their opinion and experience in the struggle against the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and other conventional weapons, and ratified their willingness to support the work that the United Nations is carrying out in this area. Cuba reaffirmed the legitimate right of all States to acquire and own small arms and light weapons and conventional weapons for the purpose of meeting their legitimate national security and defense requirements. Both delegations addressed the threat posed by the emerging lethal autonomous weapons systems to international security.
The damages caused by the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the Government of the United States against Cuba when it comes to Cuba’s international cooperation in the context of the Conventions on the Prohibition of Chemical and Biological Weapons were also discussed.
Both delegations ratified the willingness to discuss aspects related to disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons based on full respect for sovereign equality, independence, legality and non-interference in the internal affairs of the parties involved, even when they maintain different stands regarding some of the issues discussed.
As a prelude to the political segment, a video-conference among representatives of the Cuban and European civil societies was held on October 13.