Statement by H.E. Mr. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, at the High Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate and promote the International Day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. New York, September 28, 2021.
Mr. Secretary General;
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to generate a crisis of multiple and demolishing effects, while the United States and its allies adopt more aggressive nuclear doctrines and modernize and expand their arsenals under the pretext of reducing the probability that an adversary may have an advantage over them.
Arms expenditures that are worth million are an embarrassment in the face of so much inequality in the access to COVID-19 vaccines, when more than 800 million human beings are starving in this world and, according to conservative UN estimates, it is expected that 130 million persons will plunge into extreme poverty in 2021.
It is alarming that, in the planet, there are still 13 850 nuclear weapons; that 3 825 of them have already been deployed and around 2 000 are under operational alert. The United States, the only country that has criminally dropped two atom bombs, maintains the highest number of these devastating artifacts that are ready to be used.
Cuba, together with the Non-Aligned Movement, has firmly and systematically demanded the prohibition and total elimination of nuclear weapons, which is and should continue to be the highest priority in the area of disarmament. At the same time, we reaffirm the right to development and the peaceful use of nuclear energy and its applications.
We call for the universalization of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which clearly states not only the inhumane, immoral and ethically indefensible character of these weapons, but also their illegal nature. Cuba takes pride in having been the fifth State to ratifying it; of being part of the first Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in a densely populated area of the planet and belonging to the first region of the world to proclaim itself as a Zone of Peace.
As was expressed by the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, and I quote: “The sound of weapons, of threatening words and prepotency in the international arena must cease. Enough of the illusion that the world's problems can be solved with nuclear weapons.”
Thank you, very much.