71 UNGA: Cuba at the General Debate of the UN First Committee.

Mr. Chairman,

The Cuban delegation commends you for your election, as well as the other members of the Bureau.

We fully endorse the statement delivered by Venezuela on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and by the Dominican Republic on behalf of CELAC.

Mr. Chairman,

The possibility of a nuclear war, within the current context of dangerous and growing tensions, is becoming ever closer and unpredictable. We insist that nuclear disarmament is an international priority and deserves attention at the highest level.

The General Assembly requested in its first resolution, 70 years ago, to eliminate nuclear weapons from national armaments. Nevertheless, there are currently more than 15 thousand nuclear weapons, and a rarely mentioned new generation of these weapons is being developed in vertical proliferation.

Intentional or not, the detonation of a small fraction of these weapons would have devastating consequences for our planet, including human annihilation.

Additionally, we support the holding of an International Conference of the United Nations in 2017 to negotiate a legally binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons, with a view to their elimination.

It is our hope that this instrument can be formally adopted in 2018, on the occasion of the High-Level International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, convened by the UN General Assembly.

Mr. Chairman,

The prohibition of nuclear weapons would be an important step forward, but yet insufficient to achieve the world free of nuclear weapons we are aiming at.

Our country, like the vast majority of the international community, will continue to firmly advocate the adoption, as soon as possible, of a comprehensive Convention that sets out the total elimination of such weapons within a certain timeframe and under strict international control.

We reiterate that until the elimination of nuclear weapons, there is an urgent need for a treaty providinguniversal and unconditional security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon states.

The commemoration of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons last September 26 for the third time in the history of the United Nations reaffirmed the wide support of the international community to the priority of nuclear disarmament.

Mr. Chairman,

The possession, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons cannot be justified by any concept or doctrine of security.

We reject the efforts to legitimize the maintenance of these weapons, which was also done through the recent Joint Statement of the permanent members of the Security Council.

The “nuclear deterrence” policy is fully inadmissible, and so is the fact that the nuclear powers are still not complying with their obligations under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which sets out the commitment to hold negotiations in order to adopt effective steps relating to nuclear disarmament.

We deeply regret that no agreement has been reached at the Ninth NPT Review Conference despite the willingness and decision to advance in terms of nuclear disarmament by the overwhelming majority of the States parties to the Treaty.

We take this opportunity to point out that Cuba maintains unrestricted support to the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, which would be also an essential contribution to peace and security of all peoples of this region.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba believes that the only way to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction, including use by non-state actors, is the total elimination of these weapons.

Our country is firmly committed to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, as well as to theBiological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

Cuba strictly abides by the provisions under these conventions.

We emphatically reject and demand the immediate lifting of any limitations and restrictions on the export of materials, equipment and technology for nuclear, chemical and biological activities to the developing countries in accordance with the provisions of international treaties on this matter.

At the same time, Cuba resolutely repudiates the application of sanctions and coercive measures as a way to settle disputes over disarmament and non-proliferation.

We reiterate that an Action Plan must be urgently adopted to ensure full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation of Article XI of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

As to the Biological Weapons Convention, it is our hope that the Eighth Review Conference for the Convention can contribute to its strengthening, calling on multilateral negotiation to adopt a legally binding Protocol which includes its basic pillars, particularly international cooperation.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba recognizes the strong commitment and efforts of the Government of the Arab Republic of Syria and its permanent and constructive cooperation in the process of chemical weapons destruction. Such process took place within a complex security situation.

Cuba reaffirms the need to search for ways to satisfactorily conclude the ongoing investigation processes in Syria on the basis of an impartial, objective analysis, free of all politicization and, above all, based on reliable sources of information.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba supports the works of the Open-ended Working Group for the Fourth Special Session of the General Assembly on disarmament.

Among other issues, the disarmament machinery needs to be examined with a view to its revitalization, although we are convinced that the existing paralysis is first due to the lack of political will of some States.

Cuba is also supportive of the starting works of the Group of Governmental Experts on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security.

It is our hope that these results will be qualitatively higher than previous years.

Similarly, the covert and illegal use of computer systems of other nations by individuals, organizations and States to attack third countries must be halted.

Hostile use of telecommunications with the stated or covert purpose of subverting the legal and political order of States is a violation of the internationally recognized standards for this matter. Moreover, its effects can generate tensions and adverse situations for international peace and security.

Mr. Chairman,

Allow me to inform you that Cuba has started to implement the provisions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, when depositing its instrument of accession on April 6 this year.

We are proud to belong to the first densely populated region of the planet established as a nuclear weapon-free zone by virtue of the Treaty of Tlatelolco and first Zone of Peace, following its formal Proclamation at the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) held in Havana, Cuba, in January 2014.

We demand observance of this Proclamation with the aim of uprooting forever threat or use of force in our region.

By virtue of said Proclamation and international law, we demand the return of the territory illegally occupied by the US Naval Base in Guantanamo, against the will of the Cuban people.

Mr. Chairman,

The argument that there are not sufficient resources to fight poverty and promote sustainable development is unacceptable at a time when in the year 2015 there was an increase in the military and arms industry spending which amounted to 1.7 trillion dollars.

We reiterate Cuba´s proposal to create a United Nations-managed fund, to which the current resources used in weapons would be allocated to address the needs of economic and social development, and to contribute in order to turn the Post-2015 Development Agenda into reality.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, we wish you success in the works of this Committee. You have the full support of the Cuban delegation in discharging your duties.

Thank you very much.