73 UNGA: Statement by the delegation of Cuba at Thematic Debate on nuclear weapons First Committee. New York, October 19, 2018

Mr. Chairman,

We fully endorse the statement by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Cuba shares the deep concern over the existence of nuclear weapons. The number of nuclear warheads deployed in the world is more than enough to destroy civilization several times and most of life on planet earth.

The scant progress towards nuclear disarmament and the lack of commitment with multilateralism and international treaties on disarmament, by some nuclear-weapon States are a matter of serious concern.

It is unacceptable and illegal to continue modernizing existing nuclear arsenals and developing new nuclear weapons systems.

The international community cannot remain passive or silent; much less when we see the strengthening of the role of nuclear weapons in the defense and security doctrines of certain nuclear-weapon States and the reduction of the threshold to consider the use of these weapons, even in response to so-called "non-nuclear strategic threats".

Cuba rejects military stances based on nuclear deterrence. These stances have accentuated the qualitative vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons and have unleashed an unprecedented arms race, with serious consequences for humanity.

In this context, we appreciate the important contribution of the Secretary-General's Agenda for Disarmament, to promote the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons. We encourage that, in concert with the Member States, all necessary efforts be made to achieve this priority objective.

Cuba urges the nuclear-weapon States to show political will and rectify their positions, in particular, within the framework of the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation and during its review cycle. It is urgent to move forward in the implementation of the NPT and the commitments made during previous  Review Conferences, in particular, in the pillar of nuclear disarmament.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba, which belongs to the first densely populated area in the world declared as a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, reaffirms its firm commitment to continue promoting nuclear disarmament as the highest priority in the field of disarmament.

Cuba, the fifth State to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, promotes its early entry into force. To this end, we urge all States that have not done so to commit themselves to this Treaty, which prohibits, under any circumstance, the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons and any kind of nuclear test.

The nuclear-weapon States must offer legally binding guarantees that they will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against those States that do not possess them.

Our delegation, in addition to continuing to promote the holding of an annual High-Level Meeting to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, will continue to encourage the International High-Level Conference on nuclear disarmament to be held as soon as possible.

We welcome the presentation of the draft decision of the League of Arab States, including the convening, before June 2019, of an International Conference to develop a legally binding instrument on the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East

Mr. Chairman,

The decision of the United States government to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or Nuclear Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran violates the rules of coexistence among States. Together with the repeated obstacles to establishing a denuclearized zone in the Middle East, it could seriously affect regional stability and security.

Finally, Cuba reiterates its firm opposition to and rejection of the application of unilateral coercive economic measures against any country. We reaffirm the legitimate right of all States to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, without any discrimination.

Thank you very much