73 UNGA: Statement by the Republic of Cuba at Thematic debate on "Outer space". First Committee. New York, October 23, 2018.

Mr.  Chairman,

My delegation endorses the statement by Indonesia, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Cuba advocates the legitimate right of all States to access outer space on equal conditions and without discrimination; and to benefit from cooperation in terms of training and transfer of space applications and technology.

Equal access to these technologies would contribute to the achievement by the Member States of the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to the prevention and mitigation of natural disasters, to environmental protection and human health.

In this regard, we welcome the adoption of new political commitments in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE + 50).

Mr. Chairman,

The exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, must be done for the benefit and interest of all States.

In this context, Cuba expresses concern about the threat of an arms race in outer space, the continuous development and improvement of space weapons and the presence of war material in space.

The use of space technologies to the detriment of the security of nations is also disturbing, including the large network of existing spy satellites, which besides being incompatible with peace and development, continues to saturate the geostationary orbit and generate a large amount of space debris.

In this regard, we reiterate our support for the strengthening of the legal regime of outer space, through the adoption of a multilateral treaty on the prevention and prohibition of the placement of weapons in outer space.

In Cuba's opinion, that instrument should also prohibit the use or threat of use of force against satellites or other types of space objects.

As we have expressed on previous occasions, the draft treaty submitted by Russia and China in the Conference on Disarmament provides a good basis for negotiations.

Cuba welcomes the establishment of a subsidiary body of the Conference on Disarmament on the prevention of an arms race in outer space; as well as the beginning of deliberations in this regard in the Disarmament Commission, through a Working Group on measures of transparency and confidence-building in outer space activities with the objective of preventing an arms race there.

We also welcome the consideration of substantive elements of a legally binding international instrument on the prevention of an arms race in outer space, within the framework of the Group of Governmental Experts established by General Assembly resolution 72/250.

Cuba, fully committed to the prevention of an arms race in outer space, will continue to support the policy of no first deployment of weapons of any kind in space.

We must prevent on time that outer space becomes a new theater of military operations. Only in this way, their rational use, for peaceful purposes and for the collective benefit of present and future generations would we guarantee.

Thank you very much