74 UNGA: Statement by the delegation of the Republic of Cuba at Thematic debate on nuclear weapons, First Committee. New York. 22 October 2019.

Mr. President:

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

Cuba reiterates that the achievement of nuclear disarmament is the highest priority in the area of disarmament.

We share the profound concern over the existence of nuclear weapons. The 1,750 nuclear warheads deployed in the world are more than enough to destroy civilization and life on the planet several times over. Of those, more than 46 per cent are in the possession of the United States, the only country that has used the nuclear weapon and that keeps the largest stockpile ready to be used.

The setbacks in nuclear disarmament are undeniable. The non-compliance by some nuclear-weapon states with their legal obligations and the international commitments undertaken; the threats to multilateralism, the disarmament architecture, and international stability and security, which involve the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program and from the Short- and Intermediate-Range Missile Treaty signed with the former Soviet Union in 1987, raise an alarm.

The modernization of existing nuclear arsenals, the development of new nuclear weapons systems, and the strengthening of the role of nuclear weapons in the defense and security doctrines of certain nuclear-weapon States, is unacceptable and illegal.

Cuba rejects military stances based on nuclear deterrence. They are unjustifiable and immoral. 

In particular, we express deep concern over the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, which reduces the threshold for the consideration of the use of nuclear weapons, even in response to the so-called "non-nuclear strategic threats" and paves the way for the resumption of nuclear explosion tests "for the safety and effectiveness of your country's nuclear arsenal.

We urge nuclear-weapon States to show political will, rectify their positions and allow the 2020 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to adopt substantive recommendations to move towards nuclear disarmament.

We reiterate that the only effective way to ensure the terrible impact of these weapons is through their total elimination in a verifiable, transparent and irrevocable manner and that, in the meantime, nuclear weapon States must provide universal, legally binding, unconditional and non-discriminatory assurances that they will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States under any circumstances.

We call for the ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in order to achieve its early entry into force. That instrument banishes the use, existence and development of nuclear weapons, endorses that they are inhumane, immoral and ethically indefensible and complements the NPT.

Mr. President:

Cuba is honored to belong to the first densely populated region in the world to be declared a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and proclaimed a Zone of Peace.

In that regard, we support the convening of the Conference for the establishment of a Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East next November. We urge the States of that region to participate in good faith in the elaboration of a legally binding instrument for the establishment of such a zone.

We welcome the inter-Korean dialogue process. Only through negotiations a lasting political solution can be achieved on the Korean peninsula.

We will continue to oppose the imposition of unilateral coercive measures and sanctions, which limit the legitimate right of all States to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba is an example of this.

In closing, we would like to reiterate Cuba's commitment to continue to promote the shared objective of a world free of nuclear weapons, the holding of an annual High-Level Meeting to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, and the holding of the International High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament to identify additional measures to eliminate these weapons.

Thank you