74 UNGA: Statement delivered by the delegation of the Republic of Cuba at the Thematic Debate on “Other weapons of mass destruction”. First Committee. New York, 22 October, 2019.

Mr. Chairman,

Our delegation fully supports the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Cuba reiterates its support for the total and complete prohibition and elimination, in a transparent, verifiable and irreversible manner, of all weapons of mass destruction; the only absolute assurance to prevent the acquisition and use of such weapons, even by terrorists.

Our country, a State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, rigorously complies with their provisions.

Cuba does not possess, nor does it intend to possess, any type of weapon of mass destruction and firmly rejects the use of such weapons by any actor under any circumstances.

We reiterate Cuba's full support for the existing multilateral regimes prohibiting weapons of mass destruction.

We regret that the Fourth Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention has ended without the adoption of a final report. We reiterate our rejection of the continued attempts by some States to manipulate, politicize and polarize the OPCW in their interests.

We also disapprove the selective, biased and politically motivated approaches to the implementation of the Convention and the creation of mechanisms and procedures outside its scope, which modify the technical mandate of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

We once again condemn the attack launched by the United States together with some of its allies against military and civilian facilities in the Syrian Arab Republic on 13 April 2018, using as a pretext the alleged use by the Syrian government of chemical weapons against civilians in Duma.

That unilateral action, outside the United Nations Security Council and prior to an investigation by the OPCW, was a flagrant violation of the principles of International Law and the Charter of the United Nations.

In order to achieve the objectives and principles of the Chemical Weapons Convention, it is urgent to eliminate all types of chemical weapons. We call upon the United States, the only State possessing these types of weapons that has not completed the destruction of its declared stockpiles, to complete this process without further delay, under international verification.

It is also imperative to achieve the full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation of its Article 11 on the economic and technological development, through an Action Plan.

Mr. Chairman,

The only truly effective and sustainable way to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention and ensure its comprehensive and balanced implementation is through the adoption of a legally binding Protocol that prohibits them and includes a verification mechanism. Had it not been for the fierce opposition of the United States in 2001, we would have that instrument today.

The full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation of Article 10 of the Biological Weapons Convention, which refers to international cooperation for peaceful purposes, also continues to be a pending, urgent and priority task.

Cuba rejects and calls for the immediate elimination of the limitations and restrictions that prevent the broadest exchange, in particular for developing countries, of materials, equipment and technology for chemical and biological activities for peaceful purposes, consistent with the provisions of the international conventions involved. A clear example of this is the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the US against Cuba.

In closing, we reiterate that the prime role of the UN General Assembly and the relevant multilateral treaties in the field of disarmament cannot be undermined neither by measures adopted by the Security Council, nor selective and discriminatory initiatives promoted by groups of countries, outside the multilateral framework.

Thank you