STATEMENT BY MRS. CLAUDIA PÉREZ ALVAREZ, COUNSELLOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF CUBA TO THE UNITD NATIONS OFFICE AT GENEVA AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN SWITZERLAND. Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the use of certain conventional weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects. November 12, 2015. Geneva, Switzerland.
Cuba wishes you success in the conduction and outcome of this important meeting, given that next year will host the Fifth Review Conference of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.
Mister President,The aspiration of the honest people in the world must be the disarmament and a priority, nuclear disarmament. There will be no peace or security in the world until the prohibition and total elimination of nuclear weapons cannot be reached.
In turn, Cuba opposes double standards and the selectively action of some countries which, while urging the manufacture and use of new increasingly sophisticated conventional weapons and devastating effects, on the other hand try to limit certain types of conventional weapons such as small arms and light weapons.
We reaffirm that the industrialized countries should reduce significantly the production and trade of conventional weapons with a view to promoting peace and international and regional security. The imbalance between industrialized and developing countries regarding the production, possession and trade of conventional weapons should disappear.
Today more than ever it is necessary to preserve multilateralism in international relations, based on the strict respect for the principles of International Law and the United Nations Charter.
Under this spirit, Cuba recognizes the importance of disarmament and arms control in the field of conventional weapons, in particular those concerning highly destructive weapons and the contribution of the Convention and its Protocols to the development of the rules of International Humanitarian Law.
At the same time, we believe that the preservation of the legitimate security interests of the High Contracting Parties is a major issue. This balance has been a mainstay for the proper functioning of the Convention and the care of the concerns of the international community in the field of Certain Conventional Weapons.
Cuba meets the commitments under the international legal regime, including those Annexes Protocols which we are party thereof.
We share the legitimate humanitarian concerns associated with the indiscriminate and irresponsible use of mines other than anti-personnel mines.
At the same time, any measures to address this concern must take into account the legitimate right of the peoples to defend and protect their territories from aggression. In this regard, Cuba has maintained a constructive position throughout the debates in this Convention to take into account the interests of all States Parties.
My country cannot renounce the use of antipersonnel mines for the preservation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, in correspondence with the right of self-defense recognized in the United Nations Charter.
One of the issues that the members of this Convention have followed is that of autonomous weapons. In this regard, Cuba has serious doubts about the compliance and enforcement that may be made of the rules and principles of international law with the use of lethal weapon autonomous systems. We believe close attention should be given to this issue during the forthcoming Fifth Review Conference.
Cuba considers that the autonomous lethal weapons should be prohibited and that also multilateral organizations should work with a view to reaching a legally binding instrument in the UN framework, or as an additional protocol to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, referring to the drones.
Cuba considers it an obligation of all States parties to ensure that any decision made regarding the implementation of the Convention and its annexed Protocols, stay within the mechanism we have already established in this context and that is flexible enough to give opportunity for all parties to meet their concerns in the broadest spirit of transparency and multilateralism.
We should work intensively on the preparation of the Fifth Review Conference. We support the proposal to work according to the established practice through two committees to be responsible for examining the Convention and its Protocols, and consideration of proposals for additional protocols, respectively.
On the other hand, it is essential that the meetings to be held in 2016 under the Convention and its Protocols, including the upcoming Conference, have adequate funding, as well as the necessary documentation and enough time to call.
We reaffirm that it is essential to ensure the participation of developing countries and the principle of geographical rotation of the chairs and vice chairs of the committees.
I reiterate that our delegation will continue to work in terms of achieving a successful meeting, in order to continue the implementation of the Convention and its annexed Protocols and to find common pathways and achieve concrete results based on the necessary consensus.