Permanent Mission of Cuba in Geneva
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Statement by Cuba at the Biological Weapons Convention. Item 6: General Debate, Geneva, December 14, 2015.

Statement by Mrs. Juana Elena Ramos Rodriguez, Ambassador, Alternate Head of the Cuban Delegation to the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction. Item 6: General Debate. December 14, 2015. Geneva, Switzerland.

Mister President, 

We congratulate you on assuming the presidency of this meeting and we trust on your experience and expertise to guide the discussions and reach satisfactory results. We recognize the efforts made in this regard. We assure you our active participation and cooperation. 

Cuba endorses the statement made by the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and other States Parties to the Convention. 

We appreciate the update documents on the issues of the agenda prepared by the Support Unit for the Implementation of the Convention. 

Mister President,

Cuba, like other members of the NAM and other States Parties to the Convention, considers it necessary to have a multilateral legally binding Protocol to strengthen the Convention in a comprehensive and balanced way and to include its basic pillars, as assistance and cooperation. 

We welcome the initiatives that have arisen in this regard.

The above Meeting of States Parties, held from 1 to 5 December 2014, also demonstrated the need to improve the working methods of this forum. 

We consider that it corresponds to the Eighth Review Conference take a decision regarding these and other topics. We hope to reach satisfactory agreements with a view to hold it successfully in 2016.

The Seventh Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention had important results, particularly in international cooperation. However, Cuba considers that much remains to advance towards a full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation of Article 10.

On the other hand, we are concerned about those efforts to condition the international cooperation through the creation and promotion of arbitrary mechanisms of export control and transfers, established out of the framework of the Convention. 

We reiterate that there should be no constraints on the full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation of Article 10 of the Convention. 

Cuba reaffirms that international cooperation to promote the economic and technological development is an obligation of the States Parties. In that sense, the developed countries should eliminate, once and for all, the restrictions on the free exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the use of biological agents and toxins for peaceful purposes. 

Mister President, 

Cuba attaches great importance to the implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention and its essential function to ensure the protection of human beings and the environment in the peaceful use of biological agents and toxins. 

As a commitment of my country to the full, effective and non-discriminatory application of the Convention, in the national document on offers and requests to the database, presented at the last Meeting of the Panel, we are providing, upon request of the States Parties concerned, courses, seminars, conferences and other workshops, including training, biosafety and other issues related to the implementation of the Convention.

We reiterate our readiness to cooperate to promote scientific exchange in biological and technology sciences for biosafety and biosecurity, surveillance and detection of infectious diseases or those that affect humans, animals and plants, under regional and international development, for the use of science and technology for peaceful purposes. 

Mister President, 

We reiterate that the implementation of international cooperation should be carried out without unreasonable restrictions as those applied to Cuba. 

The main obstacle we face in a broader international cooperation in the field of biological activities, including international exchange in biological science and technology for peaceful purposes, is the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States for more than 50 years, which remains in force. 

We advocate the creation of a mechanism for reporting and resolving such restrictions. This mechanism, as part of a larger instrument would be a concrete step that would go a step further on the road, still far from the full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation of Article 10 of the Biological Weapons Convention. 

We encourage everyone to participate actively in the discussions to be held during this meeting in order to fulfil the mandate of the intersessional period agreed at the last Conference. Likewise, we hope that the report of this meeting reflects its discussions in a balanced way. 

Thank you



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