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Permanent Mission of Cuba in Geneva
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Plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament. August 30, 2016. Geneva, Switzerland.

STATEMENT BY H.E. MRS. ANAYANSI CAMEJO RODRÍGUEZ, AMBASSADOR, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE IN GENEVA AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS BASED IN SWITZERLAND. Plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament. August 30, 2016. Geneva, Switzerland.

 
Mr. President:
 
Upon assuming the Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament I wish you success in fulfilling this responsibility. In addition, we support all the statements made by the Group of 21 within the framework of the Conference this year.
 
Mr. President:
 
Recently, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, referred to the killing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In a message about his ninetieth birthday he said and I quote "we have to pound on the need to preserve peace and that no power take the right to kill millions of people," end of quote.
 
There is no valid argument to justify the existence and possession of nuclear weapons. They are totally questionable doctrines of defense or security based on the so-called "nuclear deterrence" which must stop. The use, intentional or not, of a tiny part of the huge global nuclear arsenal would cause the nuclear winter and the disappearance of the human species.
 
As long as the threat of the existence of nuclear weapons persists there will be no peace on our planet. Therefore, Cuba will always call for the total elimination and prohibition of nuclear weapons as a matter of survival for humanity and will support the efforts for peace in the world.
 
Nuclear disarmament must remain being the priority in the disarmament machinery of the United Nations. Unilateral declarations, or "voluntary" promises, driven by some States are not sufficient. Cuba reaffirms the importance of multilateralism as the core principle of negotiations on disarmament.
 
We are concerned that the Conference on Disarmament remains in breach of its mandate as the sole multilateral forum for negotiating disarmament treaties, and in particular it does on nuclear disarmament, which was agreed as a priority in 1978 during the First Special Session of the UN General Assembly devoted to Disarmament.
 
We deeply regret that no substantive work has been carried out for almost twenty years in the Conference and we are convinced that this paralysis is due to the lack of political will by some States to achieve real progress.
 
We also regret the failure of the 9th NPT Review Conference and reaffirm that all States Party to that Treaty must comply with all legal obligations under it. The effective implementation of Article VI of the NPT requires the urgent adoption of precise and measurable actions, with specific timelines.
 
Recently, the final report of the open-ended Working Group of the UN General Assembly was adopted to carry out multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament.
 
Cuba supported the adoption of this report and the recommendations contained therein relating to the prohibition of nuclear weapons with a view to their total  elimination, which we value as an important step to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.
 
Cuba's position is inserted into the historic position of the Non-Aligned Movement that seeks the early conclusion of a comprehensive Convention on nuclear weapons, prohibiting their possession, development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use and on their destruction in a transparent, verifiable and irreversible manner.
 
In that sense, the full implementation of UNGA resolutions 68/32, 69/58 and 70/34 on the follow-up of the High Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on nuclear disarmament, held in 2013 is very important. As a result, it was decided to convene for the first time in the history of the Organization, an International High-Level Conference of the United Nations on Nuclear Disarmament, which must take place no later than 2018 to review progress on this important item. We hope that this Conference has the support of everyone and a successful outcome.
 
We also highlight the importance of commemorating the "International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons" every September 26 and increase awareness and knowledge of the public about the threat posed to humanity of nuclear weapons and the need for its total elimination.
 
At the regional level, we wish to emphasize once again as a crucial and historical fact, the proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace in the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), held in Havana in January 2014. Such Proclamation emphasized the strong commitment of the 33 member countries of the CELAC to the promotion of nuclear disarmament as a priority.
 
Mr. President:
 
Our country reaffirms its confidence and willingness to negotiate in the CD any topic agreed by all States that make up this forum.
 
The modification of the work methods of the Conference on Disarmament and its rules of procedure is not essential to advance negotiations in the CD. Under the current conditions other important legal instruments on disarmament have been negotiated in the past. Cuba reiterates that the political will of some States is the key to achieving real progress in the Conference, particularly nuclear disarmament, although we are open to optimizing its working methods, including the participation of civil society.
 
Cuba calls the Conference on Disarmament to adopt a comprehensive and balanced program of work that takes into account the real priorities on disarmament and overcome the status quo of inaction that benefits only a few.
 
The Conference on Disarmament is prepared to negotiate multiple issues simultaneously, including a treaty to eliminate and prohibit nuclear weapons; another one banning an arms race in outer space; another to provide effective security guarantees for States which, like Cuba, are non-nuclear weapons; and a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices.
 
Cuba favors the starting of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of all fissile material suitable for military use and that includes the declaration of all stocks of fissile material and their irreversible disposal within an agreed timetable. The negotiation of a treaty on this issue would be a positive, but insufficient measure if subsequent steps are not defined to achieve nuclear disarmament.
 
We call to immediately halt any plans for the militarization of outer space and cyberspace. We believe that the prevention of an arms race in outer space is a priority, as well as to prevent the arms deployment on it. We support the negotiation in the CD of a legally binding treaty totally banning the possibility of developing an arms race in outer space. The draft treaty proposed by Russia and China is a good basis for further discussions and undertake negotiations in this regard.
 
Moreover, we condemn the covert and illegal use by individuals, organizations and States of computer systems of other nations to attack third countries given their potential to cause international conflicts. The use of the new information technologies and communications (ITC) must be fully consistent with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and the International Law.
 
Mr. President:
 
Lastly, I wish to inform that soon I will conclude my responsibility as Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cuba to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland. I wish you success in the future work and hope that the disarmament machinery of the United Nations, in particular the Conference on Disarmament as the negotiating forum on disarmament, can advance towards nuclear disarmament.
 
Thank you.
 
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