Statement by H.E. Mr. Pedro Nuñez Mosquera, General Director of Multilateral Affairs and International Law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba to the Conference on Disarmament. Geneva, Switzerland, March 1, 2016.
We live in an international situation characterized by serious threats to international peace and security, bloody wars and frequent terrorist acts. Exorbitant resources are spent on armaments, while it is stated that there are not enough to fight hunger, poverty and disease.
Even the modest Millennium Development Goals were not reached. The 2030 Agenda provides a new opportunity to settle outstanding debts with the aspirations of progress and development for all mankind and not just for a few.
Despite the majority claim, more than half a century after the destruction and suffering caused by the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the survival of humanity continues to be threatened by the existence of thousands of nuclear weapons, many of them ready to be used immediately.
Cuba will continue to work tirelessly to change this unfair and unacceptable state of affairs. The human beings and the peoples have a legitimate right to live in peace in a world without nuclear weapons.
The required progress in the field of disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation of weapons may not be achieved by applying unilateral measures or bilateral or regional agreements. Multilateralism and negotiated political solutions in multilateral organizations are essential, in accordance with the United Nations Charter.
The Conference on Disarmament has an important mandate to fulfill. The challenges to achieve are not insurmountable. It is urgent that the Conference adopt a comprehensive and balanced work program taking into account the real priorities in disarmament.
Under that program, nuclear disarmament is a top priority for Cuba and most of the States. The prohibition and total elimination of nuclear weapons cannot remain an indefinitely postponed and conditional goal. Immediate concrete actions are required.
We support the urgent start of multilateral negotiations for the early conclusion of a Convention providing for the prohibition and elimination of all nuclear weapons within a period of time.
We are convinced that the Conference on Disarmament is prepared to negotiate multiple issues simultaneously. In this context, in addition to a Convention on Nuclear Disarmament, we support the start of negotiations on this forum for a treaty banning an arms race in outer space; another that provides legally binding security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon States; and a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and also covering stocks.
The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances is a violation of the International Law and a crime against humanity. The programs of modernization of nuclear arsenals must be stopped and the role of such weapons in military doctrines and security policies must be eliminated. The only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is their total elimination.
To preserve peace and for the sake of the survival of humanity it is our duty to ensure that nuclear weapons are not used again under any circumstances. The members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), strengthened by its formal proclamation as a Zone of Peace, are firmly committed to nuclear disarmament as a priority.
The many activities carried out on the planet every September 26, the “International Day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons," demonstrate the strong international support for nuclear disarmament. We call on all members of the Conference on Disarmament to work together constructively, by adopting far-reaching agreements on nuclear disarmament at the International High-Level Conference of the United Nations Conference on Nuclear Disarmament to be held no later than 2018.
I conclude by reiterating the words of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz, to warn of the dangers of a nuclear conflagration and I quote:
“No other era in human history is related in any way to this one. Certainly, if these risks are not understood by those who make decisions from the heights of the immense power that science and technology has placed in their hands, the next world war will be the last one”.