Cuba stresses the importance of respecting the legitimate security and defense interests of all states at the negotiations on the arms trade treaty
Cuba participates in the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, held in New York on 2-27 July 2012, aware of the complexity of the process that has brought States together to negotiate and adopt by consensus, in only 4 weeks, a legally-binding instrument on the matter.
The objective of the Treaty should be to contribute to preventing, combating and eradicating the illicit trade in conventional arms, whose negative effects are suffered by many people and States worldwide. Cuba has been the victim of multiple terrorist actions organized abroad, most of them in the territory of the United States, in which these weapons have been employed.
While the future Treaty will establish rules for the trade in conventional arms, which constitutes an important component of the national defense and security strategies of the vast majority of countries, it is essential for the legitimate national security and defense interests of all States to be taken into consideration in the negotiations.
Cuba will not support an instrument that is not fully consistent with the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, including the non-interference in the internal affairs, the respect for sovereign equality, the political independence, and the territorial integrity of all States.
It is also a prerequisite that the future Treaty in no way affects or restricts the right of self-defense enshrined in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations. The future instrument must fully preserve and guarantee the right of all States to manufacture, import and possess weapons for their self-defense and security needs.
To Cuba, the success of the Conference will be to accomplish an instrument resulting from an inclusive and transparent process, which can be acceptable to all States. That would be the only way to achieve a solid, universal, and hence effective Treaty to address the illicit arms trade.
New York, 9 July 2012