Statement by H.E. Mr. Abelardo Moreno, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, at the High-level Meeting on Chemical Weapons. New York, 1st October 2012.
The existence of weapons of mass destruction is a serious threat to international peace and security. Cuba reiterates its principled position in favor of the prohibition and elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, under a strict and effective international verification.
In these 15 years, the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) has proved an effective instrument that must be preserved. We strongly believe in the Convention’s contribution to promoting international peace and security.
The complete and verified destruction of old and abandoned chemical weapon stockpiles, within the final extended deadline, represents a fundamental pillar of the Convention, and must remain so in the future.
The Third Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention offers a great opportunity to reaffirm the basic principles and objectives of the Convention and preserve the balance among its for main pillars: destruction, verification, assistance and international cooperation.
Cuba reiterates its commitment to working with all States parties, in a transparent and constructive manner, in order for the Review Conference to bear a positive outcome contributing to consolidating and strengthening the implementation of the Convention. We are certain the Conference will produce concrete solutions to, at least, a considerable part of the issues still pending.
The best way to achieve the universality of the Convention is by implementing its provisions in a full and non-discriminatory manner. These are a set of indissolubly linked rules, whose balance can only be preserved if all their articles are respected.
Greater attention must be paid to the provisions of the Convention on international cooperation. The implementation of Article XI must be strengthened. A renewed OPCW necessarily requires a Plan of Action to ensure the full implementation of said article.
In Cuba’s view, it is unacceptable that there are still restrictions among States parties, which prevent the free transfer of chemical substances and technologies for peaceful purposes. The imposition of those restrictions is fully contradictory to the letter and spirit of the Convention.
The economic, commercial and financial blockade that continues to be applied against Cuba constitutes a clear example of unilateral imposition of restrictions that are explicitly prohibited by paragraph 2 (c) of Article XI of the Convention.
The Convention will only be fully implemented, at the national level, by all States parties, and therefore strengthened, if the development needs of the countries of the South are met.
Lastly, it is the responsibility of all States parties to continue working together to resolve pending issues, by using all the advantages offered by the mechanisms set out in the Convention. In that respect, we are convinced that the Review Conference will be not only an opportunity to review the work in the last five years, but also to look towards the future.