Permanent Mission to UN

Statement by the delegate of Cuba to the First Committee, Mr. Rodolfo Benítez, under Agenda item "the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems". New York, 1 November, 2000.

Mr. Chairman:

For the second consecutive year the First Committee will take a decision on a draft resolution that is of great interest to the international community, given the importance and magnitude of respect for the preservation of the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems. For a few countries the ABM Treaty is a matter of strictly bilateral interest, of concern only to those countries that have adhered to it. However, the Treaty, as is indicated by the sponsors of the draft resolution, is of historical importance and is a cornerstone for guaranteeing global peace and security. Therefore Cuba associates itself with those who have reaffirmed its validity and continuing importance, especially in the current international situation, at a time which highlights the importance of full and strict compliance with the Treaty by the parties.

Cuba has taken due note of the decision by President Clinton, who declared on 1 September that he would postpone taking a decision on the establishment of a national anti-missile defence system. The deferment of that initiative does not mean that the idea of creating an anti-missile shield has been abandoned. Studies and development of this system are even continuing. Therefore, the introduction of draft resolution A/C.1/55/L.2/Rev.1 is relevant. There is still time here to continue an appeal for respect for the spirit and letter of the ABM Treaty. The text of the draft resolution before the Committee is not confrontational and limits itself to calling for relevant actions to strengthen and reinforce the ABM Treaty.

For the reasons I have just explained, Cuba will be voting in favour of draft resolution L.2/Rev.1 and urges other delegations to firmly support it also.

Thank you very much

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