Permanent Mission to UN

Statement by the Head of the Delegation of Cuba, Wenceslao Carrera Doral, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, during the General Debate of the 7th NPT Review Conference. New York, 5 May 2005.

Mr. President,

We would like to commend you on your election and we sincerely wish you success in your work.

Cuba fully joins the statement made by the distinguished Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries.

The Cuban Government deposited its instrument of adhesion to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on 4 November, 2002. The decision of adhering to this international treaty goes beyond our national interests and it is a proof of our political will and the commitment of the Cuban State with the promotion, strengthening and consolidation of multilateralism and international treaties on disarmament. Likewise, it is a contribution to the efforts to safeguard the United Nations Organization and preserve peace and security worldwide, in spite of the fact that the strongest nuclear power in the world maintains a policy of hostility against Cuba which does not exclude the use of armed force.

Cuba had reservations in relation to the NPT, on account of considering it a discriminatory multilateral mechanism where States have unequal rights and commitments. Only 2, 7% of all States Parties in the Treaty conserve the doubtful "privilege" of possessing nuclear weapons. Cuba considers that such a "privilege" shall not be eternal. States that possess nuclear weapons are forced, in compliance with the Treaty's provisions and jointly with other States Parties in it, to develop negotiations favoring nuclear disarmament.

Cuba regrets that such obligation established by the NPT itself has not been fulfilled. On the contrary, there have been real setbacks in the nuclear disarmament process. Nuclear powers have not been able to fulfill the unequivocal commitment to totally eliminate their nuclear arsenals, made during the 2000 Review Conference.

As a States Party to the NPT, Cuba's position of principles remains unchanged. Our country's decision is to work from the inside of the Treaty to impulse our priority in terms of disarmament: to attain the total elimination of these devastating weapons. For many, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons constitutes an end in itself. For Cuba, it is only a step in the path towards nuclear disarmament.

Cuba has always stated that military doctrines based on the possession of nuclear weapons are unsustainable and unacceptable. New strategic defense doctrines of the United States and NATO, their international security concepts based on the promotion and development of military alliances and nuclear deterrence policies, even expanding the scope of the right to use or the threat to use force in international relations are concerning events for all humanity, particularly for poor and non-aligned countries. Everybody should be aware of the fact that the called "strategic pre-emptive doctrine" contradicts the letter and spirit of the NPT.

Avoiding the disastrous consequences of the use of nuclear weapons as a result of the implementation of doctrines like the aforementioned and the correction of NPT vices of origin and of its selective and discriminatory nature, will only be possible when negotiating a multilateral Convention, which follows a comprehensive approach, including components of disarmament, verification, assistance and cooperation to achieve the nuclear disarmament goal. Cuba is ready to start those negotiations immediately and considers that the Disarmament Conference is the appropriate framework, as it is the only multilateral negotiation forum on disarmament.

Mr. President,

Although the Republic of Cuba joined the NPT in 2002, the Cuban Government never planned to develop or possess nuclear weapons. Our defense plans have never been based on the possession of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction. The principles inaugurated with the Socialist Revolution that triumphed in 1959 are diametrically opposed to everything contributing to their existence.

Cuba's only interest in nuclear energy is related to its peaceful use, under the verification of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In this regard, we will continue to defend decisively the inalienable right of all States to devote, under no conditions, to research, production and use of nuclear energy with peaceful means and to receive, under no discrimination, transferences of material, equipment and scientific and technological information to such ends.

Likewise, we will continue to fulfill each and every obligation as a States Party to the NPT. Among them, we highlight the coming into force of the NPT Safeguards Agreement of Cuba with IAEA and its Additional Protocol since June, 2004.

Mr. President,

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons lies on three main pillars: non-proliferation, disarmament and cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Cuba rejects the selective implementation of the NPT. Questions related to nuclear disarmament and the peaceful use of nuclear energy cannot continue to be neglected, while horizontal non-proliferation is privileged.

Discussion and documents resulting from the 7th Review Conference shall reflect an adequate balance among the three NPT pillars. The review of the implementation of Article VI should be given top priority. This Conference is an exceptional opportunity to reaffirm and enhance the unequivocal commitment of those States possessing nuclear weapons to eliminate in a transparent, irreversible and accountable manner all of their nuclear arsenals. It is also an opportunity for all NPT States Parties to assume new goals in order to reach this objective.

On the other hand, as necessary steps are taken to achieve nuclear disarmament, priority should be given to the beginning of negotiations to conclude a universal, unconditional and legally binding instrument, by means of which States possessing nuclear weapons commit themselves not to use or threat to use these kinds of weapons against other States that do not possess them. This Review Conference should necessarily comment on this question.

Mr. President,

Cuba is concerned by the actual deterioration the multilateral disarmament machinery has faced during the last years, mainly due to the unilateral and obstructionist attitude of the main nuclear power. This power acts on the fringes of law, infringes International Law and multilateralism which has supported peace for more than 50 years; it also disregards all multilateral treaties on disarmament and arms control adopted during the last century, especially those relevant to weapons of mass destruction.

Outside the traditional disarmament machinery, new initiatives with dangerous consequences are attempted to be imposed, initiatives like the so-called The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), allegedly aimed at fighting the threat of terrorism with weapons of mass destruction.

In fact, the so-called PSI is nothing but a non-transparent mechanism of selective composition which violates fundamental principles of International Law and of the UN Charter, like those of States' sovereignty, non-interference in States' internal affairs, non use or threat to use force against States' territorial integrity and sovereign equality among States. The PSI also violates fundamental regulations of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

These sorts of initiatives are a detriment to multilateralism and international cooperation. They are aimed at dismantling and changing current international disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation treaties and bodies, which the great majority of States are part of.

Cuba shares the concern for the risky linkage between terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, this scourge cannot be faced by means of a selective and discriminatory approach that only fights horizontal proliferation and pays no attention to vertical proliferation and disarmament. The total prohibition and elimination of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, will be the only guarantee that these do not fall into the hands of terrorists.

Any manifestation of terrorism shall be fought without double standards. One cannot go around the globe crowing about an alleged crusade against international terrorism, including the one involving the use of weapons of mass destruction, while harboring with impunity notorious, abominable and confessed terrorists in a country's national territory, which entitles itself as the leader of such crusade. It is impossible to eliminate international terrorism, if some terrorist actions are condemned while others are silenced, tolerated or justified.

Cuba favors the creation and strengthening of an international coalition of all States against the use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists, but such effort shall be undertaken by means of international cooperation, within the framework of the United Nations and relevant international treaties.

Cuba is firmly convinced that respect for the principles of International Law and the UN Charter is the only feasible guarantee for international peace and security. The world shall be regulated by a collective security system based on cooperation, offering full guarantees for all. This system cannot be substituted by the law of the jungle and doctrines or initiatives which constitute a violation of the letter and spirit of the UN Charter.

Thank you very much.

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