Cuba reiterates willingness to work together with the international community to strengthen and consolidate multilateralism and to promote a world free of nuclear weapons.
Statement by Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba
Commemoration of the "international day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons".
New York, 26 September 2019
Distinguished Heads of delegations,
The commemoration of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on 26 September is an important initiative promoted by the Non-Aligned Movement, of which our country is a founding member and to which it is proud to belong.
It is also a source of satisfaction for my country to make up the first Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone created in a densely populated area, to belong to the first region in the world to proclaim itself as a Zone of Peace and to have become the fifth State Party to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, concrete actions that contribute to the purpose of the United Nations to preserve international peace and security.
As part of our commitment to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, we reiterate our willingness to work together with the international community to strengthen and consolidate multilateralism and to promote a world free of nuclear weapons.
In that effort, we call for the ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in order to ensure its early entry into force. That instrument, which proscribes the use, existence and development of nuclear weapons and endorses their inhumane, immoral and ethically indefensible nature, must be complemented by effective measures leading towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons in an effective, transparent and irreversible manner.
At the same time, we reaffirm the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy without discrimination, taking into account its contribution, and that of nuclear technology, to the socio-economic development of our nations.
The total elimination of nuclear weapons must be the highest priority in the area of disarmament. Their possession cannot be justified under any security concept or doctrine.
It is shameful that 74 years after the criminal atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, humanity continues to be threatened by the existence of approximately 13,865 nuclear weapons, of which 3,750 are deployed and almost 2,000 are on operational alert . Of the deployed nuclear weapons, more than half of the total belongs to the United States , the only country that has committed the crime of dropping two atomic bombs and that keeps the largest number of these weapons ready to be used.
It is regrettable that when the survival of our species is at stake, international commitments on nuclear issues are violated.
As the Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, pointed out to this Assembly last 26 September: "As if there were not enough threats to humanity and its dazzling creations, it is a fact that military and nuclear hegemony is perpetuating itself and expanding to the detriment of the hopes of the majority of the peoples for a general and complete disarmament, an ideal that Cuba shares .”
In this regard, we reject the decision of the United States government to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Iran Nuclear Deal and from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed with the former Soviet Union in 1987, violating the rules of coexistence among States and having serious consequences for international stability and security.
In recalling our responsibility to preserve life on our planet, I would like to share an extract of the words of comrade Fidel Castro Ruz, reflecting on nuclear winter and peace:
"No other time in human history comes close to the present. Certainly, if these risks are not understood by those who make decisions from the heights of the immense power that science and technology have placed in their hands, the next world war will be the last one, and it would take, perhaps, tens of millions of years before new intelligent beings attempt to write their history .”
Thank you very much.