Speech of the Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba H.E. Mr. Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios in the Preparatory Meeting of the Review Conference on the Treatment on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Mr. President,

I want to express my satisfaction at the holding of this meeting that allow us to state our views on issues that shall be debated in the 2020 Review Conference of the Treatment on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Firstly, I reiterate the sentiments expressed in the statements made by the Non-Aligned Movement and the Community of the Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) regarding the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons as a step in the road towards the nuclear disarmament.

Mr. President,

The humanity continues to be in a serious risk of being annihilated due to existence  of more than 16 thousand nuclear weapons. The use of a negligible part of them would lead to desastrous consequences for our planet. No country will be immune to the stupidity of a nuclear attack. That is why the nuclear disarmament cannot be a constantly postponed or conditioned objective.

The Treatment on the Non-Proliferation (TNP) sets clear legal obligations on nuclear disarmament matters. Unfortunatelly, more than forty years after its adoption, Article VI of the Treaty has still not been fulfilled.

Some Member States hold onto a supposed power derived from the possession of such weapons despite that the history and the scientific reseach conclude that the power of the atom as a war weapon leads to the genocide and the annihilation of life in the planet.

Mr. President,

I would like to emphasize Cuba´s political will and commitment to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. In this regard, we reiterate the call upon nuclear-weapon states and other states protected by the so-called nuclear umbrella.

The only way to avoid the use or the threat of use of nuclear weapons is to absolutely ban or eliminate them in a transparent and irreversible manner and under strict international control. It is a matter for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as competent authority, to play a crucial role in the achievement of this objective.

The use or threat of use of such weapons will constitute a violation of the International Law and a crime against humanity. Nonetheless, they have still not been prohibited through a legally binding instrument. Although an instrument of that nature will not lead to disarmament, it will establish in the International Law the illegitimacy and illegality of nuclear weapons.

The isolated and selective implementation of the principle of non-proliferation is not enough to eliminate nuclear weapons. Only the implementation of a systematic conception which will include disarmament components, control, assistance, and cooperation, could guarantee the total elimination of nuclear weapons

Mr. President,

Cuba, as part of its historic commitment with the global nuclear disarmament, ratified in 2002 the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin American and the Caribbean that is celebrating its 50 anniversary this year. The first densely populated area of the world which turned into a Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone that has been a political, legal, and institutional reference for the creation of other Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zones in different regions of the world.

We reaffirm the historic proclamation of the Latin American and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace on the occasion of the 2nd Summit of the Community of the Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) held in Havana on 29 January 2014 in which the States of the region declared the commitment to continue promoting the nuclear disarmament as a prioritized objective.

We regret the failure of the agreement on the holding of the International Conference for the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. We are convinced that the establishment of said zone, besides its being an important contribution to the achievement of the nuclear disarmament objective, it will mean a significant step for the peace process in the Middle East region. We urge the holding of that conference without further delay.

Mr. President,

We welcome the presidency assumed by Ambassador of Costa Rica H.E. Ms. Elayne Whyte in the Conference of the United Nations to negotiate an instrument to ban nuclear weapons. Moreover, we support the appointment of the Argentinian Ambassador H.E. Mr. Rafael Mariano Grossi who will take the presidency of the Conference.

Allow me to conclude by mentioning that Cuba will remain solid for the battle to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons that is our commitment with the present and future generations.

Thank you very much

(Embacuba Austria / Cubaminrex)

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