74 UNGA: Statement by Cuba: Consideration of agenda item “Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency”. New York. 11 November 2019.

Mr. President,

We thank you for the presentation of the IAEA Annual Report 2018 and the draft resolution A/74/L.10.

Like other delegations, we regret the passing of Mr. Yukiya Amano, who discharged his duties in an exemplary manner at the helm of the IAEA for 10 years and maintained a close and friendly relationship with Cuba.

Mr. President,

Cuba recognizes and supports the important work of the International Atomic Energy Agency and its contribution to peace and sustainable development.

The implementation of the system of verification of the IAEA safeguards is essential to the implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, including the verification of the peaceful nature of the nuclear energy programmes.

The IAEA also ensures the promotion of the development and use of nuclear energy and its applications for peaceful purposes for the benefit of humanity, in particular in priority areas such as health, food security, environmental protection and water resources management.

Cuba attaches great importance to the development of Nuclear Applications, IAEA Technical Cooperation and the transfer of technology to developing countries. It is necessary to prioritize and redouble the Agency's efforts to increase the resources of the Technical Cooperation Programme, with Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development as its main focus.

As part of this technical cooperation, Cuba hosted last May the 20th Meeting of ARCAL's Technical Coordination Body and will assume the Presidency of this important Regional Agreement for the next 2 years.

In this way, we make an important commitment to continue working to strengthen the existing cooperation ties, forge new alliances and work for the development of nuclear applications for peaceful purposes in the region.

We will continue to support the inalienable right of all States to undertake research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, without any discrimination or conditions whatsoever.

Cuba rejects and calls for the immediate removal of any kind of limitations and restrictions on the exports of materials, equipment and technologies to developing countries for peaceful nuclear activities.

Mr. President,

The IAEA is the framework for the adoption of international standards on nuclear physical security, which should be the result of transparent and inclusive multilateral negotiations, with the participation of all States.

We reiterate that the effective management of nuclear physical security admits no exclusion or selectivity.

The entry into force of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material should contribute to a greater protection for nuclear facilities and materials, facilitating cooperation among States parties in order to prevent and combat crimes involving the use of radioactive and nuclear materials, and ratifying the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The possibility of a terrorist attack using nuclear materials cannot be eliminated by applying a selective approach that is limited to horizontal proliferation and disregarding vertical proliferation and disarmament.

We reiterate that nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are mutually reinforcing and that the only guarantee against the use of nuclear weapons is their total elimination in an irreversible, transparent and verified manner.

In expressing our support for a world free of nuclear weapons, we stress the importance of the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. We support the convening of the Conference for the establishment of such a zone next November. It is regrettable that the United States does not support this initiative.

We reject the decision of the United States government to withdraw from the Comprehensive Plan of Action and re-impose unilateral sanctions against Iran. This is unjustified, contrary to international law, and violates the rules of coexistence among States and, consequently, can bring about serious consequences for stability and security by driving us away from the objective of establishing a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East.

Thank you