76 UNGA: Remarks by Ambassador Pedro Luis Pedroso Cuesta, Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations General exchange of views at the Disarmament Commission. New York, 4 April 2022.

Mr. Chair;

We endorse the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

We congratulate you on your election as Chairman of the Disarmament Commission for this year's substantive session. We extend our congratulations to the members of the Bureau and the chairs of the working groups.

We welcome the resumption of the substantive works of the Commission, a specialized deliberative body to which we attach great importance by virtue of Cuba's commitment to the disarmament machinery.

We applaud the consensus reached to continue deliberations on the topics recommended by General Assembly resolution 73/82 for the period 2018-2020, given that no formal substantive sessions have been held since 2018.

We call for the adoption of specific recommendations to be submitted to the General Assembly on the topics under consideration, relating to nuclear disarmament and outer space.

Mr. Chair,

Recommendations to achieve the goal of nuclear disarmament should be the priority of our work, inasmuch as the total elimination of nuclear weapons constitutes the highest priority in the field of disarmament. Such recommendations could encourage progress toward the achievement of that goal, especially this year, when the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the Tenth Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty will be held.

The entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in January 2021 became a milestone towards achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world, but additional efforts are required. The mere existence of nuclear weapons continues to threaten human survival.

We advocate the universalization of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

We encourage everyone to continue to use September 26, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, as an opportunity to raise awareness within the international community about the danger of these weapons.

We support the continuation of the International Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The lack of progress in the compliance with the obligations under Article VI of the NPT by possessor states has undermined the Treaty´s credibility. This trend must be reversed. Non-proliferation is not an end in itself, but a step towards nuclear disarmament.

Mr. Chair,

It is also important that the Commission agrees on recommendations to promote the practical application of transparent and confidence-building measures in outer space activities, with the purpose of preventing an arms race in that area.

These measures should not, however, be wielded as an alternative to disarmament. Negotiation and prompt adoption of a treaty for the prevention and prohibition of the placement of weapons in outer space is indispensable to complement the existing legal regime.

Any recommendation of the Commission relating to outer space should be drafted in such a way that the mandates of the United Nations bodies which consider the different aspects of the subject are respected.

Mr. Chair,

I reiterate the support of the Cuban delegation in the performance of your duties, in order to achieve a successful outcome of the Commission's work.

Thank you very much.