76 UNGA: Statement by Ambassador Yuri Gala López, Chargé d´Affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the UN, at the thematic debate: combined clusters I of the First Committee. New York, 13 October 2021.

Mr. Chairman,

We associate ourselves with Indonesia's statement on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

There is an urgent need for compliance with the legally binding commitments that make up the disarmament and arms control architecture.

Achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world is hampered when the United States, the world's largest investor in such weapons, persists in an aggressive nuclear doctrine and the modernization and expansion of its stockpiles, while violating the letter and spirit of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

We call for the universalization of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (CTBT). As a State Party also to the NPT and the CTBT and belonging to the first densely populated area to be declared a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and to the first region to be proclaimed a Zone of Peace, we maintain that nuclear disarmament must continue to be the priority in terms of disarmament. Guided by this purpose, we will participate in the meeting of States Parties to the NPT and in the NPT Review Conference.

We support the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and welcome the Fourth Conference on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia.  We ratify our full support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran and the rejection of the withdrawal of the United States from the Agreement.

Cuba calls to refrain from carrying out actions that further aggravate the tense situation on the Korean peninsula. We strongly condemn the unilateral and unjust sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Only through dialogue and negotiations can a lasting political solution to the situation on the peninsula be achieved that takes into consideration the legitimate concerns of all parties involved.

We stand up for the full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation of the conventions on Chemical Weapons and on Biological and Toxin Weapons. We call for the strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention, through a legally binding Protocol; and for ending politicization, selectivity and bias in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

We condemn the unilateral coercive measures that impede the socio-economic development of States and violate the appropriate international instruments by restricting the use of nuclear energy and the exchange of materials, equipment and technology for chemical and biological activities for peaceful purposes. We demand the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States against Cuba, which limits international cooperation and the right to development. 

We strictly comply with the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and the annexed protocols to which we are party.

We reiterate our commitment to the implementation of the UN Program of Action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects, as well as the outcome documents of its Review Conferences. It becomes urgent to put an end to the unlawful transfers and diversions to unauthorized non-state actors, the main source of illicit trafficking. The socio-economic causes of this scourge must be addressed, including through cooperation and assistance to requesting States. It is essential to respect the right of all states to acquire and possess arms for their legitimate defense and security needs.

Self-contained lethal weapons should be banned as soon as possible. Regulations are required for the use of weapons with some autonomy, in particular military attack drones.

A binding multilateral agreement to prevent and outlaw the weaponization of outer space is urgently needed. We reject the use of space technologies to the detriment of the security of nations, including the network of spy satellites, which is inconsistent with peace and development. We defend the right of States to the use of space for peaceful purposes, under conditions of equality and without discrimination. 

Thank you.