76 UNGA: Statement by Cuba at the General Debate of the United Nations First Committee. New York, 6 October 2021

Mr. Chairman,

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

The total elimination of nuclear weapons must continue to be the highest priority in the field of disarmament. We advocate the universalization of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We are proud to be the fifth State to ratify this instrument, as well as the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, to be part of the first Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in a densely populated area, and to belong to the first region in the world to be proclaimed a Zone of Peace.

Regrettably, the aggressive nuclear doctrines and the modernization and expansion of the arsenals of the United States and its allies persist, 76 years after the criminal bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United States continue to invest the most in such weaponry and to maintain the largest number of these devices ready for use. Their millions of dollars spent on these weapons are an aggravation in the face of the global crisis exacerbated by COVID-19, which demands enormous resources to ensure a response that leaves no one behind.

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 should be conducive to progress toward a nuclear-weapon-free world.

We support the prohibition and complete elimination of weapons of mass destruction. We reaffirm our commitment to the full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation of the conventions on Chemical Weapons and on Biological and Toxin Weapons.

We support the adoption of a legally binding Protocol strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention, which was abruptly aborted by the sole objection of the United States.

We reject selective, biased and politically motivated approaches in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the creation of mechanisms and procedures outside its scope.

We condemn unilateral coercive measures that discriminatorily limit or prevent the exercise of the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, as well as international cooperation and the scientific-technological progress in the chemical and biological fields, to the detriment of the socio-economic development of the States that suffer them. The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba is the main obstacle to the development of our country.

We advocate the adoption, as soon as possible, of a Protocol banning autonomous lethal weapons. In addition, regulations should be established for the use of weapons with a certain degree of autonomy, in particular military combat drones.

We reiterate our commitment to the implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. The root causes of this scourge must be addressed, which requires a greater international cooperation and assistance must be provided to States that request it. We reaffirm the right of States to acquire and possess weapons for their legitimate defense and security needs.

We welcome the conclusions of the General Assembly Open-ended Working Group on Information and Communications Technologies, a historical process in which Member States had the opportunity to discuss a topic of major international significance in a transparent and inclusive manner. We support the continuity of the work in this format until 2025.

We reject the covert and illegal use of ICTs for subverting the legal and political system of States; as well as the use of these technologies for committing and encouraging acts of terrorism.

We condemn the militarization of cyberspace and outer space. Both spaces require the adoption of a legally binding instrument that addresses the existing legal loopholes.

Cuba will continue demanding the respect for international law, the United Nations Charter and the commitment to multilateralism in negotiations on disarmament, including the preservation and strengthening of its machinery.

Thank you.