Speech by Ambassador Pedro Luis Pedroso Cuesta at the High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly to commemorate and promote the International Day against Nuclear Tests. New York, 8 September 2021.

Mr. President,

We align ourselves with the statement pronounced by Mexico on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

The importance of holding this high-level meeting is reinforced in light of the continuous modernization and expansion of nuclear arsenals, in a context in which the millions of dollars of resources devoted to this field must be redirected to efforts to address the current global crisis, exacerbated by COVID-19 and affecting every sphere of life.

It is a matter of great concern that 76 years after the criminal US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the only country that has used two atomic bombs, the world leader in nuclear testing, military spending and the number of nuclear weapons ready for use, maintains a position that contemplates a low threshold for considering the use of such weapons, even in response to so-called "strategic non-nuclear threats"; as well as the possibility of nuclear test explosions "for the safety and effectiveness" of its nuclear arsenal.

There is an urgent need for compliance with the legally binding commitments composing the disarmament and arms control architecture. We condemn US violations of the spirit and letter of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Mr. President,

Cuba, the fifth State to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, welcomes its entry into force on 22 January 2021, clearly establishing that nuclear weapons are not only inhumane, immoral and ethically indefensible, but also illegal. We are proud to belong to the first densely populated area in the world to be declared a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and the first region to be proclaimed a Zone of Peace.

We support the establishment of a Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East, a momentous step towards nuclear disarmament as a priority in the field of disarmament.

By ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in February 2021, we reaffirm our humanistic vocation and our historic commitment to nuclear disarmament and the total and effective prohibition of all nuclear tests, including explosion tests and those conducted using subcritical and other sophisticated methods. We advocate for the closure and dismantling of facilities used for such purposes and their associated infrastructure.

We reaffirm our conviction that the only effective way to eliminate the terrible impact of nuclear weapons is their total elimination in a verifiable, transparent and irreversible manner. The prohibition and cessation of nuclear testing of all types is fundamental to this end.

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 the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. Nuclear disarmament should be the priority in the field of disarmament.

Nuclear energy should be used only for peaceful purposes, for the socio-economic development of States, without discrimination. Nuclear weapons cannot solve the world's problems.  

Thank you.