Cuba
Practice Relating to Nuclear Weapons
In 1996 during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, Cuba stated:
Cuba wishes once again to reiterate its firm position in favour of establishing on a priority basis an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament in the Conference on Disarmament. In this respect, the programme of action proposed by a significant number of delegations in Geneva, including Cuba, is a tangible contribution that we hope will be properly taken into account in the negotiating exercise. 
Cuba, Statement before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.1/51/PV.10, 21 October 1996, p. 3.
In 1996, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, Cuba stated:
In our view, nuclear disarmament is still the highest-priority task on the disarmament agenda. As we approach the end of the decade, we must work tirelessly to achieve our goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the creation of a nuclear-free world, so that by the dawn of the twenty-first century, we will have achieved what the international community has so tirelessly been striving for: the total elimination of nuclear weapons for all time. 
Cuba, Statement before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.1/51/PV.18, 11 November 1996, p. 9.
In 2009, in a statement during the general debate of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the representative of Cuba stated:
Despite the proclaimed end of the cold war, there are still more than 23,500 nuclear weapons in the world today, 8,392 of which are ready to be used immediately and are more powerful than those that sowed terror and death on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Nuclear weapons modernization programmes have not stopped. The sole existence of nuclear weapons and doctrines that prescribe their possession and use constitute a grave threat to international peace and security.
The prohibition and total elimination of nuclear weapons remains an unresolved and urgent task. It is and must continue to be the highest priority in the sphere of disarmament.
We hope that the declarations made in the framework of the Security Council summit on nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament that took place on 24 September … mark the beginning of specific actions to achieve the goal of nuclear disarmament. A legal instrument must be adopted, without further delay, setting a specific time frame for the destruction of nuclear arsenals and guaranteeing a transparent, irreversible and verifiable process for which the vast majority of States have been calling for many years. 
Cuba, Statement by the representative of Cuba during the general debate of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, 6 October 2009, pp. 1–2.
In 2009, in a statement before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly during the thematic debate on nuclear weapons, the representative of Cuba stated:
Despite the proclaimed end of the cold war, there are still more than 23,500 nuclear weapons in the world today, 8,392 of which are ready to be used immediately.
The sole existence of nuclear weapons and doctrines that prescribe their possession and use constitute a grave threat to international peace and security. The very ownership of nuclear weapons provides an irresponsible incentive for their proliferation.
Nuclear disarmament is and must continue to be the highest priority in the sphere of disarmament.
In complete disregard for the 1996 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons and the growing calls of the international community for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, some States that possess nuclear weapons refuse to renounce the use of such weapons in their security doctrines, which are based on so-called nuclear deterrence, and continue to pursue modernization programmes.
Cuba considers that the use of nuclear weapons constitutes a completely immoral and unlawful act that cannot be justified under any circumstances or security doctrine. Their use constitutes a flagrant violation of the international norms related to the prevention of genocide.
It is therefore of grave concern that not all nuclear-weapon States are prepared to reaffirm their unequivocal commitment, undertaken by consensus at the 2000 Review Conference, to completely eliminate their nuclear arsenals in order to achieve nuclear disarmament pursuant to the provisions of Article VI of the NPT [1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons].
Countries possessing nuclear weapons must honour their obligations to conduct good-faith negotiations aimed at achieving nuclear disarmament and signing a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
Cuba reiterates the need to fully honour the commitments that have already been made, including the 13 practical steps agreed on at the 2000 NPT Review Conference.
We hope that the declarations made in the framework of the Security Council summit on nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament that took place on 24 September will not be confined to mere media impact and trust that they mark the beginning of specific actions to achieve the goal of nuclear disarmament. Without further delay, a Convention must be adopted prohibiting the development, production, deployment, stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons, setting a specific time frame for the destruction of nuclear arsenals and guaranteeing a transparent, irreversible and verifiable process.
It is unfortunate that the resolution adopted by the [UN] Security Council almost exclusively stresses issues of non-proliferation, leaving aside specific courses of action towards nuclear disarmament.
Cuba, in addition to being a State Party to the NPT, firmly supports resolutions of the UN General Assembly that advocate for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, such as [resolution] 63/46 on “Nuclear Disarmament” and [resolution] 63/75 [on the] “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons”. As a member of the Conference on Disarmament, Cuba also supports the priority convening of negotiations on a phased programme of nuclear disarmament that would culminate in the total elimination of nuclear weapons, and has co-authored specific initiatives on this subject by the Group of 21. This position in favour of nuclear disarmament extends to participation in the Disarmament Commission of the United Nations, in which, together with other State members of the Non-Aligned Movement, Cuba has proposed various recommendations to achieve nuclear disarmament.
The establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones is a positive step forward and an important measure to reach the objective of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in the world. In this context, Cuba believes that it is essential for nuclear-weapon States to unconditionally guarantee to all States of these zones that they will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.
Cuba supports … world efforts towards nuclear disarmament.
Cuba reiterates its firm commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons and its full willingness to work to turn this aspiration into a reality for all of humankind. 
Cuba, Statement by the representative of Cuba before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly during the thematic debate on nuclear weapons, 14 October 2009, pp. 1–2.
In 2010, in a statement before the Review Conference of the Parties to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the head of the delegation of Cuba stated:
My delegation fully associates itself with the positions stated by the Group of Non-Aligned States parties to the NPT, mainly when considering nuclear disarmament our highest priority in the field of disarmament.
The satisfactory outcomes of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] safeguard inspections, welcomed in recent years in a transparent atmosphere, have shown our strong commitment with the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Cuba is a party to the [1979] Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials, to the [2005] International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, and to the rest of the international treaties on the subject. Cuba is also part of the group of countries participating in the IAEA database on illicit trafficking in nuclear material, and no incident of that sort has been reported so far.
Nonetheless, Mr. President, we share the deep concern expressed by other delegations and NAM [Non-Aligned Movement] about the slow advance towards nuclear disarmament and the lack of progress among nuclear-weapon States in the total elimination of their arsenals. …
… In relation to the concern that weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, can be used in terrorist acts, Cuba reiterates [that] the best way to fight nuclear terrorism is precisely by eliminating all nuclear-weapon arsenals without further delay or unacceptable pretexts.
Until that goal is achieved, work must be done as a matter of priority to obtain universal, unconditional, and legally-binding security assurances for non nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of such weapons. In this context, there is a need for a clear undertaking of no first use of nuclear weapons by all nuclear-weapon States. [Without a] … doubt, this will strengthen the NPT and will be a demonstration of political will.
It remains very important [to ensure] the full application of the 13 practical steps adopted in the 2000 NPT Review Conference for the systematic and progressive efforts to implement the disarmament obligations of the Treaty, particularly the unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals.
… Cuba is greatly concerned that nuclear deterrence continues to be essential in the defence and security doctrines of some powers …
Cuba agrees that, as a transcendental outcome of this Conference, the adoption of a clear plan of action will be required to comply with the implementation of all the provisions of the Treaty, mainly with the nuclear disarmament obligations. The Plan should establish a concrete schedule for the gradual reduction of nuclear weapons in a transparent, irreversible, verifiable and legally-binding manner. We must ratify this Plan until the complete elimination of these weapons by 2025.
A balanced and non-discriminatory implementation of the three pillars of the NPT is essential to achieve the objectives of the Treaty effectively. …
Last month, the new draft of the Nuclear Posture Review … was made public. It seems to include significant changes in relation to the draft published in 2002, mainly in terms of negative security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon States.
However, we agree with those considering that they are cosmetic changes and that conditionalities on the non-use of nuclear weapons remain. It is an insufficient approach that merely focuses on the promotion of non-proliferation and the fight against nuclear terrorism but does not include a strong commitment to nuclear disarmament or to the beginning of concrete multilateral negotiations on the matter.
We observe with concern the imposition of unilateral recipes and interference by other organs, such as the Security Council, in the decisions in which the NPT recognizes the IAEA as the sole competent authority to verify the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken under the respective safeguards agreements of Member States.
Cuba considers [that] this sort of concerns must be addressed in the framework of the existing legally binding international instruments on disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as in the relevant international organizations, in which the vast majority of the countries participate. In this regard, Cuba is willing to continue to cooperate and implement concrete actions in the area of such treaties and international organizations, particularly the NPT and the IAEA.
Cuba considers that the creation of Nuclear-weapon-Free Zones [NWFZs] is an important contribution of States to disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation efforts. This has been evidenced by the recently held second conference on NWFZs, and we hope to see the creation of new NWFZs worldwide, including areas of higher nuclear weapons concentration, until the planet is turned into a big NWFZ.
We reaffirm the imperative of the prompt creation of a Zone in the Middle East, for no serious effort has been made to implement the resolution in this respect, adopted 15 years ago, since the 1995 Review Conference; not to mention the numerous resolutions of the Security Council, UNGA [UN General Assembly], IAEA, and other fora, which include the same request.
The Review Conference must adopt a mechanism for the concrete implementation of this resolution, which is of vital importance for the security and stability in the Middle East. That is why Cuba supports the idea of convening, next year, an international conference to commence the negotiations on the creation of a NWFZ in that region.
Making that dream come true, necessarily implies that Israel, the only country in the region that is not party to the NPT and that has not declared its willingness to do so, accede to the Treaty without further delay and place its nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards and perform its related nuclear activities in accordance with the non-proliferation regime. It also implies … [stopping] the transfer to Israel of nuclear-related equipment, information, material and facilities, resources, and devices. Assistance to that country in nuclear-related scientific and technological areas must also cease. 
Cuba, Statement by the head of the Cuban delegation at the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, 5 May 2010.
In 2010, in a statement during the plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament, the ambassador and deputy permanent representative of Cuba stated:
The sole existence of nuclear weapons and doctrines that prescribe their possession and use constitute a grave threat to international peace and security. The very ownership of nuclear weapons provides an irresponsible incentive for their proliferation.
Cuba considers that the use of nuclear weapons constitutes a completely immoral and unlawful act that cannot be justified under any circumstances or security doctrine. Their use constitutes a flagrant violation of the international norms related to the prevention of genocide.
Taking into account these elements, Cuba considers, together with many other countries, that maximum priority must be given in our work to nuclear disarmament.
We support the creation of an ad hoc committee and urge that negotiations be initiated on an instrument establishing a gradual program for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, within a determined period of time and under strict international control.
Cuba opposes the intentions of some actors who seek to ignore or minimize the relevance of nuclear disarmament and to impose a selective non-proliferation approach.
We also oppose the selective implementation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. …
It is therefore of grave concern that not all nuclear-weapon States are prepared to reaffirm their unequivocal commitment – undertaken by consensus at the 2010 Review Conference of the [1968] Treaty on the Non-Proliferation [of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)] – to completely eliminate their nuclear arsenals in order to achieve nuclear disarmament pursuant to the provisions of Article VI of the NPT.
… [T]he establishment of nuclear-weapon free zones are a positive advancement and an important measure towards achieving the goal of disarmament and worldwide nuclear non-proliferation. In this context, Cuba considers that it is fundamental that nuclear-weapon States unconditionally guarantee to all States in these zones, that they will not use or threaten to use such weapons against them. 
Cuba, Statement by the ambassador and deputy permanent representative of Cuba during the plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament, 10 August 2010, p. 2.
In 2010, in a statement before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the representative of Cuba stated:
The sole existence of nuclear weapons and of doctrines that prescribe their possession and use constitutes a grave threat to international peace and security.
The prohibition and total elimination of nuclear weapons is and must continue to be the highest priority in the sphere of disarmament.
The results of the Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT [1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons] of 2010 are a step forward. …
[Nevertheless,] … [s]everal of the highly relevant proposals of the non-aligned [movement] countries, particularly regarding the Action Plan on Nuclear Disarmament, were reflected in the Final Document of the Review Conference only as vague aspirations and were diluted or simply left aside.
We made every effort possible to ensure that the Action Plan included a calendar with well-defined actions fixing 2025 as the maximum deadline for achieving the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, the fierce opposition of some Nuclear States prevented [reaching] an agreement on this.
The modest progress achieved by the Review Conference must give momentum to continue working toward nuclear disarmament and the full implementation of all the provisions of the NPT. Nuclear disarmament cannot continue to be continuously postponed and [beset with] conditions. 
Cuba, Statement by the representative of Cuba before the First Committee of the General Assembly, 8 October 2010.
(emphasis in original)
In 2010, in a statement before the Fourth Committee of the UN General Assembly, the representative of Cuba stated: “Cuba reiterates its firm commitment to the total prohibition and elimination of all nuclear weapons and its absolute opposition to the use of nuclear energy for war purposes.” 
Cuba, Statement by the first secretary on behalf of the Cuban delegation before the Fourth Committee of the UN General Assembly on Issue 49: The Effects of Atomic Radiation, 28 October 2010, p. 1.
In 2010, at the 12th Annual Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the delegation of Cuba stated:
The call for a general and complete disarmament, under strict and efficient verification, is a priority for Cuba taking into account the great destructive power not only of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction but also of modern conventional weapons.
The support of Cuba may be counted upon for all disarmament issues, as long as they are not discriminatory or selective, and do not interfere in the internal affairs of each State nor limit their legitimate right of self-defence. 
Cuba, Statement by the delegation of Cuba at the 12th Annual Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, 25 November 2010.
In 2011, in a statement during the general debate of the United Nations Disarmament Commission, the ambassador and deputy permanent representative of Cuba stated:
For Cuba, it is of primary importance that the Commission adopts recommendations this year in order to achieve nuclear disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Our country, together with the other members of the Non-Aligned Movement have presented an extensive and detailed Working Document to Working Group I of the Commission, which contains concrete recommendations to achieve nuclear disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. We propose that this document be used as the basis for reaching an agreement on this important issue.
… [T]he existence of nuclear weapons, in Cuba’s opinion, constitutes [one of the] principal challenges to the survival of the human species. …
… The sole existence of nuclear weapons and of doctrines that prescribe their possession and use constitute a grave threat to international peace and security. For this reason, nuclear disarmament is and must continue to be the highest priority in the sphere of disarmament.
The only guarantee that nuclear weapons cannot be used is there total elimination and absolute prohibition. …
We must definitively abandon the doctrine of “nuclear deterrence”, which far from contributing to nuclear disarmament, promotes the perpetual possession of such weapons.
Cuba is ready to negotiate in parallel with the Disarmament Conference a treaty that eliminates and prohibits nuclear weapons; … a treaty that provides effective security guarantees for non-nuclear weapon States; and a treaty prohibiting the production of fissile material for the production of nuclear weapons.
We consider that the negotiation of a treaty on fissile material is a positive but insufficient measure if the subsequent steps to achieve nuclear disarmament are not defined.
We made every effort possible to ensure that the Action Plan adopted at the Review Conference included a calendar with well-defined actions fixing 2025 as the maximum deadline for achieving the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, this was not retained in the Final Document because of the position of some nuclear weapon States interested in preserving the unacceptable status quo.
Nuclear disarmament cannot continue to be an objective that is continuously postponed and subject to conditions. It is simply unacceptable that in today’s world tens of thousands of nuclear weapons with the capacity to destroy the world several times over continue to exist. 
Cuba, Statement by the ambassador and deputy permanent representative of Cuba during the general debate of the United Nations Disarmament Commission, 5 April 2011, pp. 1–2.
In 2011, in a response to UN General Assembly Resolution 63/51 on the observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control, the representative of Cuba stated:
The Republic of Cuba has accumulated vast experience in the adoption and application of laws and policies that allow it to observe environmental norms … including their application in various International Instruments in the field of disarmament and arms control to which it is a State Party: [including] … the [1968] Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), among others.
Despite the efforts made by the UN General Assembly and international disarmament mechanisms, some countries continue to apply policies directed at unleashing wars of aggression in different parts of the world; they use aggressive strategies that include pre-emptive attacks; they continue using all types of arms in an indiscriminate manner, including the possibility of using nuclear weapons; and they reject the adoption, at the multilateral level, of new commitments with regard to nuclear disarmament.
Cuba affirms that the only truly effective solution to avoid the dire consequences of the use of weapons of mass destruction continues to be the total elimination of this type of weapons, and considers the universalisation of international treaties that prohibit them of great importance. The existence and continuous refinement of weapons of mass destruction constitute the most serious threat to international peace and security, the fragile environmental balance of our planet and the sustainable development of all peoples without distinction.
In the area of nuclear disarmament, it is urgent that the Conference on Disarmament open negotiations on a treaty for the total elimination of such weapons, within a definite timeframe and under strict international control. An international treaty on nuclear disarmament must include measures for protecting the environment.  
Cuba, Response by the representative of Cuba to UN General Assembly Resolution 63/51 on the observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control, 7 June 2011, pp. 1–2.
In 2011, in a statement during the initial session of Cuba’s presidency of the Conference on Disarmament, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba stated:
[T]he existence of nuclear weapons today constitutes [one of the] principal challenges to the survival of the human species.
The sole existence of nuclear weapons and doctrines that prescribe their possession and use constitute a grave threat to international peace and security.
It is simply unacceptable that in today’s world there are almost 23,000 nuclear weapons, 7,560 of which are ready to be deployed immediately.
For this reason, nuclear disarmament is and must continue to be the highest priority in the sphere of disarmament.
We are convinced that the Disarmament Commission has the capacity to negotiate a parallel treaty on the elimination and prohibition of nuclear weapons; … a treaty that provides effective security guarantees for those States that, like Cuba, do not possess nuclear weapons; and a treaty prohibiting the production of fissile material for the production of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
Cuba considers that the negotiation of a treaty on fissile material is a positive but insufficient measure if subsequent steps to achieve nuclear disarmament are not defined.
The Non-Aligned Movement has presented a proposal that deserves to be considered and sets out an Action Plan with a concrete calendar for the gradual reduction of nuclear weapons until their total elimination and prohibition in 2025 at the latest. It also includes the creation of Nuclear-Weapon Free Zones. It urges the establishment of such a zone in the Middle East. …
The Group of 21 [Non-Aligned States in the Conference on Disarmament], has signalled the urgency of eliminating the threat posed by nuclear weapons to international security …
It is time to fulfill the mandate of this forum. We must urgently start our substantive work and guarantee the right of human beings and peoples to … a world without nuclear weapons and interventionist wars. 
Cuba, Statement by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba during the initial session of Cuba’s presidency of the Conference on Disarmament, 22 August 2011, pp. 2–3.
In 2011, in a statement before the UN General Assembly in commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests, the ambassador and permanent representative of Cuba stated:
The sole existence of nuclear weapons constitutes a grave threat to international peace and security.
The prohibition and total elimination of nuclear weapons remains an unresolved and urgent task.
Pending the achievement of the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, it is imperative that non-nuclear weapon States receive effective, legally binding, international guarantees that nuclear weapons will not be used or threatened to be used against them at any time and under any circumstances.
… [N]uclear disarmament cannot continue to be an objective that is continuously postponed and subject to conditions. …
Cuba stands firm in the fight for a better world, free of nuclear weapons. 
Cuba, Statement by the ambassador and permanent representative of Cuba during an informal session of the UN General Assembly in commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests, 2 September 2011, pp. 1–2.
In 2011, in a statement before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the representative of Cuba stated:
[T]he prohibition and total elimination of nuclear weapons remains an unresolved and urgent task.
International peace and security continues to be threatened by the existence of more than 23,000 nuclear warheads, half of which are ready to be deployed immediately …
The entry into force of an agreement between the major nuclear powers to reduce their strategic offensive nuclear weapons is a positive signal, but is insufficient.
The nuclear powers have failed to fulfill their commitments under Article VI of the [1968] Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), to negotiate an international convention on the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Concrete steps should be promoted that lead to the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which are binding, non-discriminatory, transparent, verifiable and irreversible.
The establishment of nuclear weapon free zones is a necessary and important contribution to disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation efforts. We support the establishment without delay of a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East.
The Non-Aligned Movement has presented a proposal that deserves to be considered and sets out an Action Plan with a concrete calendar for the gradual reduction of nuclear weapons until their total elimination and prohibition in 2025 at the latest.
Within the framework of the 50th anniversary of the Non-Aligned movement a “Declaration on the total elimination of nuclear weapons” was adopted, which reaffirms nuclear disarmament as the highest priority of the Movement in the field of disarmament and declares its firm commitment to convene a high-level international conference on disarmament and declares its firm commitment to convene a high-level international conference to determine ways and means of eliminating nuclear weapons at the earliest practicable time.
… The Conference must urgently initiate negotiations on a convention prohibiting the development, production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons and on their destruction, leading to the global, non-discriminatory and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons in accordance with a specified timeframe.
Although the negotiation of a treaty that prohibits the production of fissile material for the manufacture of nuclear weapons would be a positive action, it is insufficient on its own if subsequent steps to achieve nuclear disarmament are not defined.
As advocated by Cuba during its last Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament, this organ is prepared to negotiate a treaty, in parallel, on the elimination and prohibition of nuclear weapons; … a treaty that provides effective security guarantees for those States that, like Cuba, do not possess nuclear weapons; and a treaty prohibiting the production of fissile material for the production of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. 
Cuba, Statement by the representative of Cuba before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, 5 October 2011, pp. 1–2.