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CELAC demands nuclear test ban


COMMUNITY of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) has demanded a comprehensive global nuclear test ban.


Speaking on behalf of CELAC, currently presided by Cuba, Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez told the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament on Thursday in New York that the only guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons was their complete elimination.


He said all countries must refrain from nuclear weapon test explosions, other nuclear explosions or any other relevant non-explosive experiments, including subcritical experiments for nuclear weapons development purposes.


“The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons constitutes a crime against humanity and a violation of international law, including International Humanitarian Law, and of the Charter of the United Nations,” Rodriguez said. “We reaffirm the importance of initiating negotiations for an international legally binding instrument banning nuclear weapons and commitment towards this primary goal.”


He called for an international high-level conference to identify ways and methods to eliminate nuclear weapons with the briefest possible delay aimed at agreeing on a phased programme for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons within a specific timeframe in order to ban the development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons and stipulate their destruction.


Rodriguez said CELAC was greatly concerned at the humanitarian impact of vast proportions and global effects of any accidental or intentional nuclear detonation.


“Cuba, a small country that defended its independence even in the face of the threat posed by a nuclear holocaust, will participate actively in the international movement advocated by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz to demand the destruction of all the nuclear weapons, the mere existence of which endangers the survival of the human species,” he said.


Rodriguez called on all states to eliminate the role of nuclear weapons in their doctrines, military strategies and security policies or as a prospective approach for the management of conflicts in order to achieve the total elimination of those armaments regardless of type or geographical location.


He said Latin America and the Caribbean was proud to be the first densely populated area in the world to be declared a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ), under the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Rodriguez regretted the failure to implement the agreement on the convening in 2012 of an international conference for the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.


He said he was firmly convinced that the establishment of the said zone would represent a significant step towards the peace process in the Middle East region.


However, Rodriguez reaffirmed the inalienable right of nations to develop research, production and peaceful use of nuclear energy without discrimination but in conformity with NPT articles.


“All parties to the treaty have committed themselves to facilitate participation in the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful use of nuclear energy,” said Rodriguez.



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