From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba
The first dialogue between Cuba and the United States on disarmament and non-proliferation took place in New York on October 21, 2016.
The Cuban delegation, composed of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was led by the Head of the Department of Political Affairs of the General Division for Multilateral Affairs and International Law, Rodolfo Benitez Verson. The United States delegation, represented by State Department officials, was led by Acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Thomas M. Countryman.
The delegations exchanged views on various topics of interest in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation. The discussions were held in a professional and respectful environment, marked by profound differences.
Among other issues, the Cuban delegation stressed that the mere existence of nuclear weapons poses a serious threat to the survival of mankind, and reaffirmed the urgent priority of nuclear disarmament. It also emphasized the incompatibility of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, with the provisions on trade and cooperation of several multilateral legal instruments to which both States are parties, such as the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
These discussions, held at the proposal of the US side, demonstrate once again the willingness of Cuba to address any issue with the US government despite differences, on the basis of equality, respect and reciprocity.(Cubaminrex)