Cuba attacks $1.5tn world arms spending
- Submitted by: manso
- 08 / 26 / 2011
Wednesday 24 August 2011. By Our Foreign Desk. Cuba assumed the presidency of the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday, insisting that the $1.5 trillion (£910 billion) currently squandered on military expenditures and war each year should instead be used to promote social development.
Addressing diplomats from the conference's 65 member states new president Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez, who is one of Cuba's deputy foreign ministers, said it was "unacceptable that almost 23,000 nuclear weapons still exist, including 7,560 ready to use."
Abelardo Moreno Fernandez, also one of the country's deputy foreign ministers, contended that the paralysis currently affecting much of the international community's "disarmament machinery" is a result of "a lack of political will of certain states."
The Conference on Disarmament, which was set up in 1979 to negotiate multilateral arms control and disarmament agreements, includes all known nuclear-weapon states.
Mr Moreno urged conference members to begin their work without delay in order to "guarantee the right of human beings and peoples to live in peace and in a world without nuclear weapons and interventionist wars."
Mr Reyes, who is also Cuba's permanent ambassador at the UN Human Rights Council, said today that Havana rejects any manoeuvring aimed at undermining Syria's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and accused Washington and other superpowers of meddling in the developing country's internal affairs.
"Israel and the United States are trying to destabilise Syria and achieve a change of regime in that country as their strategic objectives," he said.
Mr Reyes expressed confidence that the "people and government of Syria can solve their domestic problems without foreign interference."