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  • State
  • Acknowledged harm
  • Committed to action

Cuba has acknowledged the harm caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA) and participated in the process toward a political declaration on EWIPA use.


The Community of Latin American and Caribbean states (CELAC), of which Cuba is a member, drew attention to the harm of weapons such as cluster munitions and antipersonnel mines on civilian populations in a statement to the UN General Assembly First Commission in October 2018. The statement emphasised that the use of these weapons is in clear violation with international humanitarian law (IHL) and called on all states to take immediate measures to ameliorate the humanitarian harms which they cause.[1]

Political declaration

In 2020, Cuba spoke at the consultations for a political declaration on the use of EWIPA, commenting on a draft of key elements for the declaration. Cuba emphasised that the political declaration should be in line with the UN Charter, particularly in that it should recognise “legitimate defence” for crimes of aggression, referencing UN Charter article 51, and respect sovereign equality, non-interference with internal affairs of states, and self-determination. Cuba also noted that the use of EWIPA is prohibited by international humanitarian law (IHL) and cannot possibly meet IHL principles, and expressed concern that, in Cuba’s view, the draft elements paper appeared to indicate that such use is possible and can be justified. Cuba focused on the importance of states reiterating their commitments to enforcing IHL to prevent the use of EWIPA and emphasised that the political declaration must not weaken IHL by being selective in references or abbreviating or restating IHL. Cuba insisted that states should be the first to avoid use of EWIPA, but non-state actors should also be prevented from obtaining or using explosive weapons of any kind. Consequently, Cuba also called for the document to mention arms producers, saying that they bear clear responsibility for use of EWIPA.[2]


[1] CELAC (2018). ‘UNGA73 First Committee Statement’.

[2] Ray Acheson, Reaching Critical Will (2020). ‘Impacts, not Intentionality: The Imperative of Focusing on the Effects of Explosive Weapons in a Political Declaration’.

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