Nearly a half-century after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Cuba is head of the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament.
Cuba succeeded North Korea on Tuesday as chair of the world's main forum against nuclear arms that has been stalemated since it wrote the nuclear test ban treaty in 1996.
Cuba's vice-minister of foreign affairs, Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez, told diplomats it's unacceptable that almost 23,000 nuclear weapons still exist, including 7,560 ready to use.
Canada boycotted the conference because of North Korea's summer leadership role, which rotates through the body's members alphabetically (in French).
The crisis over the prospect of Soviet missile bases in Cuba brought the world to the brink of nuclear war in October 1962.