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Home Events Upcoming Events 45th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco Signing
45th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco Signing
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6 Feb 2012

On February 14th, there will be commemorated the signing of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, better known as the Treaty of Tlatelolco. The event has been organized by the OPANAL (Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean). Afterwards, there will take place a two-day international seminar on "The Experience of the NWFZ (Nuclear Weapons Free Zone) in Latin America and the Caribbean and the outlook to 2015", where the President and Founder of the NPSGlobal Foundation, Mrs. Irma Argüello, will act as moderator.

This Treaty was proposed by Mexican President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz (1964-1970) in response to the fears generated by the missile crisis in Cuba. It was enforced on April 25, 1969, establishing a nuclear weapons free zone in Latin America and the Caribbean. Its objectives are to ensure the absence of nuclear weapons in the defined area of application, to promote general disarmament, and to control that the nuclear facilities of the signatory countries are exclusively used for peaceful purposes.  It has been signed by 33 countries, up to this moment, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Irma Argüello, who will moderate the panel "Control and Verification System established by the Treaty of Tlatelolco, its relationship with the IAEA and ABACC", said that "the NWFZ in Latin America and the Caribbean is a clear example of the vocation of peace in the countries of our region and the commitment to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. It has opened a path that other regions have followed".

There will be speaking at this ceremony the General Secretary of OPANAL, Gioconda Ubeda, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive-Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, Tibor Toth, the High Representative of the United Nations for Disarmament Affairs, Sergio Duarte, and the General Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano. Other lecturers will be the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica, Enrique Castillo, as President Pro Tempore of the Council of OPANAL, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Patricia Espinosa.

Subsequently, Duarte will lecture on "The Importance of NWFZ in the process of nuclear disarmament” and there will start the five-panel debate of the international seminar on “The Experience of the NWFZ in Latin America and the Caribbean perspective towards 2015":

  • Session 1 (February 14, 01:00 p.m.): "Learned lessons and good practices in the process of creation and consolidation of the NWFZ in Latin America and the Caribbean", moderated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay, Luis Leonardo Almagro Lemes (to be confirmed). The panelists will be the Emeritus Mexican Ambassador Miguel Marin Bosch, the President's Special Representative for Nuclear Nonproliferation (USA), Susan Burk, the Deputy Director for Security Affairs and Disarmament Russian Foreign Ministry Alexei Karpov, and the Undersecretary for Political Affairs of Brazil, Vera Machado.
  • Session 2 (February 14, 04:30 p.m.): "Learned Lessons and good practices of OPANAL", moderated by Deputy Foreign Minister of Cuba, Abelardo Moreno. The panelists will be the ambassadors Jorge Mansilla (Bolivia), José Luis Cancela (Uruguay) and Ana Teresa Dengo (Costa Rica).
  • Session 3 (February 15, 09:00 a.m.): "Control and Verification System established by the Treaty of Tlatelolco, its relationship with the IAEA and ABACC", moderated by the President of the NPSGlobal Foundation, Irma Argüello. The panelists will be the OPANAL's consultant, Dina Jimenez, the Director of Planning Division of Safeguards of the IAEA, Jill Cooley, and the Deputy Secretary of the Brazilian-Argentina Agency of Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), Odilon Marcuzzo.
  • Session 4 (February 15, 11.00 a.m.): "Cooperation and coordination between the Nuclear Weapon Free Zones", moderated by Ambassador Antonio Da Costa e Silva (Brazil). The panelists will be the Secretary of State of Kazakhstan, Kamat Saudabayev, and Ambassador Sergio Gonzalez Galvez (Mexico).
  • Session 5 (February 15, 12.30 p.m.): "Reflections on how to support the strengthening of existing NWFZ and the creation of new ones, such as the Middle East", moderated by Ambassador Gioconda Ubeda. The Panelists will be Kimiaki Kawai (Soka Gakkai International), Jonathan Granoff (Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non Proliferation and Disarmament), Akira Kawasaki (Peace Boat), Jo Dong-Joon (Republic of Korea) and Robert Zuber (Global Action to Prevent War).

The discussion of these issues will contribute to strengthening the NWFZ in Latin America and the Caribbean and to achieving the major goal that is general disarmament, but the real challenge will be, according to Irma Argüello, "to achieve that the concept of NWFZ can permeate into high conflict regions, such as the Middle East, and to get as well a nuclear risk reduction through joint commitment. No doubt, she concluded, "a free zone of nuclear weapons is a bet where everybody wins”.

 
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