In his capacity as Coordinator of OPANAL in Vienna, Ambassador Antonio Roberto Castellanos López - Permanent Representative of Guatemala to International Organizations based in Vienna - delivered an statement on behalf of the Secretary-General of OPANAL during the 61st Session of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on 21 September 2017.
In the statement read by Ambassador Castellanos López, mention is made, among other aspects, of the relationship between OPANAL and the IAEA. Both International Organizations have specific roles regarding the Control System established by the Treaty of Tlatelolco. Whereas the role of OPANAL is political, the role of the IAEA is technical. The specific role of OPANAL and the IAEA, as well as their coordination, is essential for the Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in Latin America and the Caribbean, established as a consequence of the Treaty of Tlatelolco.
Since October 1972, OPANAL and the IAEA have maintained a cooperation agreement in accordance with Article 19 of the Treaty of Tlatelolco. In this way, OPANAL is invited to be represented, as an International Observer Organization, to the regular sessions of the General Conference of the IAEA. For its part, the IAEA is also invited to be represented during the sessions of the General Conference of OPANAL held every two years.
The General Conference consisting of representatives of the IAEA Member States meets in a regular annual session to consider and approve the IAEA's budget and to decide on other issues raised by the Board of Governors, the Director General and Member States.
The IAEA is an Intergovernmental Organization on scientific and technical co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In accordance with the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the treaties that establish nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs), the IAEA and States implement safeguards agreements to ensure that nuclear energy is used exclusively for peaceful uses and not for the development of nuclear weapons.