First Committee of the 76th UN General Assembly

The Secretary General of OPANAL participated in the First Committee of the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations.

New York, 12 October 2021.- The Secretary of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL), Ambassador Flávio Roberto Bonzanini, participated in the General Debate of the First Committee of the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations. The First Committee is responsible for discussing exclusively issues on disarmament and other issues related to international security, and takes place from 4 October to 4 November 2021 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, under the restrictions related to COVID-19, with limited in-person and remote representation. 

In his speech, delivered by video message, Ambassador Bonzanini highlighted the lack of progress in the area of nuclear disarmament and the clear indications of nuclear-armed States towards this common goal. Likewise, the Secretary General referred to the work of the XXVII OPANAL General Conference, where three resolutions of great relevance for the Member States were adopted:

  • Memorandum of Understanding with the African Commission on Nuclear Energy: “[This] resolution approves the Memorandum [which] contributes to fostering cooperation and collaboration between the nuclear-weapon-free zones established by the Treaty of Tlatelolco and the Treaty of Pelindaba.
  • Internship program at the Secretariat: “Recognizes the enormous contribution of interns to the work of OPANAL by establishing a paid internship program, beginning in January 2022, to pay a nominal sum to all our interns regardless of their nationality.
  • Gender, nonproliferation and disarmament: “Through this resolution, the 33 Member States recognize the valuable contribution of women in the region in the promotion of disarmament, nonproliferation and arms control. It also promotes the incorporation of a gender perspective and supports the equal, full and effective equal, full and effective participation of women in the Agency, its organs and programs.

The Secretary General highlighted that:

With these actions, OPANAL Member States reaffirm their historic commitment to work towards a world free of nuclear weapons by including new perspectives and promoting joint efforts beyond our region.

Read the full text of the statement, here

Watch the full video message, here

Likewise, within the framework of the work of the First Committee, on October 15, 2021, the Secretary General participated in the event “Panel discussions and exchanges with independent experts and other high-level officials”, where he spoke about the importance of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and International Law, as well as about the resolutions adopted within the framework of the XXVII General Conference of OPANAL. In addition, he called on the Member States of the United Nations, which are also States Parties to the Treaties that establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones, to redouble their efforts to agree on a date for holding the IV Conference of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia in 2022.

Read the full text of the statement, here