XXV Regular Session of the General Conference
On Tuesday, February 14, 2017, the XXV Session of the General Conference of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean – OPANAL was held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico within the framework of the 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco.
The Session was attended by delegations from 26 OPANAL Member States. It was also attended by the following observers: delegations of the 6 States Parties to the Additional Protocols to the Treaty of Tlatelolco (China, the United States, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Russia); 2 delegations representing other Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones (Kyrgyzstan, from Central Asia and the Philippines, from Southeast Asia); 7 delegations of International Organizations (ABACC, CTBTO, ICRC, OAS, IAEA, the Chair of the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly and UNODA); 32 delegations of other Observer States, 10 civil society organizations and 38 special guests (see the List of Participants).
Since Mexico hosted the XXV Session, the General Conference decided that Mexico should assume the Presidency of the Session. Therefore, H.E. Dr. Luis Videgaray Caso, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico was elected by acclamation as President of the XXV Session of the General Conference.
The President of the XXV Session reported that the Secretariat received the candidacies of Argentina and Guatemala to assume the vice-presidencies of the Session. H.E. Dr. Susana Malcorra, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of the Argentine Republic, and H.E. Mr. Carlos Raúl Morales Moscoso, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guatemala, were elected by acclamation as Vice-Presidents of the XXV Session of the General Conference.
During his opening speech, the President of the XXV Session, H.E. Dr. Luis Videgaray Caso, mentioned that: El Tratado de Tlatelolco, representa una conquista de todos los países de nuestra región, a 50 años de su adopción debemos seguir siendo campeones de la paz y la seguridad internacional, nuestras sociedades aun enfrentan importantes desafíos, entre los que destacan el crimen internacional organizado, el comercio ilícito de armas y el problema mundial de las drogas, honrando nuestra mejor tradición diplomática, deberemos atenderlos de manera colectiva y coordinada.
For his part, the Secretary-General of OPANAL, Ambassador Luiz Filipe de Macedo Soares, thanked the President of Mexico, H.E., Mr. Enrique Peña Nieto, for his presence at the XXV Session of the General Conference and stated: “The conception of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean is an example of the vision of the negotiators of Tlatelolco. OPANAL not only controls compliance with the Treaty but also constitutes an instrument through which our region sets forth, beyond its boundaries, our positions concerning disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.”
Subsequently, the President of Mexico, H.E. Mr. Enrique Peña Nieto, delivered his opening address on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco and of the XXV Session of the General Conference, stating: El Tratado de Tlatelolco es una prueba patente de la eficacia y vigencia de los acuerdos multilaterales. Su esencia es clara: ningún Estado, por poderoso que sea, puede pretender imponer su voluntad en contra de los principios forjados por la comunidad internacional.” Y agregó: “Compartimos la visión de que las relaciones internacionales deben basarse en el derecho, el respeto y el diálogo. Jamás en la intimidación o el uso de la fuerza.
At the end of his speech, the President of Mexico presented to the General Conference for its Consideration the “Declaration of the Member States of OPANAL on the 50th Anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco)“.The Declaration was adopted by acclamation.
Moreover, the General Conference adopted Resolution CG/Res.01/2017 by which it was decided to re-elect, by acclamation, Ambassador Luiz Filipe de Macedo Soares as Secretary-General of OPANAL for a second term (1 January 2018 to 31 December 2021).
Finally, the General Conference adopted Resolution GC/Res.02/2017 “Vote of Thanks” by which it thanked: “the Government of the United Mexican States for the generous invitation conveyed to the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean – OPANAL – to hold the XXV Session of the General Conference, within the framework of the Fiftieth anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
The General Conference is the supreme organ of OPANAL, is composed of all the Contracting Parties, that is to say, all the 33 Latin America and the Caribbean countries; it holds regular meetings every two years and may also hold special sessions whenever the Treaty of Tlatelolco so provides or, in the opinion of the Council, the circumstances so require.