51st Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco

Communiqué of the Member States of

the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL)

on the 51st Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco

14 February 2018


  1. Commemorate the 51st Anniversary of the adoption of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean – Treaty of Tlatelolco;


  1. Remember that, throughout five decades, the Treaty of Tlatelolco has guaranteed that the Region of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as vast areas of the high seas adjacent to their territories, are kept free of nuclear weapons, without prejudice to the inalienable right of the States to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes; this Treaty is respected by the six States Party to the Additional Protocols, those being China, France, the Netherlands, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America;


  1. Stress that the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which created the first Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in a densely populated area, has served as a source of inspiration for four other regions in the world; and consider also that the Treaty and the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) are an important endowment of the international community and a political, legal and institutional reference for the creation of other nuclear-weapon-free zones, on the basis of agreements freely arrived at by the States of the concerned region;


  1. Stress that militarily denuclearized zones do not constitute an end in themselves, but rather a highly relevant intermediary step towards the realization of nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament under effective international control;


  1. Reiterate their conviction that the establishment of militarily denuclearized zones is closely related to the maintenance of peace and security in the respective regions and that the military denuclearization of vast geographical zones, adopted by sovereign decision of the States comprised therein, has exercised a beneficial influence on other regions;


  1. Emphasize that the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones promote peace and stability at the regional and international levels by prohibiting the possession, acquisition, development, testing, manufacturing, production, stockpiling, deployment and use of nuclear weapons;


  1. Stress the importance of cooperation among the States Party to the Treaties of Rarotonga, Bangkok, Pelindaba and Central Asia, which established nuclear-weapon-free zones and Mongolia;


  1. Call on Nuclear Weapon States that issued interpretative declarations to Additional Protocols I and II to the Treaty of Tlatelolco which are contrary to the spirit of the Treaty, to examine them together with OPANAL with the objective of revising or eliminating them in order to provide full and unequivocal security assurances to the States forming the Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone in Latin America and the Caribbean; and to respect the militarily denuclearized character of the region;


  1. Express that, pending the achievement of nuclear disarmament, the legitimate interest of the non-nuclear-weapon States, among them all the States Members of OPANAL are included, to receive the unequivocal and legally binding guarantee of non-use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against them from the part of the nuclear-weapon-States; and also urge that efforts be made towards negotiating and adopting, within the shortest possible term, a universal and legally binding instrument on negative security assurances;


  1. Recall their participation in the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which prohibits the development, testing, acquisition, stockpiling, possession, transfer, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;


  1. Consider that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, as well as the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), once in force, will add to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco) and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on the path to the elimination of these weapons of mass destruction in a transparent, verifiable, and irreversible manner and within a clearly defined timeframe;


  1. Note that these four Treaties establish norms of International Law that are legally-binding on the States which signed and ratified them; these legal instruments are not mere declarations of intention, nor can they automatically produce the disappearance of nuclear weapons; however, they are a suitable legal basis for the process aimed at eliminating all nuclear weapons forever;


  1. Reiterate their commitment to participate (April-May 2018) in the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which represents an excellent opportunity to consider the principles, objectives and channels that promote the full implementation of the Treaty;


  1. Express the importance of participating in the United Nations high-level international conference on nuclear disarmament to review the progress made in this regard, convened through Resolution 68/32 of the General Assembly;


  1. Emphasise their concern over the international situation that is characterised by, inter alia, the resumption of nuclear tests, programmes for the modernization of nuclear arsenals, the potential creation of new types of nuclear weapons delivery systems and by the growing threat of possible use of nuclear weapons amid tensions, armed conflicts and terrorism threats; this happens in a context in which there still remain States possessing nuclear weapons, many of which are on high alert status;


  1. Ratify the commitment endorsed in the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, to continue to promote nuclear disarmament; moreover, based on the principles of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, maintain their decision to contribute to the consolidation of peace based on the sovereign equality of States, mutual respect and good neighbourliness, on the peaceful settlement of disputes, on the non-use or threat of use of force, on the right of self-determination, on territorial integrity, and on the non-intervention in internal affairs;


  1. Emphasise the valuable contribution that the Summer School on Nuclear Disarmament and Non Proliferation for Latin American and Caribbean Diplomats organized by the Government of Mexico, the fourth edition of which took place in 2017, offers to education and to the promotion of the values, actions and goals of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation through training new defenders of nuclear disarmament in the Region.