From 3-7 December 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Plurinational State of Bolivia hosts the OPANAL's Course on Disarmament and Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In this second edition, the OPANAL's Course is conducted by H.E. Mr. Sergio De Queiroz Duarte, President of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs and former United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. The Course, held in the Tiwanaku Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia, is addressed to officials from the Ministry of Defense, the National Police, the Ministry of Energy, the Academy of Sciences and the San Calixto Observatory, among other Bolivian institutions.
The opening of the Course was attended by the H.E. Ms. Carmen Almendras, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia, and H.E. Mr. Luiz Filipe de Macedo Soares, Secretary-General of OPANAL, who presented his lecture entitled "Nuclear Weapons and Strategic Balance".
Vice Minister Almendras recalled that "Bolivia reiterates the manifestation of deep concern expressed by the countries of America and the Caribbean, given the imminent danger posed by the existence of nuclear weapons, a danger that is becoming increasingly serious, increasing every day". Moreover, the Vice Minister Almendras said:
We celebrate the conference "Nuclear Weapons and Strategic Balance" at a time when the existing arsenals in the world reach approximately 15 thousand nuclear warheads and in circumstances in which the United Nations General Assembly declared 26 September as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
We reaffirm that respect, dialogue, non-interference in internal affairs, as principles of international relations, can turn into the best fight against intimidation or the use of force that still threatens the harmony of the international concert.
Education is an ideal mechanism to create global awareness and avoid the manufacture, production, acquisition, use or deployment of nuclear weapons.
In his opening remarks, the Secretary-General of OPANAL recalled the functions of the Agency, of which all the 33 States of Latin America and the Caribbean are Members:
1. Maintain the Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in Latin America and the Caribbean, through the Control System of the Treaty of Tlatelolco.
2. Work, in accordance with the Treaty of Tlatelolco, to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons, and
3. In support of the two previous points, to educate the region on the problem raised by nuclear weapons.
The OPANAL's Course organized in La Paz is part of the Agency's efforts to disseminate to public opinion, in general, the terrible danger posed by the mere existence of nuclear weapons and that these are an obstacle to the democratization of international relations. As mentioned by the Secretary-General of the Agency, nuclear weapons are not only military instruments, but also have the basic function of power, "of intimidation".
Finally, the Secretary-General recalled that:
OPANAL is the only intergovernmental organization dedicated entirely to the achievement of nuclear disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Bolivia is a Party to the Treaty of Tlatelolco and a member of OPANAL, and therefore has the commitment to contribute, to the extent possible, to put an end to the arms race, especially the nuclear one, and to keep its national territory free of nuclear weapons.
In an interview for the Agencia Boliviana de Información Secretary-General mentioned that the Courses organized by OPANAL, in collaboration with its Member States, serve:
to raise awareness, to mainly inform and are addressed to diplomats, military, journalists and all people who have an activity that is related in some way to the issue of nuclear weapons. It is an innovative initiative because -although this type of meetings are evidently carried out in other countries- there is a deficit of information on the matter.
The first OPANAL's Course on disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons was held in 2017 in Montevideo, Uruguay. It is expected that in 2019, another Member State of the Agency will host a new edition of the Course. The program of the Course, conducted by Ambassador Sergio De Queiroz Duarte, is as follows:
The origin of nuclear weapons
The context of the Cold War
- Nuclear arms race
- Relations between superpowers
Treaty of Tlatelolco
- “Missile Crisis” (October 1962, Cuba)
- Initiatives in the United Nations General Assembly – 1962
- Joint Declaration for the denuclearization of Latin America (issued by the Heads of State of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico on 29 April 1963)
- The decision to negotiate the Treaty: Preliminary Meeting on the Denuclearization of Latin America (REUPRAL), 23-27 November 1964
- Negotiation of the Treaty: Preparatory Commission for the Denuclearization of Latin America (COPREDAL), March 1965 to February 1967
Structure of the Treaty of Tlatelolco
- Control System
- Additional Protocols I and II to the Treaty
- Signature and Ratification
- Interpretative declarations
- Bodies of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL)
Recent participation of the Member States
- Declarations issued by OPANAL and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)
Nuclear disarmament at the global level
- Multilateral initiatives
- United Nations General Assembly
- Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee (ENDC, 1962-1969) - Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (CCD, 1969)
- First Special Session of the General Assembly devoted to Disarmament (SSOD I, 23 May-1 July 1978) - Final Document
- Committee on Disarmament (1979) - Conference on Disarmament (CD, February 1984)
- United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC)
- Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)
Major themes on nuclear disarmament
- Fissile material
- Negative security assurances
- Outer space
Nuclear weapons and International Humanitarian Law
- International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Initiative
- Humanitarian Conferences: Oslo, Nayarit, and Vienna
- Humanitarian Pledge
- Activities of non-governmental organizations
- Public opinion and nuclear disarmament
- Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation education
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime
- Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT):
- Entry into force
- NPT structure
- Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
- 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference
- 2010 NPT Review Conference
- 2015 NPT Review Conference
- Themes of the NPT Review Conference
- Implementation of the NPT provisions on nuclear disarmament (Article VI), as well as international peace and security
- NPT provisions on non-proliferation, safeguards and nuclear-weapon-free zones
- Inalienable right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes
Concept of a nuclear-weapon-free zone
- Establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the States of the region concerned (1999)
Treaties that establish nuclear-weapon-free zones
- South Pacific (Treaty of Rarotonga, 1985)
- Southeast Asia (Treaty of Bangkok, 1995)
- Africa (Treaty of Pelindaba, 1996)
- Central Asia (Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia, 2006)
- Status of Mongolia as a nuclear-weapon-free State (1992)
Conferences of nuclear-weapon-free zones and Mongolia
- I Conference of States Parties and Signatories to Treaties that establish nuclear-weapon-free zones and Mongolia, Mexico City, 2005
- II Conference of States Parties and Signatories to Treaties that establish nuclear-weapon-free zones and Mongolia, New York, 2010
- III Conference of States Parties and Signatories to Treaties that establish nuclear-weapon-free zones and Mongolia, New York, 2015
Establishment of future nuclear-weapon-free zones
- Northeast Asia
- Establishment of a zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East (ME-WMDFZ)
- Other United Nations initiatives
Current situation of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation policy and perspectives
Evaluation of participants
- Recommended bibliography for the Course.
With information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Plurinational State of Bolivia and ABI.