Member States and the Secretary-General of OPANAL participated in the 71st Session of the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, which is exclusively responsible for discussing disarmament and other matters related to international security. The First Committee was chaired by Ambassador Sabri Boukadoum of Algeria and took place from 3 October to 2 November 2016.
On 27 October 2016, the First Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.1/71/L.41, "Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations". The draft resolution was sponsored by 34 States, 14 of them Latin American and Caribbean. The other sponsoring States were: 8 from Africa, 7 from Asia and 5 from the Western Europe and Others group.
The vote was 123 in favor (70% of those present and voting and 64% of the total membership of the United Nations), 38 against (21% and 20% respectively) and 16 abstentions (9% and 8%, respectively) . Sixteen States (8%) did not participate in the vote (see voting result).
Of the 33 Member States of OPANAL, 29 voted in favor, 2 abstained and 2 did not participate.
Of the five nuclear-weapon States recognized in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), China abstained and the remaining four voted against. The other four States possessing nuclear weapons took different positions: the Democratic People's Republic of Korea voted in favor; India and Pakistan abstained and Israel voted against.
It should be noted that six Western European and Other States - Austria, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Malta, New Zealand and Sweden - voted in favor; While three - Finland, the Netherlands and Switzerland - abstained.
The final vote in the Plenary of the General Assembly is scheduled for December 2017.
By resolution A/C.1/71/L.41, the General Assembly decided "to convene in 2017 a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination".
Paragraph 10 of said resolution states that the conference shall convene in New York from 27 to 31 March and from 15 June to 7 July, "with the participation and contribution of international organizations and civil society representatives".
The above information demonstrate the leadership of Latin America and the Caribbean in the matter, consistent with the region's pioneering decision 50 years ago to negotiate and conclude the Treaty of Tlatelolco.
In accordance with the last three Summits of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), OPANAL, in accordance with the decisions of its own Bodies, participated actively in the Open-ended Working Group that worked during 2016 in Geneva by generating ideas that led to the Resolution adopted by the First Committee. OPANAL participated in the First Committee, reinforcing the voice and determination of its Member States.
The commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco in the framework of the XXV Session of the General Conference of OPANAL and the High-Level International Seminar on Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation, on 13 and 14 February 2017, will represent an opportunity to reaffirm the leadership of Latin America and the Caribbean in international efforts to ban nuclear weapons.
Statements by Member States and the Secretary-General of OPANAL during the General Debate:
Statements by OPANAL Member States during the Thematic Debate (nuclear weapons):
See all Resolutions adopted by the First Committe of the General Assembly: