15.11.2022 – From November 8 to 10, 2022, the OPANAL Course on Disarmament and Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guatemala.
The fifth edition of the Course, hosted by the Government of Guatemala, through the “Doctor Jorge García Granados” Academy of Diplomacy, was attended by 20 officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Defense, the Rafael Landívar University and the National Strategic Studies in Security Institute.
The opening ceremony was attended by the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Roberto Palma Urzúa, and the Director of the Academy of Diplomacy, Ambassador Herbert Meneses. In his opening remarks, the Vice Minister highlighted the importance of educational activities on nuclear disarmament, considering the collateral damage to humanity and the environment that cause these weapons of mass destruction.
The Secretary General of OPANAL, Ambassador Flávio Roberto Bonzanini, in his welcoming videomessage, recalled that “we live in very troubling times where great power competition, geopolitical challenges, and the increase of nuclear risks seeks to diminish our lives and livelihoods as we know it. It is for this reason, that it is important to raise awareness among the public about the terrible danger posed by the mere existence of nuclear weapons and the obstacle it constitutes to international peace and security.”
During the three days of the course given by the OPANAL Secretariat, the participants had the opportunity to learn about the origin of nuclear weapons, the Treaty of Tlatelolco, the nuclear non-proliferation regime, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the history of nuclear nuclear weapons, nuclear-weapon-free zones, multilateral efforts to ban nuclear weapons, gender and intersectionality in nuclear weapons.
The OPANAL Course on Disarmament and Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is an initiative of the Agency in the field of education that emerged in 2014 with the aim of preparing cadres in Latin America and the Caribbean on disarmament issues, and in line with Resolution 73/59 of the United Nations General Assembly entitled “United Nations Study on Education for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation”.
From 2017 to 2019, four editions of the Course on Disarmament and Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons were held: in Uruguay, Bolivia, Guatemala and Nicaragua. The fifth edition is the first Course to be held after the COVID-19 pandemic.