OPANAL participated in Seminar on Fostering Cooperation and Enhancing Consultation Mechanisms Among the Existing Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones

Nur-Sultan, August 28-29, 2019. The Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) participated in the “International Seminar of Representatives of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones”, with the purpose of fostering cooperation and enhancing the mechanisms of consultation between them.

The event was attended by representatives of the 5 existing nuclear-weapon-free zones –Latin America, Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific– in addition to Mongolia, as a state free of nuclear weapons; as well as officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and members of civil society.

During the first day, representatives and organizations made initial remarks. Then there was time allocated for discussion and exchange of ideas. The Secretary-General of OPANAL, Ambassador Luiz Filipe de Macedo Soares, sent a video message addressed to the participants, in which he mentioned that:

“…it is fundamental that, on the eve of the NPT Review Conference, the members of nuclear-weapon-free zones, the majority of the UN membership, reaffirm their position on the most important issues related to nuclear weapons.”

As President in turn of the OPANAL Council, Ambassador Aníbal Cabral Segalerba, presented a series of practical proposals to improve cooperation and coordination between the zones. These include:

• To reaffirm the common position of the States belonging to the free zones and Mongolia
• To adopt arrangements to promote permanent and effective collaboration between zones
• To explore the possibility of drafting and presenting joint resolutions at the United Nations General Assembly
• To explore the possibility of promoting a new comprehensive study on the issue of nuclear-weapon-free zones in all its aspects
• To promote greater cooperation and dialogue with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs
• To improve the preparatory process and the coordination of future conferences of nuclear-weapon-free zones, etc.

On the second day, the “Nazarbayev Prize for Nuclear Weapon Free World and Global Security” was awarded to the best and most distinguished in the field of nuclear disarmament and global security. The recipients of this prize were: the late IAEA Director-General, Yukiya Amano and the CTBTO Executive Secretary, Lassina Zerbo. The conclusions of the seminar will contribute to the preparations for the Fourth Conference of Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zones, which will take place on April 24, 2020, at the United Nations headquarters, and whose organization is under the coordination of Mongolia, pursuant to Resolution 73/71.

Read the full text of the OPANAL statement