OPANAL’s Course on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation


Day 1


The origin of nuclear weapons

The context of the Cold War

  • Nuclear arms race
  • Relations between superpowers


Treaty of Tlatelolco

Immediate background

  • “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)
  • 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 Tlatelolco

  • Preamble
  • Objectives
  • Control System
  • Additional Protocols I and II to the Treaty
  • Signature and Ratification
  • Interpretative declarations

Treaty operation

  • 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 by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)


Day 2

Nuclear disarmament at the global level

Nuclear disarmament

  • Multilateral initiatives
  • United Nations General Assembly
  • Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament (ENCD, 1962-1968) - Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (CCD, 1969-1978)
  • First Special Session of the General Assembly devoted to Disarmament (I SSOD) - Final Document
  • Conference on Disarmament (CD, 1978)
  • 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
  • Conferences on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons: Oslo, Nayarit, and Vienna
  • Humanitarian Pledge
  • Activities of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
  • Public opinion and nuclear disarmament
  • Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation education


Day 3

Nuclear non-proliferation regime

  1. Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT):
  • Drafting
  • Adoption
  • Entry into force
  1. NPT structure
  2. Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
  • 1995 Review and Extension Conference 
  • 2010 NPT Review Conference
  • 2015 NPT Review Conference
  1. Themes of the NPT Review Conferences
  • 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-weapons-free zones
  • Inalienable right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes


Día 4

Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones

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 and Mongolia

  • 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 the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia

  • I Conference of the States Parties and Signatories to Treaties that establish nuclear-weapon-free zones and Mongolia, Mexico City, 2005
  • II Conference of the States Parties and Signatories to Treaties that establish nuclear-weapon-free zones and Mongolia, New York, 2010
  • III Conference of the 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


Day 5


Current situation of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation policy and perspectives

Evaluation of the participants

  • Recommended bibliography