The sixth edition of the Summer School on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation for diplomats from Latin America and the Caribbean was held from 6 to 17 July 2020, with the participation of over 70 diplomats from 25 countries of the region. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all the activities and presentations were held virtually through a videoconference platform.
Since 2012, the Summer School has been organized by the Secretariat for Foreign Affairs of Mexico and the Institute Matias Romero, in close collaboration with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) – Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL). The objective of the course is to train diplomats from Latin America and the Caribbean in topics related to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
The Summer School had the participation of renowned scholars and practitioners, including the following:
- Izumi Nakamitsu, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.
- Ambassador Rafael Grossi, Director-General of the IAEA.
- William C. Potter, Founding Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS).
- Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen, President Designate of the Tenth NPT Review Conference
- Ambassador Flavio Roberto Bonzanini, Secretary-General of OPANAL
- Alejandro Alday, Director-General of the Institute Matías Romero
- Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
- Masako Wada (Hibakusha, survivor of the atomic bombing in Nagasaki).
In his opening remarks, the Secretary-General, Ambassador Flavio Roberto Bonzanini, underlined that the summer school represents “a significant contribution of our region to the UN Resolution 73/59 ‘United Nations study on disarmament and non-proliferation education’”. The Secretary-General also participated in the panel on “The role of Nuclear Weapons Free Zones” held on Friday 10 July, where he spoke about the importance and continued relevance of the Treaty of Tlatelolco.
He concluded by recalling the participants that “…the Treaty of Tlatelolco and OPANAL remain as benchmarks of good practices and lessons learned for the rest of the nuclear-weapon-free zones in the world, as well as for the processes aimed at creating new nuclear-weapon-free zones…”
Additionally, the Secretary-General and the staff officers of OPANAL presented a video of some of the day-to-day tasks and duties carried out in the Agency.
The Summer School ended on July 17th with a presentation from the students addressing the most severe threats to the nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament regime and the was to stem them.
Participants of the Summer School also were granted access to the education platform of the Institute Matías Romero to continue expanding their knowledge in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.