26/07/2023 – From July 24 to 26, 2023, the OPANAL Course on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation took place in Guatemala, hosted through the “Antonio José de Irisarri” Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The sixth edition of the Course brought together diplomats and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of National Defense, Rafael Landívar University, National Institute of Strategic Studies on Security, and the Diplomatic Academy. Over the course of three days, participants had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge on key topics related to international peace and security, such as the origins of nuclear weapons, the Treaty of Tlatelolco, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, nuclear-weapon-free zones, international humanitarian law, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and gender and intersectionality in nuclear weapons.
The opening ceremony was attended by Ambassador Mónica Eunice Escobar García, Deputy Director General for Multilateral and Economic Affairs. In her welcome remarks, the Deputy Director reaffirmed Guatemala’s commitment to nuclear disarmament and disarmament education.
The Secretary-General of OPANAL, Ambassador Flávio Roberto Bonzanini, conveyed his gratitude to the Government of Guatemala for their warm welcome and support in organizing this significant event. He also emphasized the crucial role of the participants in strengthening the region’s commitment to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
The participant were honored by presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mario Adolfo Búcaro Flores, at the closing ceremony of the Course, who recalled his role as a representative to OPANAL during his tenure in Mexico and reaffirmed his country’s commitment to OPANAL’s work in disarmament education activities. He also congratulated the participants for their dedication and commitment throughout the course, emphasizing the significance of their role as future leaders in the pursuit of a world free from nuclear weapons.
Furthermore, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Roberto Palma Urzúa, who presented the diplomas to the participants, highlighted the relevance of disarmament in the current geopolitical context and underscored the importance of the OPANAL in promoting peace and security in the region.
The OPANAL Course on Nuclear Disarmament and Nuclear Non-Proliferation is one of the Agency’s initiatives in the field of Disarmament Education, aiming to prepare professionals in Latin America and the Caribbean on disarmament matters, in accordance with the resolution CG/E/Res.01/2022 adopted by the XXVII Special Session of the OPANAL General Conference, in line with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on “Study on United Nations Disarmament Education and Non-proliferation.” Since 2017, six editions of the OPANAL Course on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation have been conducted, three of which have taken place in Guatemala City.