Unveiling of plaque commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco

"Aquí en Tijuana empieza la Zona Libre de Armas Nucleares de la América Latina y el Caribe"

"Here in Tijuana begins the Nuclear Weapons Free Zone of Latin America and the Caribbean"

On 18 November 2016, within the framework of the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, in the border city of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, Ambassador Luiz Filipe de Macedo Soares, Secretary-General of OPANAL, unveiled a commemorative plaque with the legend:

Here in Tijuana, the most northwestern municipality of all Latin America, begins the Nuclear Free Zone of Latin America and the Caribbean, which extends to the farthest southern extreme of the Continent. As established by the Treaty of Tlatelolco in 1967, within this 80 million square kilometer region there are no nuclear weapons nor will there ever be.

Aquí en Tijuana, el municipio más al noroeste de toda Latinoamérica, comienza la Zona Libre de Armas Nucleares de la América Latina y el Caribe, que se extiende hacia el extremo sur del Continente. Por el Tratado de Tlatelolco de 1967, en esta región de 80 millones de kilómetros cuadrados no existe, ni habrá jamás, armamento nuclear.

"The 33 member states decided almost 50 years ago, on 14 February 1967, that will never be nuclear weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean. That decision became law through the signature of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, known as the Treaty of Tlatelolco, by all the 33 States", the Secretary-General said during the ceremony.

"That idea contains three elements", the Secretary-General added. "The first is the realization that nuclear weapons are a force that can destroy human civilization. The second is the value of giving up any possibility of having such weapons and of seeking peace and security by the law and reason, and not by force. The third is the political decision to demand the total elimination of such weapons of mass destruction throughout the planet."

The Secretary-General also noted: "We are at the northernmost point of an immense space of more than 20 million square kilometers where more than 600 million human beings live free of nuclear weapons. Our presence here is a political gesture and gesture of hope that beyond this border nuclear weapons will cease to exist."

The ceremony in which the plaque commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco was unveiled took place at Tijuana Delegation on the border between Mexico and the United States. The event was attended by Dr. Jorge Enrique Astiazarán, Mayor of Tijuana; Ms. Marina Montenegro, Delegate of Beaches of Tijuana; Mr. Nereo Ordaz Anzurez, General Director of Soka Gakkai International of Mexico; Mr. Roberto Espinosa Mora, Representative of the Tijuana Office of the Mexican Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC); Mr. Rick Wayman, Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; Ms. Bettina Hausman, President of the United Nations Association of San Diego; Ms. Joanne Tawlis, Commissioner at UNESCO and founder of the Art Miles Mural Project; Dr. Robert Dodge, President of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR); Dr. Rafael Velázquez Flores, President of the Mexican Association of International Studies (AMEI); as well as academics and executives from the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC).

At the end of the ceremony, the Secretary-General and the rest of the participants took part in the panel "Nuclear Disarmament and Human Security", held at the Law Faculty of the Autonomous University of Baja California.

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