Today marks the 51st anniversary of the opening for signature of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, also known as the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which in 1967 created the first nuclear-weapon-free zone in a densely populated region, as well as the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL).
Under the Treaty of Tlatelolco, each of the 33 Latin American and Caribbean states are obligated to keep their territory entirely free of nuclear weapons, and they commit not to develop, acquire or stockpile these weapons of mass destruction. By banning nuclear weapons, our region took a big step towards preserving international peace and stability while promoting global nuclear disarmament.
The standard set by the Treaty of Tlatelolco has been replicated in other regions of the world, which have established their own nuclear-weapon-free zones. In 2017, the commitment to nuclear disarmament became a global one for the first time, thanks to the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Mexico actively promoted this treaty and was one of the first countries in the world to sign and ratify it.
In recognition of the Treaty of Tlatelolco’s global impact, the 1982 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Mexican Ambassador Alfonso García Robles, who promoted and led the negotiations for its adoption. The treaty, one of the greatest achievements of Mexican diplomacy, entered into force on April 25, 1969.
In October 2016, UNESCO’s Regional Memory of the World Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean included the Treaty of Tlatelolco in its Memory of the World Programme as documentary heritage of global value.
Mexico is the Depositary State of the Treaty of Tlatelolco and, as such, has the duty of safeguarding the original treaty, which can be found in the Foreign Ministry’s treaty vault. Mexico is also the headquarters of OPANAL, whose mandate is to ensure observance of the Treaty of Tlatelolco.