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Treaty of Tlatelolco
- In a world that too often seems dark and ominous, the Treaty of Tlatelolco will shine like a beacon. This treaty is a practical demonstration to all humanity of what can be accomplished when sufficient dedication and the necessary political will exists.
- United Nations Secretary-General U Thant, 1969
The Treaty of Tlatelolco is the conventional name given to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Meeting in the Tlatelolco district of Mexico City on 14 February 1967, the nations of Latin America drafted this treaty to keep Latin America and the Caribbean free of nuclear weapons. Whereas Antarctica had earlier been declared a nuclear-weapons free zone under the 1961 Antarctic Treaty, this was the first time such a ban was put in place over such a vast, populated area.
Under the treaty, the states parties agree to prohibit and prevent the "testing, use, manufacture, production or acquisition by any means whatsoever of any nuclear weapons" and the "receipt, storage, installation, deployment and any form of possession of any nuclear weapons."
There are two additional protocols to the treaty: Protocol I binds those overseas countries with territories in the region (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands) to the terms of the treaty. Protocol II requires the world's declared nuclear weapons states to refrain from undermining in any way the nuclear-free status of the region; it has been signed and ratified by the USA, the UK, France, China, and Russia.
The treaty also provides for a comprehensive control and verification mechanism, overseen by the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL), based in Mexico City.
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