Treaty of Tlatelolco

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Treaty of Tlatelolco
Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean
Signed 14 February 1967
Location Mexico City
Effective 22 April 1968
Condition Deposit of ratifications (Art. 29) / waiver according to Article 29
Parties 33
     Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones      NW states      Nuclear sharing      NPT only
Treaty Region Land area States In force
Antarctic Antarctica 14,000,000 km2 1961-06-23
Space Outer Space 1967-10-10
Tlatelolco Latin America
21,069,501 km2 33 1969-04-25
Seabed Seabed 1972-05-18
Rarotonga South Pacific 9,008,458 km2 13 [1] 1986-12-11
Bangkok ASEAN 4,465,501 km2 10 [2] 1997-03-28
MNWFS Mongolia 1,564,116 km2 1 2000-02-28
CANWFZ Central Asia 4,003,451 km2 5 [3] 2009-03-21
Pelindaba Africa 30,221,532 km2 53 2009-07-15
Total: 84,000,000 km2 116

The Treaty of Tlatelolco is the conventional name given to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is embodied in the OPANAL (Spanish: Organismo para la Proscripción de las Armas Nucleares en la América Latina y el Caribe, English: the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean).


Overseas states' territories in Latin American and Caribbean NWFZ
Netherlands U.K. France U.S.
Bonaire, Curaçao
Sint Maarten, Aruba
Sint Eustatius, Saba
Anguilla, Virgin Islands
Caymans, Turks & Caicos
Falklands, South Georgia
French Guiana
Guadeloupe, Martinique
St Barthélemy, St Martin
Puerto Rico
Virgin Islands

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.


Meeting in the Tlatelolco district of Mexico City on 14 February 1967, the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean drafted this treaty to keep their region of the world free of nuclear weapons. Whereas Antarctica had earlier been declared a nuclear-weapon-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.

The Latin American countries other than Cuba all signed the treaty in 1967, along with Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and all of these ratified the treaty by 1972. The treaty came into force on 22 April 1968, after El Salvador had joined Mexico in ratifying it and waived the conditions for its entry into force in accordance with its Article 28.

Argentina ratified in 1994, more than 26 years after signature, and was thus unprotected by the zone during the Falklands War.

Other English-speaking Caribbean nations signed either soon after independence from the U.K. (1968, 1975, 1983) or years later (1989, 1992, 1994, 1995), all ratifying within 4 years after signing. However, as British territories they had been covered since 1969 when the U.K. ratified Protocol I.

The Netherlands ratified Protocol I in 1971; Suriname signed the Treaty in 1976 soon after independence from the Netherlands but did not ratify until 1997, 21 years after signing. The U.S. signed Protocol I applying to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in 1977 and ratified in 1981. France signed Protocol I applying to its Caribbean islands and French Guiana in 1979 but only ratified in 1992. All five NPT-recognized nuclear weapon states ratified Protocol II by 1979.

Cuba was the last country to sign and to ratify, in 1995 and on 23 October 2002, completing signature and ratification by all 33 nations of Latin America and the Caribbean. Cuba ratified with a reservation that achieving a solution to the United States hostility to Cuba and the use of the Guantánamo Bay military base for U.S. nuclear weapons was a precondition to Cuba's continued adherence.[4]

The Mexican diplomat Alfonso García Robles received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1982 for his efforts in promoting the treaty.[5]

External links