The president of the Mexican delegation to the United Nations (UN), Ambassador Alfonso Garcia Robles, explained why the Latin American nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) would represent the most ambitious regional project to address nuclear perils. He explained the security implications of the agreement, especially in terms of nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear disarmament, and negative security assurances. He also clarified that the Latin American project would benefit signatories economically. He argued that Latin American governments would not have to waste the resources necessary to engage in nuclear arms races if the region were denuclearized. Moreover, he explained that Mexico’s final aim was to achieve general and complete disarmament; thus, Mexican authorities saw the NPT as a means and not a goal on its own.
June 14, 1968
Report of the Representative of Mexico, Ambassador Alfonso García Robles, 22nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (Part Two), First Commission
This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)
Alfonso Garcia Robles explained how the Mexican delegation tried to gather the support of the Latin American countries for the NPT draft. These countries prepared and presented modifications to the NPT text, and the United States and the Soviet Union accepted some of these proposals. Garcia Robles reported that the Argentinian and Brazilian representatives said they recognized the value of the NPT but would not support it if it kept its clause prohibiting peaceful nuclear explosions. The Ambassador also reported the Soviet positive reactions toward the Treaty of Tlatelolco. Garcia Robles recounted the skepticism of some delegations toward the NPT. He recommended not to sign the NPT in 1968 unless the Soviet Union signed Protocol II of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which includes negative security assurances.
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