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.
May 16, 1968
Speech by the President of the Mexican Delegation, Ambassador Lic. Alfonso García Robles, Undersecretary of Foreign Relations, in the General Debate of the First Committee on the Topic 'The Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons', 22nd Session of the UNGA
This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)
Alfonso Garcia Robles explained Mexico’s position toward the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the Mexican delegation’s position toward the NPT draft, and a comparison between the Treaty of Tlatelolco and the NPT draft. He explained that the Mexican delegation favored the NPT draft but wanted to make minor language modifications and include an explicit reference to the UN Charter’s articles on the use of force, especially Articles 2 (IV) and 26. Garcia Robles also explained why he thought the Treaty of Tlatelolco was “superior” to the NPT draft as a response to nuclear risks. He argued that the regional treaty better addressed nuclear threats than the NPT draft because it included more constraints on nuclear powers, a more precise definition of a nuclear weapon, and a more institutionalized system of controls.
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