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Documents

April 19, 1968

Memorandum for Presidential Approval

The memorandum explains the directions that the Mexican president gave to the Mexican delegation. The president’s instructions were to modify the text of the NPT in order to increase support for the treaty, act as a bridge among dissenting opinions in Latin America, and prevent disruptions to the Treaty of Tlatelolco.

May 31, 1968

Compilation of Comments on the Treaty of Tlatelolco Formulated during the General Debate of the First Committee on the Topic of the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Excluding Those of the Representative of Mexico...)

This memorandum is a compendium of comments about the Treaty of Tlatelolco made by different delegations at the UN. It includes statements by the delegates from the United States, Brazil, Ireland, Ethiopia, Austria, Italy, Pakistan, El Salvador, Mauritania, Iraq, Greece, Spain, Tanzania, Zambia, the Netherlands, Argentina, Venezuela, Sierra Leone, Canada, Jordan, Ecuador, Guyana, Colombia, Malta, Panama, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and Peru, in that order.

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

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.

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

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.

October 11, 1967

Statement by the President of the Mexican Delegation, Ambassador Lic. Alfonso García Robles, Undersecretary of Foreign Relations, in the General Debate of the 22nd Session of the UNGA

Alfonso Garcia Robles announced the success of the negotiations drafting the Treaty of Tlatelolco and its opening for signatures. He recounted the expressions of support and admiration for the treaty from different authorities, especially from U Thant, the UN Secretary-General, who hoped the Treaty of Tlatelolco would serve as an example and an impetus for similar efforts. He also explained that the Treaty of Tlatelolco managed to balance two fundamental goals: preventing the proliferation of nuclear arsenals and guaranteeing access to peaceful uses of nuclear technologies.

November 9, 1966

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 Theme 'The Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons'

Alfonso Garcia Robles used his address to describe the progress in the negotiations of the Treaty of Tlatelolco. For him, this treaty included the most ambitious definition of nuclear weapons compared to existing nuclear governance texts. Another innovation was the reliance on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s safeguard system to monitor compliance. Garcia Robles also explained that Latin American delegations were almost in consensus about the Treaty of Tlatelolco text except for a couple of issues. Countries did not agree on defining the territory where the treaty would apply and when it would enter into force. The Ambassador also took this opportunity to explain the Latin American efforts to obtain negative security assurances from China. Moreover, he reminded delegates that the success of the NPT would depend on balancing obligations for nuclear and non-nuclear-weapon states. Mexican representatives argued that it was necessary to include more ambitious disarmament goals in the draft of the NPT. However, they rejected proposals to condition the approval of the NPT on the existence of concrete steps toward disarmament

October 29, 1965

Speech by the President of the Mexican Delegation, Ambassador Alfonso García Robles, Undersecretary of Foreign Relations, in the General Debate of the First Committee on the Topic 'The Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons'

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.

November 30, 1967

Guidelines for the Czechoslovak Delegation attending the Eighteen Nation Committee on Disarmament in 1967

The final instructions for the Czechoslovak delegation en route to Geneva for the ENDC in November 1967.  The treaty was mostly finished by this time; only the final details remained. Denunciation of US foreign policy and prevention of West Germany’s nuclear weapon acquisition reappear in these instructions.

August 2, 1963

Antonín Gregor, 'Explanatory Memorandum [on the Limited Test Ban Treaty]'

A report produced by the Czechoslovak foreign ministry in August 1963 recommending the ratification of Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT).  One of the key goals of early Czechoslovak engagement in the ENDC was to reject a nuclear test ban, based on their rejection of any verification measures. However, once the Soviets agreed to the LTBT with the US and the United Kingdom, the Czechoslovak foreign ministry praised the agreement and attacked those (such as China) who resisted the measure. One interesting aspect of the treaty was the proposed role of depositary powers. The document indicates that the Soviets were interested in being a depositary power to the LTBT in order to prevent ratification by governments not recognized by the USSR, most notably West Germany and the Republic of China. The issue of depositary powers reappeared later on, in the NPT as well.

May 1963

Undated, untitled memorandum on Soviet-US Negotiations for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

An undated memorandum, produced most likely in the late spring of 1963 (most likely in May) that outlines Soviet thinking on the most recent discussions with US representatives on the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. The memorandum is crystal clear that the key goal for Soviet negotiators was to avoid West German control over nuclear weapons. This is why Moscow opposed the idea of a Multilateral Nuclear Force. However, Soviet officials also admitted that it was better to agree to a treaty that did not explicitly prohibit a multilateral nuclear force as long as their US counterparts committed not to let West German authorities have an authoritative role in authorizing nuclear-weapon use

Pagination