Latin America and the Caribbean and the CTBT

The Executive Secretary of the CBTO, Mr. Tibor Tóth, visited Mexico City on 14 February, to participate in the 40th anniversary of Latin America and the Caribbean declaring itself a nuclear-weapon free zone. On 14 February 1967, the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco) was adopted and opened for signature.

In his address, the Executive Secretary emphasized that "the Treaty of Tlatelolco provides us with an example of true success and progress" with regards to "encountering the prevailing threat of nuclear proliferation and the continuous lack of progress in nuclear disarmament." Due to "the good example given by the Contracting States of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, practically the entire Southern hemisphere is now free of nuclear weapons."

The Executive Secretary appealed to "all Contracting States of the Treaty of Tlatelolco to support the CTBT and the upholding of the norm against nuclear testing." In particular, he appealed to "those Contracting States that are already committed under Article 1 of the Treaty of Tlatelolco to prohibit and prevent the testing of any nuclear weapons who have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty."

"It is a unique feature of the participatory and democratic CTBT verification regime that it empowers each States Signatory to make its own judgment about ambiguous events, the Executive Secretary said. In this respect the CTBT enables States, regardless of their size and wealth, to fully participate in the verification work and to benefit from the wealth of data provided by the monitoring system."

The Executive Secretary also met with Ambassador Edmundo Vargas Carreño, the Secretary-General of OPANAL (the Organisation for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean), and with Ambassador Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo, the Under-Secretary of External Relations of Mexico.

Of the 33 countries in the treaty geographically defined region of Latin America and the Caribbean, 28 have signed and 24 have ratified the CTBT.

The countries that have not signed the treaty are Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.
The countries that have signed but not ratified the treaty are: Bahamas, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Guatemala. Of these, Colombia is one of the 44 countries listed in Annex 2 of the Treaty, whose ratification is required for the entry into force.