Facilitating the participation of Latin American and Caribbean States in the high-level fissile material cut-off treaty consultative process

From 18-20 June 2019, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), in cooperation with its Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America (UNLIREC), hosted a series of events related to the discussions on a future treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices . The workshops took place in Lima, Peru.

13 Latin American State officials working in the areas of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear security, as well as representatives from six regional/international organizations (Autonomous University of Mexico, Caribbean Community – CARICOM, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean – CELAC, NPS Global, Organization of American States – OAS, and Parliamentarians for Global Action – PGA), participated in the first of these events. The aim of which was to facilitate dialogue on the implications of a future treaty and its relationship with already existing global and regional instruments, as well as the impact a possible future treaty could have on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, in general. State representatives included Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

The second workshop brought together members of the high-level FMCT expert preparatory group, experts from regional organisations, as well as from civil society and academia, to facilitate the contribution of regional expertise and experience into these future negotiations of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. Participants also identified possible avenues to further advance this matter at the regional and international levels.

Finally, the week concluded with an in-country event aimed exclusively at national authorities from Peru from 8 governmental institutions (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Peruvian Institute of Nuclear Energy, Peruvian National Police, among others). As in the previous two workshops, national officials were provided with an overview on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and insights were given on the respective work of the Conference on Disarmament, UN General Assembly and the (2014-2015) Group of Governmental Experts and (2017-2018) High Level Group of Experts. This national event finalized with a discussion on possible elements to be included in a future treaty and on the relevance of such a treaty to Latin American arms control efforts.

The workshops are made possible with financial support from the European Union pursuant to Council Decision 2017/2284 “to provide support to States in the African, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and Caribbean regions to participate in the high-level fissile material cut-off treaty expert preparatory group consultative process”. The three-year project is being implemented by the Geneva Branch of UNODA. The project activities comprise a series of Regional Workshops, expert meetings as well as in-country visits, carried out in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean in cooperation with UNODA’s three Regional Centres.

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