Latin American and Caribbean Nuclear Weapons Free Zone takes top disarmament award – Argentina and New Zealand win silver
Hamburg/Geneva/New York – 23 October 2013: The “Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean” (a.k.a. the “Treaty of Tlatelolco”) was today proclaimed winner of the 2013 Future Policy Award for sustainable disarmament, beating 24 other nominated policies to the prize. The award will be presented at a ceremony this evening at UN Headquarters by the World Future Council, the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
Silver awards were granted to Argentina’s “National Programme for the Voluntary Surrender of Firearms” and New Zealand’s “Nuclear Free Zone, Arms Control, And Disarmament Act” whilst four additional disarmament policies from Belgium, Costa Rica, Mongolia and Mozambique/South Africa were recognised as Honourable Mentions.
The “Treaty of Tlatelolco” (1967) won the Gold Award for its invaluable contribution to advancing regional peace and security as well as creating a precedent and inspiration for subsequent Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones. The nuclear arms race and the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis had prompted Latin American governments to begin a process which would ensure that the region would never again become the scene of a nuclear conflict. These efforts culminated in the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which established the first NWFZ in a highly populated area.
As one of the architects of the Treaty, Mexico’s Nobel-Prize-winning Ambassador Alfonso Garcia Robles explained: “It provides profitable lessons for all States wishing to contribute to the broadening of the areas of the world from which those terrible instruments of mass destruction that are nuclear weapons would be forever proscribed.”
Chair of the World Future Council, Jakob von Uexkull noted how the Future Policy Award
“highlights the importance of best practice in lawmaking and identifies outstanding examples of regulatory vision. It demonstrates that, when public and political will meet, positive change can happen. We now need to work to spread such best policies across the planet.”
It is the only award which honours policies rather than people on an international level.
Anders B. Johnsson, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, remarked in addition, “Democracy cannot exist without peace. Citizens everywhere are struggling for both in a world rife with all kinds of conflict. Courageous leadership on disarmament that forges new paths to a brave, new and peaceful world is desperately needed. This Future Policy Award is an opportunity to inspire others to take that critical bold first step. We hope they take it.”
The UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, concluded, “This year’s Future Policy Award underscores how progress in disarmament—especially nuclear disarmament—can deliver global benefits for sustainable development. While the honoured recipients will receive special recognition, the real winners are the citizens of our common planet. I hope the Award will inspire new progress in this field. When disarmament moves forward, the world moves forward. ”
The World Future Council will now work to spread such best policies around the world by assisting policy-makers in their development and implementation.
World Future Council Phone: +49 40 30 70 914-16 UNODA Phone: +1 212 963 3022 IPU Phone: + 41 22 919 4158
Media & Communications
Fax: +49 40 30 70 914-14
Information and Outreach
New York 10017
Fax: +1 917-367-0339
5, Chemin du Pommier
Fax: + 41 22 919 4160
World Future Council
Phone: +49 40 30 70 914-16
Phone: +1 212 963 3022
Phone: + 41 22 919 4158