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CELAC issues declaration after summit in Dominican Republic

DOMINCAN REPUBLIC (DNA) – The Heads of State and Government of Latin America and the Caribbean, gathered in the Dominican Republic, on occasion of the Fifth Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), on January 25, 2017; 1. Reaffirm our commitment to the consolidation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a “Zone of Peace,” proclaimed during the II CELAC Summit held in Havana, Cuba, on January 29th, 2014, which includes the commitment of the States of the region to continue promoting general, complete and nondiscriminatory nuclear disarmament as a priority objective. 2. We reiterate our deep concern for the threat to humanity that the existence, use, and threat of use of nuclear weapons, as well as their humanitarian impact, and we strongly emphasize that they must not be used under any circumstances, and that the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons constitute a crime against humanity and a violation against International Law, including Humanitarian International Law as well as the United Nations Charter, thus, the only effective guarantee against the use or the threat of use of nuclear weapons is their total prohibition and elimination in a transparent, verifiable and irreversible manner and within a clearly defined timeframe. 3. We emphasize our condemnation of the perfecting of existing nuclear weapons and of the development of new types of these weapons, which is inconsistent with the obligation to adopt effective measures in favor of nuclear disarmament. 4. We urge the States who possess nuclear-weapon to fulfill their unequivocal obligations to eliminate their nuclear arsenals, under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and the commitments arising from the NPT Review Conferences. We reaffirm that the NPT does not establish any right to the indefinite possession of nuclear weapons by any State, since the Treaty establishes a transitional status. 5. We welcome the upcoming celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, to be held at the ministerial level in Mexico City, on February 14, 2017, within the framework of the XXV Session of the General Conference of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL), this meeting will reaffirm the support and the cooperation between its member States to continue working jointly towards the Nuclear Disarmament at the world level following the mandate of the Heads of State and Government of CELAC

We reaffirm the importance of collaboration and cooperation between CELAC and OPANAL. 7. We call for the adoption, in the least amount of time possible, of a universal and legally binding instrument in matters of negative security assurances. We urge the States who possess nuclear weapons to withdraw the interpretative declarations made to Protocols I and II of the Treaty of Tlatelolco and to respect the denuclearized nature of Latin America and the Caribbean. 8. We welcome the adoption of Resolution No. 71/258 of the United Nations General Assembly [A/C.1/71/L.41], in light of which it is decided, among other aspects, to convene, in 2017, a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument, that prohibits nuclear weapons, and leads towards their total elimination. We also encourage the active participation of all CELAC Member States in this multilateral process. 9. We commit to active participation of the region in the High-Level International Conference of the UN General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament in 2018, convened by Resolution No. A/ RES/68/32. 10.We celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials-ABACC-, the only global binational system for accounting and control of nuclear material, and we underscore its importance in safeguard matters, as well as in terms of transparency, dialogues and trust building.

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