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Posted November 02, 2003 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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HAVANA, Nov. 1 (Xinhuanet)—Cuba will host next week the 18th period of ordinary sessions of the Organization for the Prohibition of Nuclear Arms in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL), OPANAL Secretary General Chilean Edmundo Vargas said Saturday.

  Vargas told reporters that the meeting, to be held at Havana’s Conventions Palace on Wednesday and Thursday, will mark an important step in the implementation of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America (Treaty of Tlatelolco).

  During the meeting the region will be declared as the first nuclear-arm-free zone in the world.

  Vargas termed Cuba’s adherence to the Treaty of Tlatelolco lastyear as a token of Havana’s political will to strengthen the regional efforts for a safer world.

  Signed in 1967 in Mexico, the Treaty of Tlatelolco has become one of the international prestigious legal instruments for disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear arms.

  150 delegates from the signatories of the Treaty of Tlatelolco and the United Nations are expected to attend the Havana meeting. Among the participants will be representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Arms and the Latin American Energy Organization.

@@The meeting aims to set common policies in terms of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as to devise mechanismsto strengthen the international regime for these effects, according to the meeting’s official program.

@@In addition, relations with the five nuclear powers of the world—the United States, Russia, France, Britain and China—will be examined, in order to revise the declarations made on the occasion of the ratification of additional protocols years ago.

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