Sputnik Escalates the Cold War
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Nuclear-Free Zones

Nuclear-free zones are areas of the world where nuclear weapons are prohibited. The most prominent example of these is in Latin America and the Caribbean basin. In February 1967 the Tlatelolco Treaty (Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America) was signed in Mexico City. Subsequently endorsed by the United Nations (UN), it obligates signatory states not to acquire or possess nuclear weapons or to permit the storage or deployment of nuclear weapons on their territory. Amended to include the Caribbean basin states, it then became formally known as the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean and was ultimately signed by all thirty-three eligible states.

Other examples of self-proclaimed nuclear-free zones are the states of Finland and Sweden. When New Zealand proclaimed itself a nuclear-free zone and refused to allow U.S. ships carrying nuclear weapons into its ports, it led to the breakup of the Australian–New Zealand–United States (ANZUS) Pact.

Spencer C. Tucker


Further Reading
Robles, Alfonso Garcia. The Latin American Nuclear-Weapon–Free Zone. Occasional Paper 19. Muscatine, Iowa: Stanley Foundation, May 1979.
 

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