The  Heads  of  State  and  Government  of  Latin  America  and  the  Caribbean, gathered in  Quito, Ecuador,  on  occasion  of  the 4th Summit  of  the  Community  of  Latin  American  and  Caribbean States (CELAC), on January 27th, 2016:

1. Reaffirming our commitment to the consolidation of  Latin America and the Caribbean as a “Zone of Peace” proclaimed during the Second  CELAC  Summit  held  in  La  Havana, Cuba,  on  January  29th,  2014,  where  it  was  declared  the  continuous  obligation  of  the States  in  the  region  to  promote  nuclear  disarmament  as  a  primary  objective  and  to contribute  to  the  complete  and  general  disarmament  as well  as to strengthening trust among nations;

2. Reiterate  the  validity  and  relevancy  of  the  CELAC  Declaration  on  Nuclear Disarmament adopted   in   Buenos   Aires,   Argentina,   on   August 20th ,   2013;   the Havana Special Declaration  on  Nuclear  Disarmament , of January  29th 2014; as  well  as  the CELAC Special  Declaration on  the urgent  need of  a  Nuclear  Weapon  Free  World, issued  in Belen, Costa Rica, on  January 29th , 2015;


3. Reiterate the value and contribution to international peace and security of the Treaty for the  Prohibition  of  Nuclear  Weapons  in  Latin  America  and  the  Caribbean  (Treaty  of Tlatelolco) and its protocols, which established the first Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in a densely populated area,  and  we express, again, our  full  support  to  the efforts  of  the Agency for  the  Prohibition  of  Nuclear  Weapons  in  Latin  America  and  the  Caribbean (OPANAL), and   in   that regard,   we   reaffirm   the   importance   of   collaboration   and cooperation  between CELAC  and  OPANAL, specialized  body  of  the  region, in  order  to articulate  common  positions  and  joint  work  on  nuclear  disarmament. We celebrate  the twenty fifth  anniversary of the Brazilian-Argentine  Agency  for Accounting  and Control  of Nuclear Materials-ABACC-and stress the importance and pioneering of this initiative of transparency and confidence building;

4. Identify as a legitimate interest of the non-Nuclear-Weapons States, that nuclear weapons States give unambiguous and legally binding guarantees to not use nor threaten to use such weapons.  We  urge  to  adopt,  as  soon  as  possible,  a  universal  and  legally  binding instrument  regarding negative security assurances. We urge nuclear weapons States to withdraw the interpretative declarations to Protocols I and II of the Treaty of Tlatelolco and to respect the denuclearized status of Latin America and the Caribbean;

5. Emphasize  our condemnation  to  the  enhancement  of  existing  nuclear weapons  and  the development  of  new  types of  nuclear weapons,  which is  inconsistent  with  the  obligation of adopting effective measures towards nuclear disarmament;

6. Recall  our  deep  concern For the  threat  to  humanity  caused  by  the  ongoing  existence  of nuclear  weapons,  their  use  or  the  threat  of  their  use, due  to the potential  damages  on health,  food  security,  climate  change,  among  others,  as  well  as  the  lack  of  capacity  of countries  and  organizations  to  face  a  humanitarian  catastrophe  of  such  magnitude. We recall  the  results  of  the  Conferences  on  the  Humanitarian  Impact  of  Nuclear  Weapons held  in  Oslo,  Nayarit  and  Vienna  and we  declare  that such weapons  must  not  be  used again,  under  any  circumstances,  and  that  the  use  or  threat  of  use  of  nuclear  weapons constitutes a violation of the United Nations Charter, a violation of International Law and International  Humanitarian Law, and  a  crime  against  humanity;  and,  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. We also recall that the International Court of Justice expressed itself in this regard in its Advisory Opinion of 1996;

7. In this regard, we note that during the Community Summit held in Belén, Costa Rica, on January 28Th and 29th, 2015, the Heads of State and Government of CELAC endorsed the Austrian Pledge, now the Humanitarian Pledge. We welcome its endorsement by 121 States  and, Therefore , CELAC  urges  States  that  have  not  endorsed the  Humanitarian Pledge to do so;

8. We  are  committed  with  the  beginning  of  a  multilateral  diplomatic  process  for  the negotiation  of  a  legally  binding  instrument  for  the  prohibition  and  elimination  of  nuclear weapons  in  a  transparent,  irreversible  and  verifiable  manner,  within  a multilaterally a greed time frame, As it  was  proposed  in the  Third  Conference  on the  Humanitarian Impact of  Nuclear  Weapons, held in  Vienna  in  December 2014. Such  instrumentis  a necessary  measure  on  nuclear  disarmament  and  would  fulfill  the  obligation  of  States Parties to the NPT, as stated in Article VI of the Treaty. It is  the intention of the CELAC Member  States  to  start  exploring concrete  and  practical  ways  in  which  this  instrument could be negotiated and adopted as soon as possible;

9. Regret  the continued  non-Fulfillment of  the  obligations of  the nuclear-armed  States relating to nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear  Weapons  (NPT)  and  the  commitments  of  the  NPT Review Conferences.  We recall  that  the  NPT  does  not  establish  any  right  to  the  indefinite  possession  of  nuclear weapons  by  any  state,  but  recognizes  a  transitional  status,  subject  to  compliance  with Article VI;

10. Reiterate,  on  the  twentieth  anniversary  of  the  Comprehensive  Nuclear -Test -Ban  Treaty (CTBT),  the vital importance and urgency of the entry into force of  that Treaty and urge those  countries  listed  in  Annex  II  that  have  not  done  so,  to  sign  or  ratify  this  important international  instrument  as  soon  as  possible.  We  also  underline  the  urgent  need  for progress on this and other effective measures of nuclear disarmament, so to give effect to Article VI of the NPT ;

11. In  this  regard, we welcome  the  establishment  of the  Open  Ended  Working  Group in accordance  with resolution A/RES/70/33 approved  on December  7Th by the  United Nations  General  Assembly, which will convene in  Geneva  in  2016, and  wepledge to work in said forum in  an  active  and  constructive  manner, in  accordance with  the Latin American and  the  Caribbean  political  and  moral  leadership  on  this  subject, in  order  to contribute  towards  the  fulfillment  of  the  Group’s  mandate  to substantively address effective   and concrete measures, dispositions and   legal regulations that   will   be necessary  to adopt with  a  view to  the  urgent  approval of a  comprehensive  convention providing for the prohibition and total elimination of nuclear weapons and to establish and maintain a nuclear free world.

 Quito, January 27th, 2016.