Tlatelolco Treaty : France concludes an amended Small Quantity Protocol

France is party to both protocols to the Treaty aiming at prohibitin nuclear weapons in Latin American and the Caribbean (Tlatelolco treaty). With the signature of this trilateral agreement between France, the IAEA and the European Atomic Energy Community, France will be a nuclear weapon State with an amended Small Quantity Protocol into in the region covered by the Treaty. As of October 2016, 44 States had an amended SQP into force.


On Wednesday 13 September, France represented by its Governor Ms. Anne Lazar-Sury, the International Atomic Energy Agency, represented by its Director General Yukiya Amano, and the European Atomic Energy Community, represented by the Ambassador Didier Lenoir, signed an amended agreement on Small Quantities of nuclear materials (amended SQP).

Reminders on the Tlatelolco Treaty

It is in Tlatelolco (district of Mexico), that has been signed on 14 February 1967 the Treaty aiming at prohibiting nuclear weapons in Latin America, which title was modified in 1990 to be expended to the Caribbean.
Though the Tlatelolco Treaty, State Parties undertake to use exclusively for peaceful purposes the nuclear material and facilities which are under their jurisdiction, and to prohibit and prevent in their respective territories:
• The testing, use, manufacture, production or acquisition by any means whatsoever of any nuclear weapons, by the Parties themselves, directly or indirectly, on behalf of anyone else or in any other way; and
• The receipt, storage, installation, deployment and any form of possession of any nuclear weapon, directly or indirectly, by the Parties themselves, by anyone on their behalf or in any other way.

The region covered by the Treaty shall include solid land and the territorial sea of the State Parties. The notion of nuclear weapon is a device considered to be able to provoke a thermonuclear explosion, which excludes other nuclear devise such as ships or submarine propulsion devices, and also radioactive waste.

With 33 State Parties to it, the Tlatelolco treaty now covers the whole Latin America and Caribbean islands.

France and the Treaty

France is a State party to the two protocols to the Treaty aiming at prohibiting nuclear weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Tlatelolco Treaty). Additional Protocol I, ratified by France in 1992, forces the States that are not part of the region but with sovereign rights on territories situated in the Zone of Application of the Treaty to apply the commitments of the Treaty in these territories.

Consequently, France concluded with the International Atomic Energy Agency (AIEA) and the European Atomic Energy Commission a tripartite agreement related to the implementation of safeguards dedicated to the non-diversion of nuclear materials for military uses, in the framework of the Tlatelolco Treaty. This tripartite safeguards agreement includes a “small quantity protocole” (SQP) which ratifying was authorized by the Parliament in 2004. This agreement, which covers French Guyana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy, was approved by the Board of Governors on 11 June 1998 ; it was signed in Vienna on 21 March 2000 by the Representative of the Government of the French Republic and by the IAEA Director General and on 26 September 2000 by the representative of the European Community Atomic Energy. It entered into force in October 2007.


The amended Convention on Small Quantity of nuclear materials

Established in 1971 by the IAEA, this SQP aims at suspending the application of most of the detailed provisions of safeguards agreements so long as the quantity of nuclear materials in the State (or especially here in the concerned French territories) does not exceed certain limits. The Board of Governors, stating at the request of the Director General, nevertheless estimated that the Agency needed, to be able to draw the required conclusion regarding safeguard implementation, to re-establish the obligation for any State that has signed an SQP to deliver a certain number of information to the IAEA. IT was thus decided in 2005 to propose to each concerned Member State a modified version of the SQP.

The present agreement enables the amendment to the protocols of the tripartite agreement related to the implementation of the safeguards agreement in the framework of the Tlatelolco Treaty in order to integrate the modified version of the SQP. The present agreement does not give any new competency to the IAEA but only restores the application of some provisions of the tripartite agreement for which the IAEA has competency on, according to its status and specific competency according to the agreement of 21 March 2000 (examination of information related to existing or planned nuclear facilities, initial declaration of nuclear materials, on site inspections).

With the signing of the agreement, France will be in agreement with the decision of the IAEA Board of Governors from 2005 and will become a Nuclear Weapon State with an amended SQP into force in the region covered by the Tlatelolco Treaty. As of October 2016, 44 States had an SQP into force.


Nuclear disarmament cannot be declared, it must be built.

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Dernière modification : 20/12/2017

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