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Summary Article: García Robles, Alfonso from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Mexican politician and peace negotiator, ‘father of the Tlatelolco Agreement’. Alfonso García Robles was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1982 with Swedish politician Alva Myrdal for twenty years of work on disarmament and his patient and methodical negotiations. His major contribution to peace was the Treaty of Tlatelolco, an international agreement prohibiting nuclear weapons in Latin America.

From 1962 until 1964 he was ambassador to Brazil and from 1964 to 1970 state secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was during this time that he played a crucial role in implementing the agreement on a denuclearized zone in Latin America. This was initially instigated by President Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Mexico's president, as a response to the Cuban missile crisis and was concluded at Tlatlelco on 12 March 1967. It was largely due to García Robles's diplomatic skills that the agreement was successfully adopted and signed by 22 nations.

García Robles also played a major role in UNO's disarmament programmes and represented Mexico at negotiations in Geneva. He was also prominent in the special UNO disarmament sessions, especially the first in 1978, at which he acted as coordinator and was instrumental in the adoption of the final document.

His publications include Seis Anos de la Poli(acute)tica Exterior de Mexico/Six Years of Mexican Foreign Policy (1976), La Conferencia de Revision del Tratado Sobre la No Proliferacio(acute)n de las Armas Nucleares/The Review Conference on the Nonproliferation Treaty (1977), and 338 Dias de Tlatelolco/338 Days of Tlateloco (1977).

García Robles was born in Zamora, Michoacan, Mexico. He studied law at the University of Mexico graduating in 1933, moving to Paris, France, to take a French law degree in 1937, then to the Netherlands for another law degree in 1938. In 1939 he joined the Mexican foreign service, taking up various positions in the embassies, the United Nations, and in Mexico until his death in 1991.

© RM, 2016. All rights reserved.

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