The Zone of Peace and Cooperation of the South Atlantic
(ZPCSA) was established in 1986, by the Resolution 41/11 of the United Nations General Assembly. It is composed of 24 countries on the margins of the South Atlantic Ocean: South Africa, Angola, Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Equatorial, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Uruguay.
For the preservation of peace in the South Atlantic, it is imperative that the region remains as a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. The ZPCSA countries´ commitment to this purpose was formalized in the Treaty of Tlatelolco, the Antarctic Treaty and the Treaty of Pelindaba – which establish nuclear weapons-free zones in, respectively, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Antarctic continent and Africa. These commitments also contribute to strengthening initiatives within the United Nations framework aimed at the establishment of a Nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Southern Hemisphere and Adjacent Areas.
Since its inception, seven ZPCSA Ministerial Meetings have been held:
- Rio de Janeiro (1988);
- Abuja (1990);
- Brasília (1994);
- Somerset West (1996);
- Buenos Aires (1998);
- Luanda (2007);
- Montevideo (2013).
The Ministerial Meeting of Montevideo aimed mainly to revitalize ZPCSA and involved the participation of almost every country in the region. To strengthen the initiative, reinforcing its institutional framework, a Contact Group was established to monitor the implementation of the decisions reached in Montevideo and coordinate on issues relevant to the zone of peace and cooperation. The group is composed of countries that have hosted Ministerial Meetings and Cape Verde, host of the next meeting.
Through the Declaration of Montevideo, the ZPCSA countries have agreed to maintain annual meetings during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to review the progress attained and decide on future actions.