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Costa Rican Tasked With UN Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons

The Costa Rican ambassador to the UN, Elayne Whyte, posing with Costa Rica’s Chancellor, Manuel González (right), and Max Tegmark. (Photo Elayne Whyte)

Q COSTA RICA – A Costa Rican has the responsibility on her shoulders to push forward an international treaty that prohibits the use of nuclear weapons across the globe and punishes countries that violate.

That Costa Rican is Elayne Whyte Gómez, Costa Rica’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN), who was acclaimed by more than 120 countries to preside this year the UN Conference to negotiate a treay banning nuclear weapos and the elimination of arsenals of weapons of mass destruction.

The UN Conference, that will run until July 7, kicked off in New York city on June 15.

“It is obviously a very complex issue, but Costa Rica has a great moral authority on the subject of disarmament, and has worked historically on concrete proposals for legal instruments of treaties on the subject of disarmament. Defiant and a great responsibility. The country presented its nomination in New York, and on February 16 the Conference appointed me as president,” the diplomat told La Nación in San Jose before leaving for the conference.

From UNWebtv

Whyte explained the main purpose of the UN Conference is to oblige the signatories of the treaty to “never, under any circumstances, develop, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess or store nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, as well as use nuclear weapons or perform atomic weapons tests “.

The United States, along with Russia, United Kingdom, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel that today have nuclear weapons would be obliged to destroy them.

The UN Conference was created last December by a resolution of the UN General Asembly. Since then, the Costa Rican ambassador said the country have managed to take steps to make her think of a successful outcome during the July negotiations.

According to the diplomat, this Conference has the structure to avoid any attempt at a block by countries that are against the initiative.

“What we have is a Conference on Disarmament, whose agenda has had no agreement for 20 years because decisions are taken by consensus, which is why the resolution is so valuable that for the first time in the field of disarmament, it allows decisions to be taken by vote,” Whyte said.

However, Whyte will need more than a regulation to overcome the obstacles she will face. The ambassador must first weaken a bloc that, formed since the beginning of this year, by several of the countries believed to possess the atomic bomb.

At the start of the Conference last Thursday, Whyte said, “As we enter this final phase of the conference, I am confident that with the necessary political will, we can achieve the goal to complete, as soon as possible, a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons leading toward their total elimination.”

“Everyone represents their country, but [we are] united together in the historic commitment that we recognize that we have … convinced as we are of the moral imperative that brings us here,” said Whyte.

Neither the U.S. nor any other nuclear power is taking part in the conference.