Alfonso García Robles
The Nobel Peace Prize 1982
Born: 20 March 1911, Zamora, Mexico
Died: 2 September 1991, Mexico City, Mexico
Residence at the time of the award: Geneva, Switzerland
Role: Diplomat, delegate to the United Nations General Assembly on Disarmament, former Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Prize motivation: “for their work for disarmament and nuclear and weapon-free zones”
Prize share: 1/2
Alfonso García qualified as a lawyer and held a diploma from the Academy of International Law in the Hague. He embarked on a long career as a diplomat, including various posts at the UN headquarters in New York.
After the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, Garcia Robles played a key part in the laborious efforts to make Latin America a nuclear-free zone, which led to an agreement signed by 14 states in Mexico City in 1967.
When the agreement had been concluded, García Robles continued his work for peace. He participated in the formulation of the non-proliferation agreement for nuclear arms of 1968, and figured prominently in the UN's special sessions on disarmament. He was also Mexico's Foreign Minister for a little over a year.
But it was as a diplomat that García Robles achieved his greatest triumphs. The last time he visited the UN Headquarters, he was lauded as “Mr. Disarmament”.