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Middle East as a Weapon of Mass Destruction Free Zone (MEWMDFZ) Presentation made by Jayantha Dhanapala President, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World.

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Presentation on theme: "Middle East as a Weapon of Mass Destruction Free Zone (MEWMDFZ) Presentation made by Jayantha Dhanapala President, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World."— Presentation transcript:

1 Middle East as a Weapon of Mass Destruction Free Zone (MEWMDFZ) Presentation made by Jayantha Dhanapala President, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs

2 Middle East

3 The BICC’s Global Militarization Index (GMI) 2012 states that the Middle East is the region with the highest level of militarization in the world. Five of the top ten countries in the GMI are situated in the Middle East: Israel (position 1), Syria (position 3), Jordan (position 5), Kuwait (position 8), and Saudi Arabia (position 10). Followed by others such as Oman (position 12), Bahrain (position 14), and the United Arab Emirates (position 17) and Iran (position 32) The SIPRI Year book 2011 states that the estimated military expenditure in the M.E. in 2010 was $ 111billion

4 Non members of key conventions Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty – Israel Biological weapons convention-Israel (Egypt and Syria are signatories but have not ratified yet) Chemical weapons convention –Egypt, Syria, (Israel a signatory but not yet ratified)

5 Brief History 17th session of the UNGA Egypt suggests nine conditions for establishing a NWFZ in the Middle East. 29th session of the UNGA Egypt and Iran introduce a resolution calling for the establishment of a NWFZ in the ME. The resolution was adopted at the UNGA by a majority of 138 members (Israel and Burma abstain) 1980 onwards no opposition to the annual resolution including Israel. 1986, Mordecai Vanunu’s disclosure of Israeli nuclear weapon capability UN Report -study on effective and verifiable measures which would pave the way for a NWFZ in the ME -Recommends CBMs & gives elements of an agreement

6 1990 UN Study - elements of a possible agreement of a MENWFZ Geographic extent –obtain the necessary broad political and legal endorsement of the zone and overcome issues of ratification through the use of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties in which parties are committed not to act in a manner that would undermine the basic objectives of the agreement. Basic prohibitions –the ban on any form of possession of a nuclear weapon by some States. Decisions will be needed on whether this ban will or will not extend to particular installations or equipment aimed at either the development or the delivery of a weapon. Verification -Procedures expanding and reinforcing present IAEA safeguards may be needed and it may be necessary to have staff dedicated to compliance problems that could arise regarding the zone.

7 1990 UN Study cont… Technical clauses -a "core group" to participate in the agreement as it is brought into force. arrangements for later accessions and for possible amendments to be made. Role of outside Powers- a commitment to respect the zone and especially to remedy any breach or threat of breach of its terms Duration and withdrawal -an unlimited duration suggested. The delay between notification of intent and the effective date of withdrawal should be as extended as can be justified. Relationship to other international agreements –Zone to be not dependent on the continued viability of any other agreement but "preambular" endorsements of NPT etc and some defined relationship to IAEA and its safeguards system. Source:http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/61ED A2E9C052567D0005C1B48

8 Developments in the 90’s 1990 President Mubarak of Egypt proposes the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. (expanding on longstanding calls to establish a NWFZ in the Middle East but to be pursued in parallel to the same) The Middle East Arms Control and Regional Stability (ACRS) talks of the Madrid peace process was the first multilateral talks to address regional security.

9 1995 NPTREC Resolution on the Middle East: The Resolution was a part of the package of decisions adopted at the NPT Review and Extension Conference in NPT May 1995 resolution calls upon all states in the Middle East to take practical steps towards “the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems”

10 Recent Developments The NPT RevCon reaffirms the goal of 1995 ME Resolution and states that the resolution is “valid until its goals and objectives are achieved.” 2006 – The WMD Commission Final Report calls for an intensification of international efforts to establish a WMDFZ in the ME The NPT RevCon endorses 5 practical steps to make progress towards the goal of establishing a WMDFZ in the ME which include convening a regional conference to discuss the issue in 2012 and appointing a WMDFZ Facilitator – IAEA Forum on NWFZ in ME concludes to establish a NWFZ in ME, CBMS, break current stalemate, etc

11 2010 NPT- Practical steps The UNSG and the co-sponsors of the 1995 Resolution, in consultation with the States of the region, will: a) convene a conference in 2012, on the establishment of a ME ZFNW and all other weapons of mass destruction. The 2012 Conference shall take as its terms of reference the 1995 Resolution; a) Appointment a facilitator, with a mandate to support implementation of the 1995 Resolution by conducting consultations with the States of the region in that regard and undertaking preparations for the convening of the 2012 Conference. The facilitator will also assist in implementation of follow-on steps agreed by the participating regional States at the 2012 Conference. The facilitator will report to the 2015 Review Conference and its Preparatory Committee meetings;

12 2010 NPT- practical steps cont. (c) Designate a host Government for the 2012 Conference; (d) Take additional steps aimed at supporting the implementation of the 1995 Resolution, including that IAEA, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and other relevant international organizations be requested to prepare background documentation for the 2012 Conference regarding modalities for a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, taking into account work previously undertaken and experience gained; (e) Take consideration of all offers aimed at supporting the implementation of the1995 Resolution, including the offer of the European Union to host a follow-on seminar to that organized in June 2008.

13 Preparations for 2012 Conference on a ME WMDFZ Conference Facilitator: Jaakko Laajava, Under-secretary of state, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland. Host country :Finland Challenges: agenda, timing, participation, conference outcome, possible postponement of the conference due to Arab spring, Iran nuclear programme, Israeli saber rattling and US Presidential election

14 Issues to be addressed What immediate arms control steps are acceptable to all regional actors? Realistically, these are the only ones that might emerge from the conference. What expert and working groups should be formed as a concrete result of the conference? What wider processes might be launched at the proposed 2012/2013 conference? What can be done to prevent 2012/2013 from being a damaging experience? What WMD-related confidence-building measures might be considered? Source:http://www.pugwash.org/reports/nw/MEWMDFZ_26Sept_FIN.htm

15 2011 Public Opinion Poll of Jewish and Arab Citizens of Israel Conducted by Brookings & Zogby International By a ratio of two to one, Israelis support an agreement that would make the Middle East a nuclear weapon free zone, including Iran and Israel, with a system of full inspections of all facilities where nuclear components are built or stored. Given a choice of two options, one where both Israel and Iran have nuclear weapons and one where neither has them, 65% of Israeli Jews support the latter while only 19% support the former.

16 Territory The 1989 IAEA Technical Study, which first took up the geographic delimitation of a future Middle East NWFZ, applied the concept to a region extending from Libya in the west, to Iran in the east, and from Syria in the north to Yemen in the south. A subsequent UN Study expanded the concept further by including all League of Arab states, plus Iran and Israel in the zone. The Arab League has officially endorsed the UN Study delimitation and Israel has raised no objection other than note that any country in the region should be publicly recognized and accepted as an integral part thereof. Suggestions of including Afghanistan, Pakistan as well as Turkey in the eventual zone have not gained any significant traction. Source :Arms Control Association, WMD-Free Middle East Proposal at a Glance

17 Thank you


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