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A WMD Free Zone in the Middle East (March 2014)
© IISS/Barbara Saporiti
Overview of the latest EU official documents and publications of the Consortium regarding the European Union support for a WMD Free Zone in The Middle East
Inspired by the 1995 Barcelona Declaration, and following on from the successful EU Seminar on ‘Middle East Security, WMD Non-proliferation and Disarmament’ in Paris in June 2008, the Council of the European Union decided in December 2010 to provide means for the organisation of a follow-up event designed to provide assistance for the establishment of a WMDFZ in the Middle East. The first EU Non-Proliferation Consortium Seminar on the Middle East was subsequently held in Brussels on the 6th and 7th July 2011. The 2011 Middle East Seminar proved a great success, and following participants’ strong encouragement for the EU’s continued involvement in the process towards the establishment of a WMDFZ in the Middle East, the EU Council decided in July 2012 to sponsor the organisation of a follow-up seminar. The second EU Non-Proliferation Consortium Seminar “to Promote Confidence Building and in Support of a Process Aimed at Establishing a Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Means of delivery in the Middle East”, took place in Brussels on the 5th and 6th November 2012. The two events were promoted in various international fora, namely the United Nations General Assembly First Committee and the Preparatory Committee to the 2015 NPT Review Conference. As stated by Ambassador Jacek Bylica at the general debate of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly First Committee in New York on 7 October 2013, “the EU strongly supports the outcome of the 2010 NPT review conference on the Middle East and has made concrete efforts aimed at its implementation. In addition to sponsoring two seminars on a WMD Free Zone in the Middle East in 2011 and 2012, we stand ready to further support the process.”
UN and NPT Review cycle Documents
- Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, Geneva, 22 April – 03 May, 2013
- First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, Vienna, 30 April - 11 May, 2012
- AIEA Fifty-fifth General Conference Report on “Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East”, 2 September 2011
- UN Secretary General Report on “the Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East”, A/65/121(PART I)/ADD.1, A/65/121(Part II), July 2010
- UN Secretary General Report, on “the Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East”, A/64/124 (Part I) and A/64/124 (Part II), July 2009
- UN Secretary General Report, on “the Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East”, A/63/115 (Part I) and A/63/115 (Part I) Add.1 , July 2008
- 2010 NPT Review Conference Final Document, 28 May 2010
- UN Disarmament Commission Report, “Guidelines and principles for the nuclear-weapon-free zones”, 6 May 1999
- 1995 NPT Review Conference Final Document, May 1995
- UN Secretary General Study on “Effective and Verifiable Measures which Would Facilitate the Establishment of a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East”, 10 October 1990
- IAEA Report “Technical Study on Different Modalities of Application of Safeguards in the Middle East”, 29 August 1989
Treaties and Conventions
- Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, 8 July 2005
- International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, 13 April 2005
- Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, 29 September 1997
- The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), 10 September 1996
- African Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba), 11 April 1996
- Convention on Nuclear Safety, 17 June 1994
- Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC), 13 January 1993
- Convention on Assistance in Case of Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, 26 September 1986
- Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, 26 September 1986
- Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM), 26 October 1979
- Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, 10 April 1972
- Treaty on The Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), 12 June 1968
- Geneva Protocol, 17 June 1925
Other instruments and Mechanisms
- 2012, July 23: EU Council adopted Decision 2012/422/CFSP, “in support of a process leading to the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East”, and decided to provide a follow-up Conference to the 2011 Seminar.
- 2011, October 17: Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, welcomed the UN Secretary General nomination of Facilitator Jaakko Laajava and Finland as host government for the 2012 Conference.
- 2011, July 6-7: EU Seminar held in Brussels to “Promote confidence building and in support of a process aimed at establishing a zone free of WMD and means of delivery in the Middle East”.
- 2010, December 13: EU Council adopted Decision 2010/799/CFSP, “in support of a process of confidence building leading to the establishment of a zone free of WMD and their means of delivery in the Middle East, and in support of the implementation of the EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction”. The Decision included the organization of a follow-up event related to the 2008 EU Seminar on “Middle East Security, WMD Non-Proliferation and Disarmament”.
- 2010, July 26: EU Council Decision 2010/430/CFSP established a European Network of independent non-proliferation think tanks (EU Non-proliferation Consortium), in support of the implementation of the EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
- 2008, December 8-9: Council endorsement of "New lines for action by the European Union in combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems".
- 2008, July 13: Joint Declaration of the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean.
- 2003, December 12: Adoption by the EU Council of the EU Strategy against proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
- 1995, November 27-28: Barcelona Declaration adopted at the Euro-Mediterranean Conference, , establishing a multilateral cooperation between EU Member States and 12 Mediterranean non-member countries (Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey).
Publications of the Consortium
Interactive map of the region (as of November 2012)
The purpose of this interactive map is to provide a country-by-country overview of the Implementation Status of Non-proliferation Measures in the Middle East. For the purposes of this map the working definition of the geographic area delineated by the “Middle East region” is taken to be that established by the 1991 report of the UN Secretary-General, “Effective and Verifiable Measures which would Facilitate the Establishment of a Nuclear-weapon-free Zone in the Middle East”, namely, the Member States of the League of Arab States, along with Iran and Israel. Other conceptions of the potential demarcation of a zone exist, such as that provided by the 1989 IAEA study “Technical Study on Different Modalities of the Application of Safeguards in the Middle East”, which takes the region as including “the area extending from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in the west, to the Islamic Republic of Iran in the east, and from Syria in the north to the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen in the south.” The geographic delimitation of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East thus remains a subject of debate, which should normally ultimately be resolved by agreement of the States concerned.
Chronology (1962 – 2012)
A parallel overview of both the major milestones in the diplomatic process working towards the establishment of a WMDFZ in the Middle East and other related non-proliferation instruments.
Seminar I Background Papers (July 2011)
Seminar I Other Documents (July 2011)
Seminar II Background Papers (November 2012)
Seminar II Other Documents (November 2012)