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

Treaties and Conventions

Other instruments and Mechanisms

EU Documents

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)

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