‘Strong UN Commitment’ to Nuclear-free Middle East Conference


Human Wrongs Watch

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reaffirmed his strong commitment to convene a United Nations-sponsored Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction in Helsinki, Finland, in mid-December.

Ban (right) with Amb. Laajava, Facilitator for the 2012 Conference on the Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Ban on 11 October met with the Finnish Under-Secretary of State, Jaako Laajava, the Conference Facilitator, who briefed him on the preparations and prospects for convening the meeting after his talks this week in Cairo with senior representatives from the UN, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the League of Arab States, the UN reported.

UN secretary-general underlined the importance of the Conference, which is a unique opportunity for all States of the region to collectively enhance their security. “He urges all States of the region to participate in it,” a statement issued by Ban’s spokesperson said.

To Be Attended by All States

The May 2010 review meeting of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – which takes place every five years – called for a UN-sponsored conference in 2012 to establish a nuclear-free Middle East to be attended by all States in the region.

Ahead of the 2010 meeting, Ban had called for the number of nuclear-weapon-free zones to multiply and ultimately span the globe.

“My goal – our goal – is to make the whole world a nuclear-weapon-free zone,” he stated, calling such zones the “success stories of the disarmament movement.”

Currently, there are five such zones: Latin America and the Caribbean; the South Pacific; South-East Asia; Central Asia; and Africa.

Read also:

Middle East Nuclear Free Bid Moves to Finland – Yet Another Lost Chance?

Nuclear Free Middle East “High Priority”

Nuclear Free Middle East — Necessary Yet Impossible

Middle East — France’s Fuzzy Face on Nuclear Abolition

Israel-U.S. vs Iran: Two (Nuke) Haves Against One Have-Not

Will Israel Attack Iran … Really? 

 2012 Human Wrongs Watch

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