Events

Launching a non-governmental White Paper by PIR Center, Moscow in co-operation with Centre russe d’etudes politiques, Geneva and UNOG Library.

Experts

  • Affiliation : Representative of the Secretary General for Disarmament and Regional Security and the Director of Disarmament and Multilateral Relations at the League of Arab States
  • Affiliation : Director, Department for non-proliferation and arms control, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
  • Position : Consultant
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
  • Affiliation : United States Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation
  • Affiliation : Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister of Egypt
complete list

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Paving the Way for the WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East

27.05.2013

MOSCOW, MAY 27, 2013. PIR PRESS – “One. The United States supports the goal of creating a nuclear- and WMD-free-zone in the Middle East. It will be difficult but it is achievable. Two. The United States supports the convening of a conference in Helsinki to begin such a discussion and such a process. This is also difficult, much less difficult, and it could happen very rapidly, provided the states of the region are prepared to engage each other directly into terming an agenda,” - US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas Countryman.

On April 25, 2013 PIR Center with the support from its European branch Centre russe d'études politiques and the United Nations Office at Geneva Library held a presentation of its White Paper “Ten Steps towards a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone in the Middle East” as a side event of the Second Preparatory Committee to the 2015 NPT Review Conference. The event was held in the framework of PIR Center project “Russia and the Middle East: promoting strategic interests” supported by Gorchakov Foundation for Public Diplomacy.

PIR Center President Vladimir Orlov, PIR Center Internet Project Director Andrey Baklitsky, Director of the Department for Security Affairs and Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Mikhail Ulyanov,  Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister of Egypt Sameh Aboul-Enein,  Director of Disarmament and Multilateral Relations at the League of Arab States Wael Al-Assad, United States Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas Countryman were presenting their ideas on the issue. The discussion moderator was UNOG Chief Librarian David Chikvaidze. Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, UN Under Secretary-General and Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament  Kassym-Jomart Tokayev made an opening speech.

One of the aims of the presentation was getting the comments on White Paper proposals from the decision-makers. PIR Center ideas as well as the factual material were highly evaluated. “In this respect, I welcome the PIR Center’s contribution to the collective reflection process, with practical suggestions that merit review and study in support of the NPT”, - noted  the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Another object of the event was to highlight the process of working on the creation of WMD-free-zone in the Middle East, which was interrupted after a failed attempt to convene a conference in Helsinki in December 2012. Despite the large number of discrepancies, all the speakers agreed that the goal remains in place and the work should be continued. The US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas Countryman clearly stated the United States’ position regarding the issue: “One. The United States supports the goal of creating a nuclear- and WMD-free-zone in the Middle East. It will be difficult but it is achievable. Two. The United States supports the convening of a conference in Helsinki to begin such a discussion and such a process. This is also difficult, much less difficult, and it could happen very rapidly, provided the states of the region are prepared to engage each other directly into terming an agenda.”

The White Paper “Ten Steps towards a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone in the Middle East” is available through the link

More on the subject you can find at the website of Nasha Gazeta.сh (in Russian) and Washington Post.

For more information on the PIR Center’s project “Russia and the Middle East: promoting strategic interests” please contact our Project Coordinator Alexander Kolbin by phone +7 (495) 987 19 15 or e-mail kolbin at pircenter.org

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