The participation of a number of members of the Council in the third meeting of the Committee of Wise men of the League of Arab States on arms control and nuclear non-proliferation issues
In the period of (25-26) January 2017, the Committee of Wise men of the League of Arab States on Arms Control and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Issues met in Amman, Jordan, under the chairmanship of Prince Turki Al-Faisal, to complete its deliberations which began in Cairo on December 8, 2016, and on 9 and 10 January 2017 with the participation of its members:
· Minister Khaled Touqan, Chairman of the Jordanian Atomic Energy Commission.Sheikh / Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa from Bahrain.Ambassador Dr. Mounir Zahran, Chairman of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs ,Ambassador Mohammed Shaker, member of the Board of Directors of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs.Ambassador Mahmoud Karem, Member of the Board of Directors of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Wael Al Assad, Director of the Arab League Office in Vienna, Dr. Ayman Khalil, Director of the Institute of Security Studies, Amman Dr. Mohamed Al-Shara, Atomic Energy Authority, Baghdad.
The Committee adopted the report of its second meeting, which was held in Cairo on 9th -10th of January 2017, including the topics related to the Arab League’s plan of action in the coming years, until the NPT Review Conference 2020, it includes the technical and legal recommendations on research and research centers, the information plan, the Arab nuclear fuel cycle, the establishment of ARABATOM, the Arab nuclear plants to be established for peaceful purposes, and the preparatory committees for the 2020. Its initial session is expected to be held in Vienna in May 2017.
The Committee took note of the work undertaken by the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States to implement the recommendations of the second meeting of the Committee of Wise men on the communication between the league and the United Nations through the Secretaries-General of the two organizations and the Committee’s agreement to receive the organizers of the Middle East Conference, which was postponed in 2012 contrary to what was decided at the 2010 conference. The efforts to convene failed to organize the 2015 Review Conference, which in turn failed, and now attempts are being made to save the 2020 Conference by the efforts of the organizers of that Conference (the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia) to meet with the Committee of Wise men. Peter Jones, Director of the Department of Security of the British Foreign Office, agreed to receive the Committee of Wise men to them on the evening of 25 January 2017 in Amman.
The Committee stressed on the importance of coordination and communication with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who had previously been asked on the 2010 Review Conference to select the Facilitator and to invite the Conference on the Middle East in consultation with the depositary and concerned parties to identify their intentions after the failure of the Helsinki Conference. The Committee considered the mandate of the Secretary-General of the Arab League in consultation with the Secretary-General in accordance with requirements of the phase, At the end of its meeting, the Committee recommended the following:The need to adhere to the previous terms of reference on the denuclearization of the Middle East and other weapons of mass destruction represented in the resolution of the 1995 Review Conference and adherence to the mandate agreed upon at the 2010 Review Conference because there is no alternative.The confidentiality of the work of the Committee should be maintained, and an information plan should be developed to include it in the framework of the Committee’s recommendations, which should be prepared at the fourth meeting in late February 2017.On the proposal of Ambassador Mounir Zahran, on the need to communicate with Iran to inform it of the meeting of the Committee with the representatives of the depositary countries, to encourage them to inform the Arab side of the contacts with Iran in this regard, the Committee recommended the importance of communication with Iran on matters related to the convening of the postponed Middle East Conference to encourage it to notify the Arab States of similar contacts.Rejection of the attempt by the deposited countries to arrange an Israeli meeting with a limited number of Arab countries for direct bilateral talks, in order to avoid splits in Arab positions.Refusing to hold countries deposited in Egypt or Arab countries responsible for thwarting the 2015 NPT Review Conference.The importance of strengthening and supporting the Committee of Senior Arab Officials on the issue of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction as the only official Arab body entrusted with dealing with this issue.The Chairman of the Committee informed the members of the request of the European Union Disarmament Officer, Mr. Jasek Pelika, for his willingness to meet members of the Committee of Wise men.The Committee welcomed the holding of this meeting at the headquarters of the League of Arab States on 21st of February 2017 during its next meeting in Cairo.The Committee also agreed to hold its fourth and final meeting at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo from 20 to 22 February 2017.