Meeting with the Chadian AmbassadorJanuary 16, 2020
Symposium On “The Role of Think Tanks And Their Importance In Light Of Global Developments”January 30, 2020
The Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, jointly with the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), and at the initiative of the Institute, hosted a round table on Egypt’s aspirations to establish a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. The round table was co-chaired by the two sides. The round table, in addition to UNIDIR, chaired by its Director, Ms. Renata Dwan, who has been appointed Director of UNIDIR since two years, was attended by experts on disarmament from amongst the members of the council as well as others.
The round-table deliberations were divided into three sessions, during which, among other things, the following were particularly highlighted: Firstly: The initiatives that have been taken at the United Nations since the 1974 session of the General Assembly, which had witnessed an initiative by Iran in which Egypt had participated in for establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone, with issuance of a resolution by the General Assembly at that time and this was annually repeated in all sessions of the General Assembly until the 74th session of 2019. Those efforts did not succeed in establishing that zone, given Israel’s refusal to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and subjecting all its facilities to the comprehensive safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), despite the fact that all Arab countries and Iran have joined that zone. Secondly: Egypt’s security concern, and especially the terrorism to which Egypt has been subjected since several decades, due to which Egypt has participated in the international campaign against terrorism. Terrorist operations that had hit Egypt and a number of other countries have raised fears that terrorist organizations would gain access to nuclear materials in order to use them in their operations.
Thirdly: When the treaty review conference was reconvened in New York in May 1995, the United States continued to exert its pressures in order to issue a resolution for indefinitely extending the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which was objected by Egypt’s delegation that insisted on voting. And in order to avoid voting, the United States negotiated a draft resolution on behalf of the depositary states (the Russian Federation and Britain) for establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East, and inviting the countries of the region that had not joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), without mentioning Israel by name, to join the treaty and subject all their nuclear facilities to the comprehensive safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In exchange for adopting the resolution on the Middle East, the decision on the indefinite extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was adopted. Egypt’s delegation insisted that the adoption of the decision on the indefinite extension was made by a majority and to have this stated in the text of the resolution, and this is what has already been done, and until 2020, Israel remained the only country in the region that did not join the treaty. That zone has not been established yet.