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Council Decision 2012/422/CFSPShow full title

Council Decision 2012/422/CFSP of 23 July 2012 in support of a process leading to the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East

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1.OBJECTIVESU.K.+E.U.

In the Barcelona Declaration adopted at the Euro-Mediterranean Conference of 27-28 November 1995, the Union and its Mediterranean Partners agreed to pursue an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems. In 2008, the Joint Declaration of the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean confirmed the Union's readiness to consider and work out practical steps to prepare the proper ground for full implementation of the NPT Review Conference's 1995 Resolution on the Middle East (the 1995 Resolution) and the creation of such a zone. Such practical steps were first examined during the EU Seminar on 'Middle East Security, WMD Non-Proliferation and Disarmament', held in Paris in June 2008, and were subsequently identified in the EU Seminar to 'promote confidence building and in support of a process aimed at establishing a zone free of WMD and means of delivery in the Middle East', held in Brussels in July 2011.

In the Union's view, practical steps should, inter alia, promote universal adherence to and compliance with all multilateral agreements and instruments in the field of non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament, such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation as well as the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements and the Additional Protocol. The start of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty would be another crucial step in this context. Such steps could constitute an important regional confidence-building measure with a view to the establishment of a verifiable zone free of WMD and their delivery systems.

The Union wishes to continue and intensify political and security dialogue among the relevant partners of the Union for the Mediterranean and all other countries in the Middle East on issues related to the establishment of a zone free of WMD. The European Union believes that elaboration and implementation of concrete confidence-building measures could facilitate progress towards a zone free of WMD.

Against the background of increasing interest in the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy in the region, efforts should also be carried out in order to ensure that the development of peaceful uses take place in accordance with the best safety, security and non-proliferation standards. The Union continues to support the decisions and the resolution on the Middle East adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference as well as the Final Documents of the 2000 NPT Review Conference and of the 2010 NPT Review Conference. The 2010 NPT Review Conference endorsed several practical steps, which include, inter alia, the convening of a 2012 Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction as well as consideration of all offers aimed at supporting the implementation of the 1995 Resolution.

Following the success of the EU seminar of July 2011, the Union believes that these objectives could be furthered through another seminar in support of the 2012 Conference.

The Union wishes to support the above-mentioned objectives, as follows:

  • through the organisation of a follow-up seminar to be held before the 2012 Conference;

  • through providing means for the preparation of background policy papers commissioned to experts from the region and beyond in order to support the follow-up seminar;

  • through providing means for the creation of a dedicated page on the website of the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium (www.non-proliferation.eu);

  • through providing means for the participation of non-governmental experts from the Union, when necessary and in close coordination with the EEAS, to relevant official, non governmental and track-2 initiatives, such as the Amman Framework.

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