Establishing a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons – UN Chief’s Statement

Remarks by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction.

At the opening of the Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, UN chief Antonio Guterres said, “serious deliberations” on the matter would be an opportunity for the States of the region to engage in “direct dialogue on arrangements that could address their security requirements.”

Addressing the conference today (18 Nov), Guterres said nuclear-weapon-free-zones put a permanent end to the possibility of nuclear conflict in a given region and could provide additional assurances to the global community of the peaceful nuclear intentions of the countries in these regions. He said such zones have offered the means for States to take the initiative and work together to advance their own common regional security, and have enabled groups of States to make independent contributions to the elaboration of global norms and facilitate progress in general negotiations on disarmament.

The Secretary-General said significance of a prospective Middle East zone extends “far beyond the region.” He hoped that the conference would serve as “the start of an inclusive process in which all the States of the region can participate.” He added that, in accordance with universally agreed principles, a Middle East zone would need to be a “product of the specific circumstances of the region and strengthen the security of all States.”

Join discussion: leave a comment