In English

Cronberg in plenary on Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons

16.1.2013

Mr President,

the Greens regret the postponement of the Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction scheduled for 2012. The conference has been underway since 1995, when it was part of a deal to make the NPT permanent. If the conference will not take place, it will seriously undermine the NPT Treaty and all other efforts towards non-proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction. Proliferation of weapons leads to proliferation of conflict.

This is evident in the case of Iran and Israel. We know there is a continuing presence of a possibility of war between these two countries. We have to invest our outmost efforts into eradicating this possibility of war and urge all sides to have a dialogue and a rethink of their enemy images of each other. The process to establish the WMD-free zone will be a confidence building measure towards such dialogue.

The link between proliferation and conflict is also evident in Syria. We are aware of the vast arsenal of chemical weapons in this country which is torn apart by the civil war. There is a constant risk that the chemical weapons could be used or maybe have been used as the internal conflict in Syria becomes ever more violent.

Honorable members, we urge the UN Secretary-General, the UN facilitator, the sponsors of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, the EU High Representative and the EU Member States to make sure that the 2012 Conference takes place as soon as possible in the early months of 2013. According to the facilitator during the preparations for this conference, a unique awareness of the problems has been created in the Middle East. This momentum should not be lost. That not all countries have been willing to participate should not be allowed to stop the process. No efforts should be spared to reach a consensus on the common goals in the process. Security guarantees have to be put in place at the same time as a verified disarmament process proceeds. The alternative is further proliferation of especially nuclear weapons in the Middle East in the near future.

Thank you


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