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The Middle East - A WMD free zone?

05.02.2015 - (idw) Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung

A new edited volume by the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium sheds light on chances and difficulties in establishing a WMD free zone in the Middle East The Middle East is a hot spot of proliferation. It contains one state assumed to possess nuclear weapons, several states that tried and failed to develop a military nuclear capability, one state under suspicion of trying to do so, and it is the world region that witnessed the most frequent and severe employment of chemical weapons since the end of World War I. Notwithstanding, not a single arms control regime concerning weapons of mass destruction (WMD) covers the region as a whole. Instead we have seen several proliferation-related military operations which have rather contributed to destabilization than served non-proliferation.

Before this year's Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Harald Müller and Daniel Müller (both of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, PRIF) publish the volume "WMD Arms Control in the Middle East. Prospects, Obstacles and Options", written under the auspices of the EU Consortium for Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, which determines the current state of diplomatic efforts to establish a WMD free zone in the Middle East.

In doing so, it provides insights into central actors conflicting political positions, thereby explaining the stalemate of efforts to negotiate a WMD-free zone. Chapters written by renowned experts from academia and policy-oriented think tanks, as well as by next-generation Middle East and arms control experts, introduce the subject to the reader, give background information about arms control initiatives, provide technical expertise, and endeavour to make proposals for arms control measures in support of the creation of a Middle East WMD free zone.

The volume draws on the results of EU supported seminar "To Promote Conficence Building and in Support of a Process Aimed at Establishing a Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Means of Delivery in the Middle East in November 2012, contributions have been updated in the light of ongoing developments.

Since 2010, the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium has been providing consultancy to the European Union (EU) and its member states on issues of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the control of small arms. The consurtium is supported by four institutes: the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS, London), the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS, Paris), the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI, Stockholm) and PRIF. Harald Müller of PRIF is the vice president of the consortium.

Harald Müller/Daniel Müller (eds.), WMD Arms Control in the Middle East. Prospects, Obstacles and Options, Farnham and Burlington (Ashgate), 2015. Weitere Informationen: Project description of the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium EU Non-Proliferation Consortium website
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