Time to establish WMD-free zone in the Middle East

Hereby we are publishing full text of the International Treaty on Establishment of the Zone Free from Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East drafted by Professor of the Russian Academy of the Military Sciences Vladimir Kozin, with the author’s remarks made at the International Conference on NPT issues (Moscow, November 21-22, 2014).

40 years have elapsed since the first idea related to such a zone emerged. In 2015 the world community will mark 20 years since the 1995 NPT Review Conference called for “the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems”.

Unfortunately, the WMD-free zone in the Middle East has not been created so far. A lot of meetings have been devoted to debating of the concept of such zone, its basic principles, “road maps”, etc., but not the relevant treaty per se.

Among the many challenges facing the proposal to establish a WMD-free zone in the Middle East is the fact that there are no actual examples to emulate. Existing regional NFZ treaties deal only with nuclear weapons, while other categories of weapons of mass destruction (i.e. chemical and biological weapons and their delivery systems) are technically out of the scope and are reflected in the respective international Conventions.

blank-map-of-middle-eastBut there is a great demand to tackle a draft WMD-free zone in the Middle East. It is a concrete proposal. It can stimulate discussion. It could be a good starting point in attaining positive results at the Conference on establishment of such zone and achieving the positive and concrete outcome at the 2015 NPT Review Conference.

Herewith I attach such a draft. It has been created in private capacity, as an academic effort. Naturally, constructive amendments and improvements for the draft will be highly appreciated by the author.

The draft has a preamble and operational part consisting of 16 articles.

It engulfs 17 states in the region. The Parties to the Treaty undertake to dismantle and eliminate all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, before December 31, 2020.

There might be a disputable issue concerning the WMD delivery systems (missiles and aircraft) because they can perform dual functions – can carry conventional and the WMD munitions. It is doubtful that the regional states would agree to destroy their dual capable aircraft and dual capable missiles. Therefore, the attached draft Treaty prescribes to ban the use of such delivery systems, but not to limit their numbers or to eliminate them. Prior to dismantlement of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East the subscribing Parties undertake not to use weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, against each other.

The Treaty is a legally binding, verifiable arrangement and of an unlimited duration.

WMD-free zone Middle East draft
Draft Treaty of the WMD-free zone in the Middle East (PDF for downloading)

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