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Resolution on the Middle East

France supports the project for establishing a zone free of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery in the Middle East, an initiative launched by Egypt. This objective was underlined for the first time in UNSC Resolution 687 1 on 3 April 1991. It was the subject of a resolution on the Middle East adopted in 1995 2 by the NPT States Parties at the NPT Review and Extension Conference.

France supports the objectives of the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the NPT Review and Extension Conference in 1995.

It is important to work towards full implementation of this resolution in order to move towards sustainable peace in the Middle East and to create, through dialogue with all parties concerned, the conditions for establishing a zone free of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery in the Near and Middle East.

As part of efforts to support the 1995 resolution, France has seized every bilateral and multilateral occasion to emphasize the importance of the following measures designed to :

- Introduce dialogue among States in the region to re-establish lasting peace and stability in the Middle East ;

- Comply with nuclear non-proliferation commitments made by all States Parties to the NPT ;

- Stop proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery in the region ;

- Ensure that all States of the region accede to relevant multilateral instruments, namely the NPT ; the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty ; the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material ; the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism ; the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction ; the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction ; and subscribe to The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC) ;

- Ensure that all States who have committed to do so adopt comprehensive safeguards and place all nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards in the region ;

- Ensure that all States in the region adopt and implement an IAEA Additional Protocol ;

- Eliminate existing stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and proliferating ballistic programmes ;

- Strengthen national export control measures for goods and technologies that can be used to develop weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery ;

- Prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery and material or substances used in explosive devices ;

- Identify and secure all dangerous radiological sources in the region ;

- Ensure that all States in the region subscribe to the G8 principles adopted in Kananaskis aimed at preventing terrorists, and those who harbour them, from obtaining and developing nuclear, chemical, radiological and biological weapons, missiles, and related material and technology.

Such measures are essential and concrete steps towards the establishment of a zone free of WMD and their means of delivery in the Middle East. Moreover, as the Security Council has stated in several resolutions, a solution to the Iran nuclear issue would also help achieve this goal.

France will continue to work to achieve the objectives of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East in all the relevant forums, with all States and partners concerned.

The Action Plan adopted at the Review Conference in May 2010 identified concrete means for moving in this direction, in particular by holding a Conference "to be attended by all States of the Middle East, on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at by the States of the region, and with the full support and engagement of the nuclear-weapon States." In accordance with the action plan and as a result of the joint efforts of the three depositary States of the Treaty (Russia, United States, United Kingdom) and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, a facilitator, Mr Jaakko Laajava, Finnish Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Security Policy, and a host country, Finland, were designated in October 2011 to organize this Conference.

France took note of the postponement of the conference, which was decided in late 2012, and reaffirms its commitment to stand alongside the facilitator and the other States Parties to the NPT, in particular the three depositary States which took particular responsibility, in order to enable this conference to take place as soon as possible, with all stakeholders and under the best possible conditions. In particular, we need to ensure that it really tackles all the problems linked to implementing the 1995 resolution, including regional security, combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, responding to failure to comply with non-proliferation obligations, and particularly the Iranian nuclear crisis.

The European Union
is especially committed to the implementation of the 1995 resolution. Following the seminar organized in June 2008, it organized two further seminars in July 2011 and November 2012, which helped to bring together the countries of the region and to discuss the practical concrete steps to move towards the establishment of that zone, such as confidence-building measures.

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