I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The following countries align themselves with this statement:
The Candidate Countries North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
Having heard the different interventions on the subject of the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems in the Middle East, I would like to express the EU’s position on this matter.
Strengthening the security and regional co-operation in the Middle East is high on the European agenda.
The EU considers that becoming party to the NPT, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention by all States of the Middle East region would be an important confidence- and security-building measure, and could constitute tangible steps in the direction of a zone free of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems in the Middle East.
It remains a strategic priority of the EU to support peace and stability in the entire Middle East. The EU remains committed to the implementation of the Resolution on the Middle East adopted at the 1995 NPT Review Conference. The EU continues to strongly support the outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference on the Middle East and reaffirms its full support for the establishment of a zone free of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems in the Middle East, as agreed by NPT States Parties. We believe that the path for action as set out in the 2010 Action Plan remains the most promising basis on which to proceed.
As mentioned already several times, the EU is of the view that, as stated in the 2010 NPT Review Conference Action Plan, such Zones can only be established on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at between all states of the region concerned. The process must be inclusive for it to be effective and a proposal that forces the issue risks failure.
The EU has continuously expressed its readiness to assist in the process leading to the establishment of a WMD free zone in the Middle East. After the 2010 NPT Review Conference the EU organised two major seminars with the States of the region as well as a capacity building workshop to help produce a conducive atmosphere and move the process forward. We are ready to consider supporting similar processes, including track 1.5 events, which could facilitate dialogue and assist in preparing a meaningful intergovernmental conference. The EU will fund a UNIDIR project to record and examine efforts to establish a zone between 1995 and 2015, and to compile ideas for the way forward.
We therefore strongly encourage all stakeholders, and especially the States of the region, to engage in meaningful consultations in order to reach agreement as soon as possible on the necessary arrangements for the Conference to take place as mandated by the 2010 NPT Review Conference Action Plan.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
* North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.