Conferences and Meetings

Conferences and Meetings

The 2nd Civil Conference Parallel to the Future Forum 7-8 November 2005 - Bahrain


 We all agree that despite the diverse and numerous initiatives calling for reform that landed on the Middle East and North Africa from abroad, we are in dire need for comprehensive reform and change in all the region, even worldwide.

Yet, how can such reform be achieved in a region which human development reports on which these initiatives were based stating that the region suffered from lack of freedoms, of knowledge, and non empowerment of women. Hence, the USA and certain European countries proposed these initiatives to promote Arab countries as well as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran and Israel and placed all of them in one basket. The wider Middle East and North Africa project was put forward in a bid to reform and elevate the region, realize democracy as well as economic and social growth. Consequently, conditions in the region will improve and ensure its stability. This will also impact Europe and America and help in eradicating terrorist networks, drug trafficking, arms trafficking and illegal immigration.

In fact, peoples of the region aspire for change, democracy, freedom and seek to combat terrorism which is based on the culture of striking all those who oppose its views relentlessly. As the Middle East region is regarded as breeding grounds for terrorism, we as a people living in this part of the world demand the eradication of the culture of terrorism, not only in the Middle East but in the entire world. By terrorism we mean state terrorism based on double standards vis-ˆ-vis our issues.

Given we all agree that it is necessary to establish peace and security in the region, we demand the disarmament of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. I refer here to the different initiatives made in this concern. The Franco-German project for future partnership with the Middle East concerning security matters stated: " to follow up existing measures to combat terrorism and nuclear proliferation, to fight against organized crime and illegal immigration" as well as " to launch an initiative aimed at encouraging Middle East countries to test a local security structure that in the first stage will enable it to address disputes pertaining to: borders, confidence and security measures, combating terrorism, smuggling weapons of mass destruction and to seek once more in eliminating these weapons from the region."

Moreover, the covenant on solidarity and friendship concluded by leaders of Arab countries in May 2004, in articles 1 - 2 declared that the achievement of these legitimate objectives shall be conducive to create appropriate conditions in terms of confidence building, establishing just, permanent and comprehensive peace in the region through the convocation of an international conference for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East including Israel. This will herald a new stage of dژtente based on mutual commitment for peace as a strategic option for Arab countries and all peoples in the region so that they may focus their efforts on overcoming challenges facing them and proceed in their development process."

In a paper on partnership for progress and a common future in the wider Middle East region and North Africa issued in June 2004 in article 5 - A the following is mentioned: "Strengthening the commitment of the international community towards peace and stability in the wider Middle East region and North Africa is imperative."

All this indicates that all parties stress the necessity of eliminating weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East in order to achieve security, stability and sustainable development in the region. It will also avert the outbreak of preemptive war upon the unfounded allegation of possession of such weapons by any country similar to what happened in Iraq. This as well as averting the possession of such weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists that could ensue in unprecedented catastrophe.

We must herewith indicate that the NPT enunciates principles that commits all parties to refrain from nuclear proliferation and to engage in disarmament. The NPT review meeting of 1995 adopted a resolution that calls for establishing the Middle East as a region free from weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, the NPT review meeting of the year 2000 agreed on 13 steps that will lead to the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, and stressed the need to that this resolution be implemented in the region and to ensure that Israel accede to the treaty as well as it should allow its nuclear systems to be inspected by the IAEA.

The implementation of these resolutions will end the concern of the American administration and European countries regarding the threat of nuclear arms in the region. However, Israel refuses to accede to the NPT. Unfortunately we are surprised by statements made by the US foreign minister that defends this situation in that Israel has the right to possess nuclear weapons because it is surrounded by enemies and has the right to defend itself. This at a time when America threatens to launch preemptive wars backed by nuclear deterrence against any country that possesses such weapons. Moreover it accuses Iran as one of countries in the axis of evil and fears its nuclear programme which Iran categorically denies and that it is only meant for peaceful purposes.

All Arab countries have acceded and endorsed the Treaty even though they did not possess such weapons. However, Israel has refused to join despite its capability to destroy any Arab state with its short and medium missiles and will not enter in any negotiations in this respect unless with other nuclear countries in the region.

Being a non governmental organization we have been pursuing peace for 50 years since its establishment. We demand that the Middle East region be free of weapons of mass destruction in order to secure peace and stability especially as this will alleviate fears between the parties concerned and culminate in the establishment of permanent, comprehensive and just peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Furthermore, we request those outside the region who demand reform, to fulfill their obligations towards us in terms of the stipulations of the NPT and its Protocols in that nuclear super powers must take necessary measures to get rid of their weapons gradually. None the less these countries continue to develop their weapons systems.

Peoples of the wider Middle East region and North Africa aspire for progress and political, economic and social prosperity which will only be achieved by the establishment of security and elimination of all forms of tension, disputes or conflicts.

Finally, AAPSO reconfirms that the final declaration should point out that all parties should cooperate for the implementation of the resolution on the elimination of weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East and that member states shall have the right to use their nuclear programmes for peaceful purposes. Nuclear super powers should also be committed to disarm their weapons and pressure Israel to join the NPT.


Paper presented by Hamsa Abdel Hamid Geneidi
Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organization (AAPSO)