DC Luncheon: Whither a Middle East WMD-Free Zone

July 18, 2019

A Conversation with Assistant Secretary Christopher Ford

Washington, DC

James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
1400 K Street, NW, Suite 1225
Washington, DC 20005

Friday, August 2, 2019

This event is open to the public and the press. | Due to limited space, RSVP is required.

  • Lunch will be served at 12:30. The event will start promptly at 1:00.
  • Please Note: The session will be live-streamed and recorded.
  • Please contact Ms. Withorne for more information.

The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies invites you to a luncheon at its Washington, DC, office on August 2 for a discussion with Assistant Secretary of State for International Security & Nonproliferation, Dr. Christopher Ford on the issue of a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone.

The establishment of Middle East zone free of all weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and delivery systems has been a shared goal among all Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) members and regional countries. However, little has been achieved to date to realize this vision. In 1995, along with the decision to extend the NPT indefinitely, NPT States Parties adopted a resolution, co-sponsored by Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, calling for the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and their delivery systems. In November 2018, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution directing the UN Secretary General to hold an annual conference on the zone, beginning in 2019 and continuing annually until “the Conference concludes the elaboration of a legally binding treaty establishing a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.” The resolution has been met with mixed reactions, and several countries, including Israel and the United States, have since announced their intention not to attend the conference, which is currently scheduled to take place in New York in November 2019.

Assistant Secretary Ford will discuss the United States’ view of how to advance the ambitious goal of a WMD-free Middle East, the U.S. response to the upcoming UN conference in November, and how consideration of the zone issue may impact the April-May 2020 NPT Review Conference. Assistant Secretary Ford’s remarks will be on the record and will be followed by a Chatham House rules moderated Q&A session.

We hope to see you at the event.

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