The League of Arab States (LAS) and the Egyptian Foreign Affairs Council in its capacity as the coordinator of the Arab Nuclear Forum for 2016, held the 2nd Joint Conference on “The Regional Security Implications of Iran’ Nuclear Agreement with the P5+1” from 28 to 29 February 2016 under the auspices of H.E Dr. Nabil El Arabi, LAS Secretary General.
The conference was opened by H.E the LAS Secretary General who addressed the conference followed by Assistant Foreign Minister Ambassador/ HishamBadron behalf of H.E the Foreign Minister of Egypt Mr. SamehShoukry, the Arab Parliament President H.E Mr. Ahmed Al Jarwan and the Acting Chairman of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs H.E Ambassador Dr. Mohamed MounirZahran- Coordinator of the Regional Forum for Security and Non-Proliferation in the Arab States.
The opening speeches highlighted the importance of holding the conference at the present time since that the nuclear agreement adds new challenges to the Arab National Security, and imposes a new political reality in the Middle East. The success orfailure of the agreement depends on the extent of Iran's adherence to implement its provisions and on the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) ability to follow up on such implementation. The speeches expressed concern over the Iranian role and its blatant intervention in the sovereignty of Arab states andrejected any intervention in their internal affairs. The speeches also emphasized on the rejection of any attempts to detract from the right of Arab statesto the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and in an integrative way among those states.
Senior officials of Arab states, heads and members of the Arab strategic studies centers, heads of intellectual and cultural institutions, and Arab civil society organizations, in addition to a number of Arab political and military experts participated in the conference.
The conference discussed the security challenges facing the Arab states, and how to confront them, through the following topics:
First: Arab national security challenges.
Second: Iran's nuclear agreement with the P5 +1.
Third: Security Implications of the Iranian nuclear agreement.
Fourth: Iran nuclear agreement and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Fifth: Future vision until the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
Several important points were raised by the participants during the substantive discussions, of which:
A) Non- consultation of Iran and the P5 +1 with the governments of the Arab states during the negotiations with Iran and on the outcome thereof before the signing of the agreement to evaluate its impact extent on the Arab National Security and its implications on the instability in the Arab states.
B) Non-inclusion of the Iranian nuclear agreement of any reference to the establishment of aMiddle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in accordance with the relevant UN General Assembly resolutions, most recently resolution No. A/RES/70/24, and the resolutions of the NPT Review Conferences of 1995, 2000 and 2010.
C) The concern over the Iranian Nuclear agreement did not include the commitment of the five nuclear States to implement their commitments to nuclear disarmament in accordance with the resolutions of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament, most recently Resolution No. A/RES/70/52 dated 07.12.2015.
D) The great concern at the continuing challenges facing the Arab states of the existence and proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East zone, emphasizing the necessity for Israel to join the NPT without delay in order to create a free zone of nuclear weapons-free zone.
E) The concern of the possibility that nuclear weapons and fissile materials may fall into the hands of terrorist groups and thus using them to threaten the security of Arab states and peoples.
F) The means to reach a unified Arab stance on an Arab approach to free the Middle East Zone of nuclear weapons.
The conference events concluded with the following recommendations:
1-Working on the establishment of a comprehensive strategy to Arab national security that takes into account the various internal and external threats to the Arab states and taking the various practical steps in this regard.
2-Affirming that the credibility of the NPT is based on the balance between its three pillars: the nuclear disarmament, the nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and that any breach of that balance is considered a breach of the text and spirit of the treaty, and a threat to international peace and security.
3-Affirming that the non-implementation of the Middle East resolution on the establishment of aMiddle EastNuclear Weapons Free Zone issued by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference made the resolution on the NPT indefinite extension baseless, the matter which calls for the need to reconsider this resolution.
4-Calling upon Arab research centers to consider the legal aspect of the resolution on the NPT indefinite extension issued by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, due to the lack of implementation on part of the nuclear states of their commitments pledged in that conference and in the two NPT Review Conferences of 2000 and 2010, and their failure to implement Article VI of the NPT.
5-The need for Israel to join the NPT without further delay and to place all its nuclear facilities under the full- scope IAEA Safeguards.
6-Ensuring the seriousness of Iran and the P5 +1’ commitment to implement the nuclear agreement, and put all possible options to counter any breaches thereof in accordance with the requirements of the Arab national security.
7-Striving the Arab states to exert their utmost efforts to end the procrastination and prevarication that prevent the establishment of a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, and affirming the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly issued since 1974, most recently Resolution No. A/RES/70/24 dated 7/12/2015.
8-Affirming that the chances of success of the 2020 NPT Review Conference and its future depends on: the extent of compliance with UN resolutions related to nuclear weapons disarmament, negotiation on the NPT and the establishment of a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, until reaching a universal treaty on nuclear weapons disarmament.
9-Expressing concern oversome nuclear states which impede the implementation of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice issued in 1996, which called for negotiations on a treaty to ban the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons in addition to destructing the stockpiles thereof; and calling upon these states to stop rejection of the inclusion of this topic within the program of work of the disarmament conference as it is the sole negotiating body for disarmament issues in the United Nations in order to conclude such treaty as soon as possible as an implementation of the UN General Assembly relevant resolutions, most recently resolution No. A/RES/70/52 dated 07.12.2015.
10-In accordance with the NPT, inviting the five nuclear states that own nuclear weapons to bear their responsibilities as set forth in the NPT, and affirming that continuation of NATO states of their policies related to Nuclear Sharing, is considered a violation of the provisions of articles 1, 2 and 6 of the NPT.
11-Supporting the Arab Atomic Energy Agency (AAEA) to enable it to undertake a positive and effective role in the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy in the Arab states, and activate the nuclear Arab Strategy adopted during Doha Summit in 2009. This is in addition to demanding the AAEA to prepare an executive scheme for Arab joint projects together with the ways of financing their budgets independently of the AAEA budget.
12-Re-Affirming the importance of implementing the nuclear Arab strategy in the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and the importance of providing peaceful Arab nuclear programs, including the establishment of an Arab nuclear fuel cycle.
13-Calling upon the Disarmament Conference to observe during the negotiations on the NPT the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Program of Action submitted to the Conference on Disarmament in 1996 and the NAM Program of Action submitted to the 2010 NPT Review Conference as a basis for negotiations.
14-Expressing concern over the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the continued possession of nuclear weapons in the NPT States Parties and Non-States Parties, especially Israel, according to the results of relevant conferences held in Norway, Mexico and Austria during 2013 and 2014, and in accordance with the UN General Assembly Resolution No. A/RES/70/47 dated 07/12/2015.
15-Affirming the importance of continuing coordination with and commitment to Arab stances in international forums and the importance of maintaining the cohesion of the Arab stances in the relevant upcoming conferences.