HE Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Ahmad bin Hassen Al Hammadi affirmed that the State of Qatar has always provided its full support for efforts and initiatives aimed at promoting the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, whether within the framework of the United Nations or other regional and international efforts such as those of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and the Arab League, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), amongst others.
In a speech during the first Arab symposium on disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation held in Doha, His Excellency said that the State of Qatar stresses on all occasions that the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone is a collective international responsibility imposed by international documents and resolutions, including the relevant Security Council resolutions. He stressed that the continued absence of progress towards establishing the region carries grave consequences that threaten international and regional peace and security.
On this occasion, Al Hammadi stressed the decisive role of the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the permanent members of the Security Council, which are at the same time the five nuclear-weapon states, in their responsibility in implementing the 1995 Middle East Resolution as a priority demand of the countries of the region as well as the international community.
Moreover, His Excellency said that this symposium, with its noble objectives, forms part of the State of Qatar’s efforts to mobilize regional and international efforts towards the supreme goal of humanity, which is the comprehensive ban on nuclear weapons based on international law and international humanitarian law. Most specifically freeing the Middle East region of nuclear weapons and the rest of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Al Hammadi pointed out that the State of Qatar has acceded to the treaties related to the elimination of WMD, the prohibition of nuclear testing, and non-proliferation, in addition to its accession to the treaties prohibiting or restricting specific types of conventional weapons: stressing that the state of Qatar fully implements its obligations in those treaties, based on its firm belief in striving with all peace-loving nations to create a world free of nuclear weapons and other WMD, as well as promoting international peace and security.
In the same regard, Dr. Al Hammadi drew attention to the State of Qatar’s support for the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution that prepared for the conclusion of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW): opening legal horizons regarding the comprehensive and complete prohibition of nuclear weapons, in addition to Qatar’s participation in conferences on the humanitarian effects of nuclear war, which represents a serious attempt to break the stalemate on the dangers of nuclear weapons. This effort is meant to stimulate international public opinion for the Conference on Disarmament to initiate multilateral negotiations within specific time frames with the purpose of the complete and comprehensive elimination of nuclear weapons.
He added that the efforts of the State of Qatar in mediation and conflict resolution also contribute to creating an atmosphere conducive to peace, stability and development, which are factors that accelerate disarmament efforts.
Furthermore, the Secretary-General said that what gives this symposium added importance is that it comes a few days after the end of the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. His Excellency added that despite the limited conclusions of the conference, only that it is not without its advantages: the coordination of the Arab States and Arab League office’s efforts and positions, and including them in the draft final document: in order to preserve and build on the achievements made in previous review conferences.
Moreover, he pointed out that the draft document included consensual paragraphs on many principles and positive attitudes that respond to existing and future challenges facing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
His Excellency continued by pointing out that among the consensual paragraphs is the draft’s confirmation of that the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference (NPTREC) on the Middle East will remain valid until its implementation: establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, inviting Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty final draft as a non-nuclear state without further delay to create a safer world for all, especially since the threat of the use of nuclear weapons is more dangerous today than ever before. Additionally, His Excellency asserted the need for the full and effective implementation of Article VI of the treaty on nuclear disarmament, as well as ensuring the nuclear states’ commitment to the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals. Not only that, but he also pointed out that the indefinite extension of the Treaty in 1995, does not at all mean the continued possession of these weapons by the nuclear states indefinitely.
His Excellency pointed out that among the most powerful weapons to rid humanity of nuclear weapons is by raising peoples’ awareness of the dangers of these weapons on humanity’s existence and future generations. He also affirmed the fact that all peoples have a vital interest in the success of nuclear disarmament negotiations, and that all countries have the right to participate in them.
In this regard, His Excellency drew attention to the State of Qatar’s extensive efforts in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation education: as part of advancing the objectives of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and striving to achieve them. Moreover, Al Hammadi expressed the State of Qatar’s aspiration to disseminate the symposium’s research papers on the widest scale, for the purpose of educating and raising awareness of the need to accelerate the pace towards a world free of nuclear weapons.
In addition, HE the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked the National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons (NCPW) for organizing this symposium at this important moment. Al Hammadi expressed his aspiration that this would contribute to strengthening Arab and international efforts towards establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, as well as activate international efforts towards prohibition and the eventual complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs