UN: Member states start working on a nuclear free Middle East zone

UN member states from the Middle East and elsewhere convened at the UN headquarters in New York City on Monday for the first session of the conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. «Today, we are launching a multi-year path that has come from within the Middle East region, and in order for us in the coming years to arrive... Еще at the ultimate goal of reaching a consensual legally binding treaty, it is essential that inclusiveness, accountability, and collective ownership should steer guide this process» Sima Bahous, permanent representative of Jordan to the United Nations said during her opening speech. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, «Serious deliberations on a Middle East zone free of nuclear, chemical and other weapons of mass destruction would be an opportunity for the states of the region to engage in direct dialogue on arrangements that could address their security requirements.» Riyad Mansour, Palestine's ambassador to the UN, criticised Israel for not taking part in the conference, saying, «Its self-isolation, and its boycotting of the conference, indicate its long-term policy of obstructing the establishment of such a zone; especially since it is the only party that has illegally acquired nuclear weapons and continues to refuse to join the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.» The conference, which kicked-off on Monday and is scheduled to last until Friday, will be held annually. Mandatory credit: UN TV

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