UN chief calls for nuclear weapons-free Middle East
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UN chief calls for nuclear weapons-free Middle East

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres, at the second session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on Monday, called on all Middle East states to put into reality the vision of a region with no weapons of mass destruction.

Guterres stated that “achieving a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction will eliminate the possibilities of nuclear conflicts in the region and contribute to realizing a world free of nuclear weapons.” He noted that it would contribute to achieving just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. He also called on all invited states to join the conference process and to contribute to this endeavor.

Since 1967, five zones free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have been established in Latin America, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central Asia. This includes 60 percent of all UN member states and covers almost all of the Southern Hemisphere.

The Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction held its first session from November 18 to November 22, 2019 in New York. It adopted a political declaration and released a final report.

Guterres congratulated all participating states for their determination and commitment to “an open and inclusive approach, as demonstrated by the Political Declaration reached at the first session of the Conference, under the Presidency of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.”