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P7_TA(2013)0028

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Thursday, 17 January 2013 - Strasbourg Final edition
Recommendations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference regarding the establishment of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction
P7_TA(2013)0028B7-0534, 0535, 0538, 0539/2012

European Parliament resolution of 17 January 2013 on the Recommendations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference regarding the establishment of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction (2012/2890(RSP))

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the statement of 24 November 2012 by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice President of the Commission, on the postponement of the Helsinki Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD),

–  having regard to the six-monthly progress report on the implementation of the EU Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (2012/I)(1) of August 2012,

–  having regard to the three EU seminars on ‘Middle East Security, WMD Non-proliferation and Disarmament’ held in Paris in June 2008, the first EU Non-Proliferation Consortium Seminar on the Middle East, held in Brussels on the 6-7 July 2011, and the second EU Non-Proliferation Consortium Seminar on the Middle East, held on 5-6 November 2012, which had the objective of preparing the UN conference on the Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction,

–  having regard to the European Union Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, adopted by the European Council on 12 December 2003,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2012/422/CFSP of 23 July 2012 in support of a process leading to the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions of 26 February 2004(2) , 10 March 2005(3) , 17 November 2005(4) and 14 March 2007(5) on nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, and of 10 March 2010(6) on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,

–  having regard to the UN General Assembly Resolution of 13 December 2011 on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East,

–  having regard to the report of the UN Secretary-General of 6 October 2010 on the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East,

–  having regard to the final document of the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,

–  having regard to the Joint Declaration of the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean of 13 July 2008,

–  having regard to Rule 110(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, which was scheduled for December 2012, has been postponed;

B.  whereas the cancellation of the conference on a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction envisioned in the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference could have a negative impact on regional security and international denuclearisation efforts;

C.  whereas the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction is a cornerstone of international security; and whereas the most pressing security priorities are to prevent additional states from obtaining or using nuclear weapons, to reduce global stockpiles and to move towards a world without nuclear weapons;

D.  whereas in the final document of the 2010 Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference there is an agreement to convene a conference in 2012 on the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, and whereas such a process is urgently needed in order to reaffirm the validity of the NPT;

E.  whereas the preparations for this conference have been underway since the appointment of Jaako Laajava, Finland’s Under-Secretary of State, as the facilitator for this Conference;

F.  whereas a number of nuclear-weapons-free zone treaties already exist for other regions of the world, namely Latin America and the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Africa and Central Asia; whereas Mongolia’s self-declared nuclear-weapon-free status has been recognised through the adoption of the UN General Assembly’s resolution on Mongolia’s international security and nuclear-weapon-free status; whereas there are other treaties that also deal with the denuclearisation of certain areas, such as the Antarctic Treaty, the Outer Space Treaty, the Moon Agreement and the Seabed Treaty;

G.  whereas the EU encourages all states of the region to continue their constructive engagement with the facilitator take further initiatives towards achieving the complete elimination of all weapons of mass destruction – whether they be nuclear, chemical or biological – in the region, alongside their delivery systems;

H.  whereas the European Union, along with all the members of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, subscribed to the goal of promoting the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East in the Barcelona Declaration of 1995; whereas the EU supports the efforts of the facilitator and the aim of promoting the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East, notably through the ‘Non-Proliferation consortium’ and a series of seminars on the topic, such as those held in 2008 and 2011 and in November 2012;

I.  whereas the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States are the co-sponsors of the 1995 Non-Proliferation Treaty Resolution on the Middle East and the depositary States of the Treaty;

J.  whereas the political situation in the region is still very unstable, with turmoil and dramatic political changes taking place in the Middle East, including an escalation of the conflict in Syria, the standoff with Iran and growing tension between Israel and Palestine and neighbouring countries;

K.  whereas the EU supports the ongoing preparations for the conference, with the participation of all states of the region, and with a view to a successful outcome, against the backdrop of turmoil and political change taking place in the Middle East;

L.  whereas the call of the Non-Aligned Movement for the speedy establishment of a Middle East nuclear-weapons-free zone as a priority step towards the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the region;

1.  Deplores the postponement of the Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, which the 2010 Review Conference of the ‘Non-Proliferation Treaty’ had scheduled for 2012;

2.  Welcomes the role of the United Nations in the establishment of a mutually verifiable nuclear-weapon-free zone; notes that not all states in the region are parties to the non-proliferation treaty;

3.  Urges the UN Secretary-General, the UN facilitator, the sponsors of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, the EU High Representative and the EU Member States to make sure that the 2012 Conference takes place as soon as possible in 2013;

4.  Strongly believes that the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East would greatly enhance international peace and stability, and could be an example and a positive step forward for the Global Zero campaign;

5.  Calls on the HR/VP Catherine Ashton to ensure that the European Union remains actively engaged in supporting this process, particularly through active diplomatic encouragement of all parties concerned to engage constructively and with reinforced political will in the negotiations;

6.  Welcomes the involvement of the EU in the process towards the establishment of a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone (WMDFZ) in the Middle East; considers that declarations of good intentions represent a first step towards breaking the current stalemate; is of the opinion that a peaceful resolution of the Middle East conflicts could create the confidence necessary for the eventual establishment of a WMDFZ in the Middle East;

7.  Reminds all stakeholders concerned of the urgency of the issue, bearing in mind the conflict concerning, and negotiations on, the Iranian nuclear programme and the civil war in Syria; recalls the fact that the Syrian Government still controls one of the post powerful and dangerous chemical weapons arsenals in the world;

8.  Calls on all countries in the region to accede to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction and to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention;

9.  Underlines the importance of the ongoing dialogue on a Middle Eastern WMD-free zone with a view to exploring the broad framework and the interim steps that would strengthen regional peace and security; stresses that key elements should include compliance with comprehensive IAEA safeguards (and an additional protocol), a ban on the production of fissile material for weapons and on uranium enrichment beyond normal fuel grade, accession to the treaties prohibiting biological and chemical weapons, and the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East; stresses that these measures would greatly enhance international peace and security;

10.  Calls for a new confidence-building initiative at regional level, based on the example of the Helsinki process, with the aim of achieving the long-term goal of a Middle East free of military conflicts;

11.  Asks the HR/VP Catherine Ashton to keep Parliament informed of any developments related to the ongoing efforts to reconvene the Conference following the postponement of its scheduled date in December 2012;

12.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the parliaments and governments of the EU Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the facilitator, and the governments and parliaments in the Middle East.

(1) OJ C 237, 7.8.2012, p. 1.
(2) OJ C 98 E, 23.4.2004, p. 152.
(3) OJ C 320 E, 15.12.2005, p. 253.
(4) OJ C 280E, 18.11.2006, p. 453.
(5) OJ C 301 E, 13.12.2007, p. 146.
(6) OJ C 349 E, 22.12.2010, p. 77.

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