egypt

The importance of seeing and grasping the opportunities

The annual month-long meeting of the General Assembly’s First Committee, responsible for issues of international peace and security, begins today in New York. Two issues have been on the media’s agenda: disarming Syria of its chemical weapons and the next round of nuclear talks between Iran and the E3+3. Both involve a degree of optimism, perhaps even an excitement around the possibilities, rarely seen in the U.N. corridors in recent years. Perhaps it is because these openings for progress have been so unexpected.

Working towards a WMD-free Middle East

Despite notes of caution and a lack of concrete offers, Presidents Obama and Rouhani set the stage for increased engagement at the UN last week. With calls for a WMD-free zone in the Middle East reaffirmed, Israel's game plan will be central.

All eyes were on the UN last week, as Presidents Obama and Rouhani took historic steps towards breaking the long-standing mutual mistrust between the US and Iran, and the Security Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.

The Future of Nuclear Weapons

On 11th June, Warwick University's Politics and International Studies department (PAIS) hosted a meeting in collaboration with BASIC entitled 'The Future of Nuclear Weapons: Between Disarmament and Proliferation'. The event, which brought together experts from diverse backgrounds and with significant experience on these issues, consisted of two roundtable discussions on the future of Trident and British nuclear weapons policy and prospects for non-proliferation and disarmament in the Middle East.

Egypt & the Middle East - Stability through Fairness

Ramadan begins on Tuesday, the holiest month for Islam. It comes a week after the President of Egypt was arrested and removed from office by the military, a move in response to massive demonstrations across the country against Mr. Morsi’s brief term in office. One of the principal complaints against Mr. Morsi (whatever the truth of it) was his use of power to promote the interests of his supporters rather than all Egyptians. While we are witnessing ever-more violent clashes on the streets of Cairo, and Egyptians now contemplate their next moves in the long and faltering steps towards democracy, few are now thinking much about the regional efforts to establish a process with the objective of creating a zone free of WMD.

PAIS/BASIC Nuclear Weapons Conference: The Future of Nuclear Weapons - Between Disarmament and Proliferation

BASIC & the Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) held a one-day conference on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The conference brought together key thinkers from academia, policy-making, and non-governmental organsations to discuss the future of British nuclear weapons policy, and the prospects for non-proliferation and disarmament in the Middle East.

Split: A Tale of Two Alliances

NATO & the Arab League

NATO is currently hosting its annual conference on WMD Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation in Split, Croatia. Participants have been considering how best to tighten the verification mechanisms and strengthen commitments states make in demonstrating they will not deploy WMD. The meeting is considering issues such as WMD terrorism, regional proliferation threats (particularly in the Middle East) and NATO’s contributions to non-proliferation and disarmament.

The time for positive ideas on the Zone is NOW!

BASIC's Executive Director, Paul Ingram, reflects on the NPT and where we are on the establishment of the Middle East WMD-free zone:

The NPT PrepCom this week has been overshadowed by the near-universal frustration over the lack of progress on holding a conference on a Middle East zone free of WMD. State after state got up in plenary to express that frustration, many condemning the co-sponsors’ decision in late 2012 to postpone.

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