The British American Security Information Council and the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs held a conference in Cairo on January 29th 2012 on “Preparing for the 2012 conference: towards a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other WMD in the Middle East.”
The day-long conference was the first such meeting in Cairo in support of the 2012 conference since the January 2011 Egyptian revolution, and was designed to reach out to Egyptian experts and representatives of civil society. The event was addressed by foreign and Egyptian experts and was attended by about 40 Egyptians. Participants learned that the facilitator for the conference, Finnish diplomat Jakko Laajava, and his team have been in touch with all states in the region about the 2012 conference which is intended to be held at the end of this year. Movement towards convening the 2012 conference has received quite a lot of momentum as a result. However the exact timing, the participants, the rules of procedure and other key matters remain to be resolved.
The discussions focused on the following areas: the relevance of the notion of nuclear deterrence and non-proliferation today, preparations for a successful 2012 conference from a political and technical point of view, the politics of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East – what’s in it for Egypt and others in the region, and regional relations in the post-Mubarak era.
To read the full report, please click the PDF link below.