On 9 December, the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan, with the support of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, hosted a session of the Nuclear Discussion Forum on “Outcomes of the First Session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction”.
The panel included Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, His Excellency Mohamed Edrees, the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations, Her Excellency Sima Sami Bahous, the Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations, and was moderated by His Excellency Kairat Umarov, the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations.
The panelists briefed on the preparations, conduct and outcomes of the Conference, including the key issues discussed and the political declaration adopted by the participating States. They considered that the participating States demonstrated a spirit of cooperation and seriousness throughout the Conference.
The way forward was also addressed. At intersessional consultations, representatives from existing nuclear-weapon-free zones would be invited to share their experiences. The second session of the Conference will be held from 16 to 20 November 2020, under the presidency of Kuwait.
In closing, speakers emphasized the importance of a presidency that acted as an honest broker in order to build trust and confidence among the participating States and reiterated that the door remained open for all States of the region to join future Conferences.
Text by Leila Hmaidan / photos by Damon Shavers