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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Cluster 2 Egypt, May 1999

Cluster 2

Mr. Chairman,

On 2 October 1997, intensive work on the 93+2 programme culminated with the adoption by IAEA Member States of the "Model Protocol Additional to the Agreement(s) between State(s) and the IAEA for the Application of Safeguards". IAEA safeguards are thus being strengthened and rendered more effective and airtight. Egypt encourages and supports all steps which render the IAEA more effective and provide it with the tools and means whereby it is capable of carrying out its mandate in the most efficient and effective of ways.

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At the same time, an equivalent amount of resources, energy and commitment must be devoted to another vitally important objective: the extension of the IAEA's full scope safeguards regime to include States which currently have no full-scope safeguard agreement with the Agency. Towards establishing a cogent safeguard edifice we encounter a pertinent consideration and question, namely, why are members already covered by full-scope safeguard agreements subjected to more stringent and rigorous measures while those who are outside of this regime become exempted? In the Middle East this becomes a clear-cut case. Additional protocols are required from States, already members of the NPT, who have subjected their nuclear activities to full-scope IAEA safeguards, while Israel's nuclear threat and capability remains outside of these endeavors and stringent international safeguard measures. During the process of negotiating the protocol, questions were raised concerning the broad definition of "site", environmental sampling and industrial protection.

Mr. Chairman,

In the Middle East there persists a massive imbalance in the nuclear equation and in the extent of the safeguards commitments undertaken by States of the region. While the 93+2 experience demonstrated in the most positive ways that where there is a will there is a way, the experience of the Middle East demonstrates the lack of goodwill on the part of Israel. Indeed, looking at the successful way in which the Agency and its Member States have, in recent years, dealt with a number of challenges to the safeguards regime and to nuclear non-proliferation in general, it would seem that in the case of Israel there unfortunately exists an instance to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the need to subject all its nuclear facilities under the full scope safeguard mechanism of the IAEA.

Israel's record on nuclear proliferation is representing a direct challenge to the credibility of the safeguards regime. This situation should have generated a quick and determined action on behalf of the international community.

Mr. Chairman,

Egypt is of the view that the IAEA's enhanced and improved safeguards regime places an obligation on its Member States, and particularly the initiators and driving forces behind the 93+2 programme, to demonstrate their commitment to this regime and to its comprehensive and effective enforcement. In this context, through a

recommendation of this PrepOom. the 2000 Review Conference is requested to adopt a decision urging the application of the enhanced safeguards regime to full scope safeguards agreements. and urging those States which have concluded onlv partial safeguards agreements with the IAEA to take all necessary steos towards concluding full scope agreements. as a means towards enhancing the non-proliferation regime and creating a more vigorous safeguards regime .

Mr. Chairman,

Egypt's commitment to the establishment of a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East is unwavering. It was at the request of Egypt and Iran that the item "Establishment of nuclear-weapon4ree zone in the Middle East was first inscribed on the agenda of the General Assembly in 1974. Since that date, the General Assembly has annually adopted a resolution, by consensus since 1980, on this matter. Through the years, Egypt continued to play a consistently leading role in promoting the objective of ridding the Middle East of nuclear weapons together with their threat.

As a State Party to the NPT and a signatory to the African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty, Egypt has clearly and unambiguously demonstrated its rejection of the nuclear option which it considers as representing a major threat to humanity and to peace and security in the Middle East. All countries in the Middle East have acceded to the NPT except Israel. Israel chooses to remain outside the NPT thereby perpetuating a dangerous imbalance in the region.

Mr. Chairman,

Given the region's special characteristics, the establishment of a Nuclear-WeaponFree Zone in the Middle East would greatly contribute to strengthening the security of all States in the region, and consequently, it would be deemed as an important confidence-building measure towards the acceleration of just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.

For a NWFZ to come about in any area of the world, there must inevitably exist a regional and international commitment to this objective, such a commitment is unquestionably present in the Middle East as testified by the following:

    • A. The adoption by the UN General Assembly of the resolution "Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East" on an annual basis by consensus since 1980.

      B. The unanimous adoption by the 1999 substantive session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission of guidelines on the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the states of the region concerned, where the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East as well as the development of zones free from all weapons of mass destruction was encouraged.

      C. The adoption of the resolution on the Middle East by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference. This resolution which was co-sponsored by the three depository states, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and adopted by consensus, calls in its fifth operative paragraph "All States in the Middle East to take practical steps in appropriate forums aimed at making progress towards, inter alia, the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems, and to refrain from taking any measures that preclude the achieve ment of this objective."

Mr. Chairman,

Making negotiations on a Middle East NWFZ contingent upon an ever-growing list of prerequisites is a sure recipe for failure. In Egypt's view, the only prerequisite for negotiations to commence on the establishment of such a zone in the Middle East is, that States in the region have the political will to commence negotiations on this subject matter. A Middle East NWFZ is in itself and by itself a confidence-building measure and an act of political reconciliation. Furthermore, arguing that fully fledged relations of peace must exist before talks on a NWFZ can commence, while at the same time choosing to maintain a nuclear option, clearly appear as two mutually exclusive and contradictory arguments. In a region as volatile as the Middle East no solid, just, comprehensive and durable peace can be achieved while a nuclear threat continues to loom over the region.

Egypt will continue to pursue the objective of establishing a NWFZ in the Middle East at the earliest time as a crucial step towards the establishment in the region of a Zone Free of all Weapons of Mass Destruction. To this end, Egypt will continue to seek the support of regional and extra-regional states. It will also pursue its April 1990 initiative for the establishment, in the Middle East, of a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction. In its endeavors it will continue to seek the support of the international community and of all those who are committed to ridding the world, both at the regional and global levels, of the threat against humanity posed by nuclear weapons, the most destructive and annihilating among all arms, particularly weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. Chairman,

An NGO "The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament" made a contribution before this PrepCom on 11 May 1999 which comprised this statement:

    • Quote: "No progress has been made towards a 'Nuclear Weapon Free Zone' in the Middle East which shows a complete failure over the commitment from the 1995 NPT Extension Conference. The Middle East resolution should be seriously addressed since it is part of the 1995 extension package" end of quote.

We endorse that statement. Thank you.