"Act now to create a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East." This is the message from supporters of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) to Ambassador Peter Woolcott, who will this weekend (30 April 2012) chair the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee in Vienna.
Kate Hudson, CND General Secretary, will deliver personalised messages from CND supporters to Ambassador Woolcott, calling on the conference to take "concrete action" towards a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone (WMDFZ) in the Middle East, and to make further progress on global disarmament.
In 2010, 189 countries voted at the NPT Review Conference for steps to be taken towards implementing a WMDFZ in the Middle East. The result was the scheduling of a landmark conference, convened by Finland, to take place in late 2012.
The conference aims to bring to the table all states in the Middle East in order to start face-to-face negotiations towards outlawing nuclear weapons and other WMDs in the Middle East.
"The vision of a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East can only be realised through a combined approach of constructive debate and concrete action", said Kate Hudson.
"The timing is critical", she continued. "Tensions in the Middle East have heightened amidst speculation over Iran's nuclear ambitions, and this has not been helped by aggressive rhetoric.'
'Meanwhile, nuclear weapons states are ignoring their own disarmament obligations and are ploughing ahead with replacing and modernising their nuclear arsenals. This only serves to encourage further proliferation and make the world a more dangerous place."
'WMD-Free Zones have been implemented in other areas of the world such as South America and Africa, and there is currently no more crucial region for this to come about than the Middle East. We must act now or consign future generations to a lifetime of insecurity."