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29 April 2003
Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review
Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
29 April 2003
New York, 28 April-9 May 2003
Report by the United Kingdom on the goals and objectives of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East
1. The United Kingdom welcomes the new opportunity for the people of Iraq to determine their own future. We are confident that this future will not involve weapons of mass destruction. We support the independent validation of any finds of weapons of mass destruction, leading to their final removal from Iraq. One of the triggers for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the region has therefore been removed. The new situation provides us with the catalyst to pursue a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East, including the removal of weapons of mass destruction from the region.
2. The United Kingdom has consistently supported resolutions in the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly calling for the establishment of a Middle East nuclear-weapon-free zone. The United Kingdom also supports the First Committee resolution on the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. In this respect we continue to call upon Israel to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear-weapon State and to conclude an associated full-scope Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (AIEA). We have recently reiterated these messages to Israeli officials, most recently in Jerusalem in March.
3. The United Kingdom has also taken steps with other countries in the region to establish the conditions for a zone free of weapons of mass destruction. Together with our European Union partners, we have carried out extensive lobbying activity to secure adherence by States in the Middle East to key non-proliferation agreements. Since the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons we have lobbied States in the region on the question of signature and ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and agreement of an IAEA Additional Protocol.
4. We also recognise the impact that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has on international efforts to create a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone in the region. The United Kingdom is committed to efforts to move the Middle East peace process forward. We are actively engaged in efforts to end the violence, build confidence and resume talks based on Security Council resolutions 242(1967), 338(1973) and 1397(2002) and the principle of "land for peace".