Is Building a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Near East Feasible?


The establishment of nuclear-free zones in various regions covers roughly 110 countries and thus helps to the final aim--freeing of the world of nuclear, biological and chemical arms. Nuclear-free zones are suitable counterpart to other institutions to stop proliferation of nuclear weapons and the threat of its usage: Non-Proliferation Treaty, Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, Chemical Weapons Convention, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Near East is high, the main obstacle lies in different attitudes of key actors to the successive operations: whether to create peaceful arrangement among all involved states as a first step (proposed by Israel), or preferably to renounce atomic weapons (proposed by Arabic countries). The author suggests rethinking security interests in the Near East, to remove deployment of nuclear weapons from military doctrines, to concentrate on soft security to bolster up mutual trust, to create security guarantees and transparency in the region.

JUDr. Miroslav Tůma, Col. (Ret.), born in 1937, Military Signals School (SU); Faculty of Law, Charles University Prague. He served in various command and staff assignments at the General Staff and the Defence Ministry. In the years 1989-1992 he participated in peace and humanitarian operations, under the auspices of the UN, in Angola (UNAVEM) and Iraq (UNGCI). On leaving the army in December 1992, he became an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MZV) of the Czech Republic. When the Czech Republic was a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, from January 1994 till February 1995, he worked with the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN in New York. After his return, he worked at a United Nations Branch and later at the Branch of International Organizations, MFA, in the position of deputy director for peace operations and disarmament. In 2001 he finished his work for the MZV and became an old-age pensioner. He is a part-time worker for the Institute of International Relations (ÚMV) Prague.

Country: Czech Republic


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