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The Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and Other Regional Treaties as Models for the Middle East

Dr. Anna Peczeli, a Visiting Fulbright Fellow and member of the Hungarian Foreign Affairs Institute, gave a lecture on April 4th, 2014, entitled “The Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and Other Regional Treaties as Models for the Middle East.” In this lecture Dr. Peczeli discussed the existing Nuclear Weapon Free Zones (NWFZ), including Central Asia, and offered some thoughts about how to apply a similar model to the Middle East.  Dr. Peczeli first gave the history of the five Nuclear Weapon Free Zones and the process of implementing such a treaty in Central Asia, as well as Mongolia’s single state NWFZ. This process is often difficult, as it requires not just the various states of the region within the zone to agree to all of the terms, but for the five (legally recognized) nuclear powers to agree to abide by and ratify the zone.

This process would be quite difficult for the Middle East; particularly as it is a proposed Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone, rather than banning just nuclear weapons. The states of the region, particularly Israel, would have to trust other states enough to disarm, which is a daunting prospect. However, as Dr. Peczeli elucidated, past NWFZ managed to overcome mutual mistrust and the nuclear armed countries successfully disarmed. Thus the prospect for the limiting of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and the rest of the world is a possibility.

The lecture was sponsored by the Department of Central Eurasian Studies and co-sponsored by The Russian and East European Institute, the Center for the Study of the Middle East, the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department and the Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies.

You can listen to the full lecture here