The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is to host a forum among its Member States to consider how the experience of Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zones (NWFZ) in several regions of the world could be relevant to the Middle East.
In a letter to Member States, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano indicates that the Forum on Experience of Possible Relevance to the Creation of a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East will be held at the Agency's headquarters in Vienna on 21-22 November 2011.
Reflecting the consensus of the IAEA's Member States on the importance of establishing such a zone, it will consider the experience of the five existing NWFZs1.
The main focus of the Forum would be to:
The gathering follows a request by Member States at the IAEA's General Conference in 2000 that the Director General convene a forum where participants from the Middle East and other interested parties could learn from the experience of NWFZs in other regions. Agreement on holding such a meeting proved elusive for over a decade, but a letter in March 2011 from Director General Yukiya Amano to Member States of the Middle East region led to consultations indicating that a forum was possible this year.