In a paper recently published in the Brown Journal of World Affairs, the biannual academic journal of international relations and foreign policy produced at Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, METO directors Sharon Dolev, Emad Kiyaei and Tony Robinson make the case for advancing in areas of human security across the region as a way of building a regional identity which can support the creation of conditions for the WMD-Free Zone.
The paper was written during the second half of 2020 and after giving a short history of the WMDFZ and the different previous attempts at partial regional cooperation, it delves into the current proliferation and security challenges in the zone, namely; Israel’s nuclear programme, Iran’s nuclear programme and the JCPOA, Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons, the threat from non-state actors, and the newly emerging nuclear programmes of Gulf States, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
A number of state security issues are then looked at, namely; the role of global powers in the region, the rivalry between Iran and other countries of the region, and the Palestine-Israel question.
The novel approach undertaken in this paper then leads the authors to put all of the above into the context of what is operating in the background to all the military issues, which are often overlooked in disarmament discussions. Choosing three areas by way of illustration, namely; the consequences of the unresolved social discontent hanging over from the Arab Spring, the challenges of climate change which are advancing rapidly on the horizon, and the challenges of global pandemics, the authors then make the case that, by states of the region working together to overcome these more global challenges and focusing on human security, they will actually be creating the conditions for disarmament by working together and building trust in non-military fields.
Finally, the paper highlights a number of things that states of the region could do in order to make progress on a WMDFZ.
The full journal article can be found on the Brown Journal of World Affairs website, here.