The METO Project is comprised of a network of civil society organizations working toward establishing a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East (the Zone). We engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders—civil society, academia, policymakers and governments—to devise a comprehensive and pioneering path toward realizing the Zone. Our multidisciplinary team hail from the Middle East and beyond, who work to deliver innovative and strategic results that are achievable, measurable and inclusive.
Vision: Our vision is a peaceful, integrated and prosperous Middle East—at the forefront of advancing a world free from poverty, war and environmental apocalypse.
Mission: Our mission is to provide practical, achievable and innovative roadmap for establishing a weapons of mass destruction free zone in the Middle East.
The process to establish a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone (WMDFZ) in the Middle East desperately needs an injection of energy, creativity and commitment, for its own sake and for the health of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that is so closely tied to it. Although, in theory, there is a shared vision, so far it has been mired with fractious dispute over the basis, modalities and sequencing, to the extent that stakeholders are now more familiar with the obstacles than the opportunities.
We believe that any treaty solution around the WMDFZ will, by necessity, require an agency to oversee implementation, verification and compliance. In this context, we foresee the need for a Middle East Treaty Organization (METO), established through the provisions of a WMDFZ Treaty. In a proactive effort to turn the vision of the zone into reality, a core group of civil society individuals from the region, with international experts and diplomats, have come together (initially under BASIC’s facilitation) to start work on a Draft Treaty leading to METO. The aim is to encourage states and civil society to imagine what can be achieved when we turn our minds and imagination to the possible.
The METO Project has crafted a living and adaptive Draft Treaty to galvanize governments and civil society across the region in an inclusive process involving debate and political pressure to promote a WMDFZ in the Middle East. This work is already enabling stakeholders to imagine the zone while bringing together diplomats and experts to discuss; issues of implementation and verification, educational programs for capacity building, the creation of a regional network, advocacy campaigns and other related projects. The Draft Treaty will remain a draft only and individuals, NGOs and governments are invited to suggest changes. We do not seek agreement on this Draft Treaty, nor do we think it is possible at this stage; our intention is to show that a process is possible if the political will exists.