Draft Treaty V3

This version of the Draft Treaty dates to April 2019. A pdf version can be downloaded here. If you would like to talk to us about any aspect of this text, please send an e-mail to info@wmd-free.me.

Table of Contents


The Parties to this Treaty,

Determined to contribute to the realization of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and the first resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, adopted on 24 January 1946, and subsequent resolutions which call for the elimination of nuclear weapons,

Guided by various solemn declarations, resolutions and proposals on the creation of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, including the declaration on a nuclear weapon-free zone adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1974 and most recently in 2018 and the resolution on achieving a Weapons of Mass Destruction free zone adopted by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference as part of its decision to extend the NPT indefinitely,

Affirming the need to work tirelessly towards the universalization of all Weapons of mass destruction related treaties, such as the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and Biological & Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), and concerned that these treaties will be weakened by failure to establish it,

Convinced of the need to take decisive steps towards the creation of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, and that the creation of such a zone will be highly significant step towards the fulfillment of the related treaties and conventions,

Deeply concerned about the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental impacts, and the threats to the survival of peoples, cultures and states arising from the presence, use and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East,

Painfully aware of the suffering experienced by the victims of nuclear weapons, nuclear testing and chemical weapons that continues to this day,

Deeply concerned that, the existence of weapons of mass destruction and delivery capabilities might incite an arms race, violence and discord, endangering the security and well-being of peoples, the environment, socioeconomic development, food security and the health of current and future generations, in the region and beyond and hindering cooperation and trust among governments,

Deeply concerned that the presence of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and associated capabilities may provide opportunity for non-state actors to commit acts of gross violence,

Noting the success and importance of existing nuclear weapon-free zones, recognizing that the establishment of a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East would be a significant next step, and considering that establishment of a WMDFZ in the region would enhance the adjoining NWFZs in Africa and Central Asia and strengthen the security of states and peoples in all other regions,

Recognizing the importance of sustainable economic development throughout the Middle East and the important aspirations for technical cooperation across the region,

Recognizing the rights and obligations attached to the civil applications of relevant technologies: nuclear, chemical and biological,

Determined that the WMDFZME would advance, and not impede, trade and development across the region, and desiring to render the Middle East free of environmental pollution including risks from radioactive and chemical wastes,

Recognizing also the importance of peace and disarmament education, the important role of civil society and welcoming the cooperation of all government, civil society and the participation of both women and men in the attainment of these objectives, as well as contributing to regional peace and security,

Have decided by this Treaty to establish a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East.

Article 1 Scope of the treaty

1. Except where otherwise specified, this Treaty and its Protocols shall apply to the territory within the Weapons of Mass Destruction free zone in the Middle East (hereinafter referred to as WMDFZME), as illustrated in the map in Annex I (the Zone) and Annex VII (Definitions).

2. Except where otherwise specified, Weapons of Mass Destruction (hereinafter referred to as WMD) are defined and updated in Annex VII of this treaty (Definitions).

3. Each State party to this Treaty shall sign and/or ratify, as applicable, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty; the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention; the Chemical Weapons Convention; and any future multilaterally negotiated international treaties endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly that pertain to existing or new types of weapons of mass destruction.

4. Each State party to this Treaty undertakes to destroy any biological, chemical or nuclear weapons in its possession in accordance respectively with the procedures of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Implementation Support Unit of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention; and the procedures laid out in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Article 2 Prohibitions

1. Each State Party (as defined in Annex VII) to this treaty, undertakes never under any circumstances to:

  1. Use, threaten to use, deploy or station (as defined in Annex VII) WMD in the zone;
  2. Conduct research on, develop, manufacture, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire, allow transit through its territory (including air space and territorial waters), possess or have control over any WMD;
  3. Seek or receive any assistance in the research on, development, manufacture, stockpiling or acquisition, or possession of any WMD;
  4. To take any action to assist or encourage any entity to carry out research on, development, manufacture, stockpiling or acquisition, or possession of any WMD;
  5. Assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this treaty.

2. Each Party undertakes:

  1. To prohibit, in its territory, the stationing, installation or deployment of any WMD in its territory or at any place under its jurisdiction or control;
  2. To prohibit visits by foreign ships and aircraft to its ports and airfields, transit of its airspace by foreign aircraft and navigation by foreign ships in its territorial sea or archipelagic waters, if they are known to carry WMD, or suspected of doing so, unless they are participating in a UN-sanctioned disarmament action.

3. Each state party to this treaty undertakes not to receive or transfer (as defined in Annex VI) to any recipient or receive from any supplier whatsoever, directly or indirectly, and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any State, group of states, non-state actors or international organisations to manufacture or otherwise acquire any materials or equipment for weapons of mass destruction which are prohibited under this treaty.

4. Each Party undertakes not to take, or assist, or encourage state or non-state actors (as defined in Annex VII) in any action aimed at an attack by conventional, cyber or any other means against any nuclear, chemical and biological installations in the WMDFZME.

5. Each Party undertakes:

  1. Not to test any nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices (as defined in Annex VII);
  2. To prohibit in its territory or in territory under its jurisdiction the testing of any nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices;
  3. Not to assist or encourage the testing of any nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive device by any state anywhere;
  4. Not to test any chemical or biological weapons or agents relevant for the manufacture of such weapons.

6. Each State party to this treaty undertakes:

  1. To handle all radioactive, nuclear, chemical and biological wastes in accordance to METO waste handling and disposition instructions, in accordance with Annex V;
  2. Not to take any action to assist or encourage the dumping of radioactive wastes and other chemical, biological and radioactive matter, anywhere within the WMDFZME;
  3. To provide the METO Council (described in Annex V) with data relating to any plan for the disposal of radioactive, chemical or biological waste in whatever forms to make it possible to determine whether the disposition is liable to result in the contamination of the waters, soil, sub-soil or airspace of any member state. The council shall deliver its opinion in a timely manner, after consulting with the group of experts referred to in Annex V – METO;
  4. To ensure all radioactive waste and other radioactive matter will be handled in accordance with the safety and security standards established by the Regional Nuclear Regulator (hereinafter referred to as RNR) to be established under the jurisdiction of METO, with the cooperation of the IAEA and UNSCEAR;
  5. To effectively implement or to use as guidelines the measures contained in the Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa and Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within Africa  in so far as it is relevant to radioactive waste;
  6. To work closely with the METO nuclear, biological and chemical departments to ensure the safety of the environment and of all citizens in the Middle East zone.

Article 3 The Middle East Treaty Organisation [METO]

1. For the full implementation of this treaty, and in accordance with Annex V, the States Parties to this treaty with the assistance from relevant organisations with expertise and authority on these issues in coordination with the secretary-general of the UN and relevant international organisations, will establish a regional organisation, located in an agreed-upon state within the zone or the Mediterranean. The Middle East Treaty Organisation (hereinafter referred to as METO), will serve as a meeting place for the States Parties to this treaty, as a capacity building home for experts from the region and the administrative umbrella for the regional inspections and verification.

2. METO shall be responsible, in collaboration with the relevant organisations, for:

  1. Collecting reports and exchange of information as provided for in article 7  (report and exchange of information);
  2. Arranging consultations as well as convening conferences of States Parties on the concurrence of a simple majority on any matter arising from the implementation of the Treaty;
  3. Reviewing the application to peaceful activities and safeguards by IAEA and OPCW as elaborated in Annexes II, III and IV;
  4. Bringing into effect the complaints procedure elaborated in Annex VI;
  5. Encouraging regional and sub-regional programs for cooperation in capacity building for future regional inspection teams;
  6. Encouraging regional, international and sub-regional cooperation on the promotion of renewable energy;
  7. Promoting international WMD disarmament and promoting the entry into force of the CTBT, TPNW as well as a BTWC compliance protocol by the States parties;
  8. Providing an open and safe environment for meetings and discussion for experts from the zone; and
  9. Providing capacity building programs for students and experts from the zone alongside other organisations.

3. Each Party to this treaty undertakes to lay down the appropriate provisions, whether by legislation, regulation or administrative action, to ensure compliance with the basic standards which have been established by METO, and to take the necessary measures with regard to teaching, education and vocational training.

4. The METO General Assembly shall meet in ordinary session once a year.

5. The METO Council shall meet in ordinary session once every three months and may meet in extraordinary session as may be required by the complaints and settlement of disputes procedure in Annex V.

Article 4 Declarations

1. Each State Party shall submit to [the METO], not later than 90 days after this treaty enters into force or from the acceding to this treaty for it, the following declarations, in which it shall:

  1. Declare any capability for the manufacture and possession of any weapons of mass destruction (nuclear weapons, chemical weapons and biological weapons, agents and toxins – as described in Annex VII) or whether there are any weapons of mass destruction located in any place under its jurisdiction of control;
  2. Declare whether it is a State Party to the NPT, and if so, which safeguards agreements it has concluded with the IAEA;
  3. Declare whether it is a State Party to the CWC, and if so, whether it has destroyed, or is in the process of destroying, chemical weapons under the supervision of the OPCW;
  4. Declare whether it is a State Party to the BTWC, and if so, whether it has destroyed or is in the process of destroying, biological weapons pursuant to Article 2 of that treaty.

2. [The Director General of METO] shall present a report on such declarations to States Parties.

Article 5 Dismantlement, Destruction or Conversion

1. Each State Party that has not done so shall, after this treaty enters into force for it, accede to the CWC and BTWC, and destroy or convert into peaceful purposes any chemical or biological weapons and manufacturing facilities it owns or possesses, or that are located in any place under its jurisdiction or control, in accordance with the provisions of those treaties. This includes destruction or conversion into peaceful purposes all agents, toxins, weapons, equipment and means of delivery specified in Article I of the CWC and in the composite text (mentioned in Annex IV).

2. Each State Party that is not a State Party to the NPT and that has declared that it does not own or possess any nuclear weapons and that there are no nuclear weapons located in any place under its jurisdiction or control, shall accede to the NPT, and shall conclude a Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA in accordance with the NPT as well as an Additional Protocol.

3. Each State Party that is not a State Party to the NPT and that has declared that it owns or possesses nuclear weapons shall, as soon as possible, but not later than [up to 5 years] after this treaty enters into force for it, deactivate, disable, separate from means of delivery, or otherwise remove from operational status all nuclear weapons and nuclear explosive devices it owns or possesses.

Article 6 Permitted Activities

1. Nothing in this treaty shall be interpreted as preventing or encouraging the use of nuclear sciences and technology for peaceful purposes in accordance with Article IV of the NPT and relevant IAEA guidance for safeguards, safety and security.

2. As part of their efforts to strengthen their security and stability, the States Parties undertake to fully cooperate with official regional and international bodies relevant to peaceful use of nuclear energy and nuclear science, in accordance with all regulations established by the IAEA and that will be established by METO, and in accordance with Paragraph 7 in this Article. METO will include a department for civil nuclear, chemical and biological industries for the purpose of establishing regulatory capacity.

3. Each State Party has the right for peaceful use of chemistry: to develop, produce or otherwise acquire, retain, transfer and use chemicals and their precursors (as defined in Annex VII) for purposes not prohibited under the CWC and the OPCW, including periodic updates by the OPCW.

4. METO will update the States Parties on any changes with the different schedules.

5. States Parties to this treaty will notify METO on related collaboration with other states, within or outside the region, as long as chemical materials specified in the Schedule are involved.

6. Nothing in this treaty shall prejudice the rights of States Parties to, individually or collectively, conduct research, development, production or other acquisition, storage, transfer and use of microbial and other biological agents (as defined in Annex VII) and toxins for peaceful purposes in accordance with Article X of the BTWC.

7. Each Party undertakes:

  1. To conduct all activities for the peaceful use of nuclear energy under strict nuclear non-proliferation, safety and security measures to provide assurance of exclusively peaceful and safe and secure use of nuclear energy.
  2. Not to provide source or special fissionable material, or equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material for peaceful purposes to any State unless subject to a comprehensive safeguards agreement and additional protocol concluded with IAEA.
  3. Not to provide any source or special fissionable material, or equipment or material, to any non-state actors and to implement the provisions of UN Security Council resolution 1540 (2004).
  4. The BTWC composite text will be used by the States Parties to this treaty, as long as there is no other BTWC compliance document agreed by all States Parties to the BTWC. The Composite text will be part of this treaty.

Article 7 Report and exchange of information

1. Each state party shall submit annual reports to the METO on its nuclear, chemical and biological activities as well as other matters relating to the Treaty, in accordance with the format for reporting to be developed by the Council, and agreed by the METO General Assembly.

2. Each Party shall promptly report to METO any significant event affecting the implementation of the Treaty.

Article 8 Physical protection and safety of nuclear, biological and chemical materials and facilities

Each Party undertakes to maintain and update the highest standards of safety and security and effective physical protection of nuclear materials (as defined in Annex VII) chemical materials and biological materials, their facilities and equipment to prevent theft or unauthorized use and handling. To that end each Party, in addition to its own regulations, undertakes to apply measures of physical protection equivalent to those provided for in the Convention on Nuclear Safety, Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material/Amended and in recommendations and guidelines developed by the IAEA, and by OPCW and the BTWC for biological and chemical materials and facilities, and any other measures developed by METO for that purpose.

Article 9 Renewable Energy

The States Parties to this treaty will collaborate with METO and IRENA (the International Renewable Energy Agency) to promote safe, sustainable and diverse energy sources, including renewable energy, in recognition of its significant contribution to human security in the region.

Article 10 Protection of populations and the environment

1. When implementing this treaty, each State Party will take all necessary safety precautions to protect populations and the environment.

2. The States Parties to this treaty will inform the OPCW, the UN Security Council and METO on any evidence of chemical weapon use in their territory, and will allow humanitarian organisations to offer medical assistance.

3. Each State Party to this treaty undertakes to provide or support assistance in accordance with METO, to any State Party to the treaty which so requests, following approval of the request by METO Council (described in Annex V paragraph 10).

Article 11 Conference of Parties

1. A Conference of all States Parties to the treaty shall be convened by the Depositary within an agreed time table after the entry into force of the treaty to, inter alia, elect members of the METO Council and determine its headquarters. Further conferences of States Parties shall be held yearly, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 3.

2. The Conference of all States Parties to the treaty shall adopt the Council’s budget and a scale of assessment to be paid by the States Parties.

Article 12 Interpretation of the Treaty

1. Any dispute arising out of the interpretation of the treaty shall be settled by negotiation.

2. Decisions will be made by consensus.

3. If consensus cannot be achieved within a period of 12 calendar months, the dispute shall be resolved through referral to the International Court of Justice.

Article 13 Reservations

This draft treaty is written with an open invitation for suggestion, reservations, amendments, negotiations and adoptions. However, once the treaty is adopted by states: The articles of this treaty shall not be subject to reservations.

Article 14 Signature, ratification and entry into force

1. This treaty shall be open for signature by all States in the Middle East zone, as described in Annex I.

2. The Treaty shall be subject to ratification in accordance with the legislative requirements of each State Party.

3. China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and United States will be invited to sign Protocols to the treaty respecting its terms.

4. It shall enter into force on the date of deposit of the agreed upon instruments of ratifications.

5. It shall enter into force only after ratification by three states from category A in Annex I and five states from category B in Annex I.

6. For a signatory that ratifies this Treaty after the date of the deposit of the instrument of ratification, it shall enter into force for that signatory on the date of deposit of its instrument of ratification.

Article 15 Amendments

1. Any amendments to the treaty proposed by a State Party shall be submitted to the METO Council, which shall circulate it to all States Parties. If more than five states parties to this treaty agree, the amendment will be discussed in the subsequent conference.

2. Decision on the adoption of such an amendment shall be taken by a consensus of the States Parties either through written communication to the Commission or through a conference of States Parties convened upon the concurrence of a simple majority.

3. An amendment so adopted shall enter into force for all parties after receipt by the Depositary.

Article 16 Duration and Withdrawal

1. The duration of the treaty is unlimited.

2. Each State Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this treaty if it decides that extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this treaty, have jeopardized its supreme interests.

3. Withdrawal shall be effected by a State Party giving first notice to the METO Council which includes a statement of the extraordinary events it regards as having jeopardized its supreme interest, for a period of twelve months during which the METO Council will seek a solution. After twelve months, if a solution is not found, the METO Council will call for a special meeting of the METO General Assembly, the depository, and representatives of international organisations. In this meeting a special committee will be agreed upon, to try and reach a solution to the problem. In the event that no solution is found, the Depositary shall circulate the notice of withdrawal to all other States Parties.

4. Withdrawal from the treaty does not mean a withdrawal from all other obligations to the treaties the state in question has signed and ratified for.

Article 17 Depositary functions

[The Secretary-General of the United Nations] will be the depositary of this treaty. The Depositary shall:

1. Receive instruments of ratification.

2. Register this treaty and its protocols pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.

3. Transmit certified copies of the treaty and its protocols to all States in the WMDFZME and to all States eligible to become party to the protocols to the treaty, and shall notify them of signatures and ratification of the treaty and its protocols.

Article 18 Authentic text

The Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, French, English, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian text of this treaty, shall be equally authentic.

Article 19 Status of the annexes

The annexes form an integral part of the Treaty. Any reference to this Treaty includes the annexes.