WMD Disarmament & Security in the Middle East

Note: our course for Summer 2021 is now closed for applications. Please do use the registration form below to register your interest in finding out about our future courses.

Our course of 8-sessions will provide students with a thorough understanding of weapons of mass destruction proliferation across the Middle East and North Africa region and efforts to strengthen international non-proliferation regimes. The course will be taught through a gender lens and with perspectives from the Middle East.

Banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East has been linked to broader regional security issues and the eventual banning of all weapons of mass destruction. A Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone (WMDFZ) was first proposed by Egypt in 1990 with backing from Iran. The proposal for a WMD-free zone in the Middle East, however, faces daunting challenges in the most troubled region of the world.

Through class discussion and guest speakers from academia and practitioners in WMD non-proliferation, this course will provide students with the ability to analyse these challenges, revisit past efforts to achieve the zone and identify future scenarios to rid the region of all WMDs.


  • Gain understanding about WMD non-proliferation globally and in the region.
  • Examine the security and disarmament sector through a gender lens and the importance of diverse voices to actively engage and shape this discourse. 
  • Observe the history of WMD proliferation across the region.
  • Explore the role foreign states play in the development of WMD programs in the region.
  • Learn about the link and impact of nuclear war on the environment.
  • Examine the risk of WMD acquisition and possible use in the future.
  • Learn advocacy, activism and the role of civil society in WMD non-proliferation in the Middle East.
  • Analyze current and future efforts to establish a WMDFZ in the Middle East.

Lecture topics

1: Course introduction & background on the WMD Free Zone in the Middle East
2: World power, WMDs & global non-proliferation conventions
3: Nuclear Weapons Free Zones and unconditional security assurances as applied to the Middle East
4: History of regional WMD proliferation & future risks
5: Environmental and Humanitarian Cost of Nuclear War
6: Multiple initiatives to achieve a WMD Free Zone in Middle East
7: Gender in Disarmament and Security Sector
8: Advocacy, activism and role of civil society in WMD non-proliferation


Your final grade will be based largely (80%) on a writing assignment and group presentation. The requirements for this course include one individual written assignment, a group assignment and a presentation.

Final grades will be assigned based on your performance in the following areas: Participation 20%, Essay 35%, Group Assignment & Presentation 45%.

The course is based on a pass or fail grading system, with successful students receiving a certificate from METO.

Fee Structure

Government officials and diplomats€500
Academics & professionals€250
Students from outside the Middle East and North Africa€50
Students from the Middle East and North AfricaFree
Members of the METO University NetworkFree

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