This International Women’s Day, the Middle East Treaty Organisation (METO) celebrates the women central to global peacebuilding and disarmament.
METO is proud to be led by a woman and, as a team, is 50% composed of women of colour who embody a diverse range of individuals contributing to the effort to research into, promote and establish a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East.
In the fifth episode of In The Zone, published on March 8th 2021 to coincide with International Women’s Day, Anahita Parsa and Paul Ingram interview Renata Dwan, former head of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and current Senior Executive Officer of Chatham House in the UK. In this interview, Renata talks about the background to the UNIDIR Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone Project, the importance of all sides in the region reflecting on their own situation and the situations that others find themselves in as a result of conflict, and the increasingly important topic of the intersection of gender, and diversity of representation in general, with disarmament.
In the fourth podcast in our series, In The Zone, Anahita Parsa and Paul Ingram interview Ambassador Karim Haggag from Egypt, a career diplomat with over 25 years of service, who is now a professor of practice at the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the American University in Cairo. In this interview, the Ambassador talks about how he developed his interest in regional disarmament, the sense of injustice with which the international community responds to the issue of proliferation in the Middle East, Egypt’s concerns when it comes to any country possessing WMD, how states could be incentivised to form the WMD-Free Zone, the prospects for progress under the Biden Administration, and how the recently signed Abraham Accords may provide an opportunity for Israel and the United States to engage in the UN-mandated process to negotiate a WMDFZ treaty.
Recent developments in the Middle East and the arrival of the Biden administration offer unique opportunities to improve regional security. However, obstacles on the way to such progress have far from disappeared.
In the third podcast in our series, “In The Zone”, Anahita Parsa and Paul Ingram interview Tariq Rauf from Canada, who was the former Head of the Verification and Security Policy Coordination Office at the International Atomic Energy Agency, among many other important roles in the disarmament field. In this interview, Rauf talks about how he developed his interest in the region, the benefits of establishing a WMD-Free Zone there, how states can be incentivised to form one, the technical obstacles to it, the cynicism that frequently confronts those efforts, and what we can expect from the incoming Biden Administration in the USA.
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.
In the second podcast in our series, “In The Zone”, Anahita Parsa and Paul Ingram interview Dr Tarja Cronberg from Finland, former MEP and current distinguished associate fellow at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, about the benefits of a WMD-Free zone, how to get all states of the region talking to one another, regional cynicism, her new book “Renegotiating the Nuclear Order”, and the prospects for women in the field of security.
A busy 2021 kicks off for METO with the launch of a new podcast series which aims to explore some of the constructive approaches that improve the chances of achieving a WMD free-zone in the Middle East. Once every two weeks our guests, who are experts in their fields, will be asked about how to dodge the obstacles, how to build trust between countries and how to improve peace and security for people in the region. The interviews will be conducted by our director, Paul Ingram and our programme associate, Anahita Parsa.