The InterAction Council calls for Middle East nuclear-free zone

May. 11 / 2013

Bahrain – Participants of the InterAction Council’s 31st Annual Plenary Meeting concluded their two-day meeting in Manama today by releasing a series of recommendations to reduce the dangers of nuclear proliferation. In previous sessions, the Council had concentrated on the themes of the state of the world, the water-energy food nexus and the religious divide. 

The Council released its Final Communiqué for its 31st Annual Plenary Meeting (to follow), which includes 44 recommendations on the four themes. This communiqué will be distributed by the InterAction Council to current world leaders and policy-makers. Highlights of the recommendations include:

  • Encourage states in the Middle East region to engage in preparatory meetings to build the trust necessary to create a Middle East nuclear-free zone.
  • The InterAction Council has promoted a global Arms Trade Treaty, recently adopted by the U.N. General Assembly and the Council now urges all states to sign and ratify the Treaty without delay.
  • The InterAction Council urges international support for the Red Sea-Dead Sea canal project as a means of supplying new water resources and strengthening security in the Middle East.
  • The InterAction Council encourages Russia and the United States to convene an international conference aimed at ending the civil war in Syria and urges states to donate to the humanitarian needs of the Syrian refuges.

The two-day meeting brought together nearly 20 former heads of state and government, leading academics and policy makers to deliberate four main themes: the present state of the world, the water-energy nexus, bridging the religious divide and nuclear non-proliferation. InterAction Council members in attendance included H.E. Dr. Franz Vranitzky, former Chancellor of Austria and Council Co-Chair; the Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien, former Prime Minister of Canada and Council Co-Chair; and Nobel Prize Laureate H.E. Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez, former President of Costa Rica. High-level experts included H.E. Mr. Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); H.E. Dr. Majid Al-Moneef, Secretary-General of Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Economic Council; and The Most Hon. Lord Michael Lothian, Chairman of the Global Strategy Forum.

The opening ceremony on 9 May featured a keynote speech by H.E. Dr. Abdel Salam Majali, former Prime Minister of Jordan, entitled, “Uprisings in the Arab World: The Reality Beyond the Failure of Politics and Policies.”
 
In its 31-year history, the InterAction Council has been at the forefront of many prominent issues, most notably the 1997 drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities, a document that counterbalances the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the 2010 Hiroshima Declaration, a powerful plea for the abolishment of nuclear weapons; and the 2012 report, The Global Water Crisis: Addressing an Urgent Security Issue.

The InterAction Council holds its meetings in a different country every year and last met in the Middle East in May 2009 for its 27th Annual Plenary Meeting in Saudi Arabia.

About InterAction Council

Established in 1983, the InterAction Council of Former Heads of State and Government is an international organization whose objective is to address long-term, global issues facing humankind. Co-Chaired by the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister of Canada, 1993-2003) and Dr. Franz Vranitzky (Chancellor of Austria, 1986-1997), the Council’s membership is comprised of more than forty former heads of state who volunteer their time to develop proposals for action and submit them directly to national and international decision-makers.

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For further information, please visit the InterAction Council website at www.interactioncouncil.org or contact:
 
InterAction Council in Bahrain

Ms. Rana Shamoon, shamoon.rana@gmail.com, mobile 1-647-269-9901

or Mrs. Tanya Guy, tanya.guy@interactioncouncil.org mobile +943 3539 3014