Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

​​ Egypt and ​Disarmament

A. Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs)

  • Nuclear disarmament is considered a regional and international priority for Egypt. For decades, Egypt played a main role in advancing nuclear disarmament in the framework of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Egypt considers nuclear disarmament an obligation that must be fulfilled by nuclear states in accordance with the commitments stated in Article VI of the non-proliferation treaty.

  • Egypt gives the utmost priority to full nuclear disarmament in a specific timeframe without discrimination and through clear inspection mechanisms. In this context, Egypt strongly supports negotiating a comprehensive international treaty to achieve total nuclear disarmament. One that guarantees there will be no return to possession of such weapons. That happens through a multilateral system characterized by effectiveness to ensure inspection and international supervision.

  • Egypt monitors with concern the nuclear states’ continued adherence to the nuclear deterrence doctrine in their security systems. The role of nuclear weapons in the security and military doctrines of nuclear states did not witness a change as indicated by their reaffirmation that these weapons are the real assurance to their security. This is reflected in the continuation of programs related to modernizing the nuclear weapons arsenal, which illustrates the long term dependency of these states on nuclear weapons. Egypt asserts that the nuclear states’ continued possession of an arsenal of nuclear weapons for the purposes of deterrence, the development of new generations of them, and their continued proliferation in the regions of non-nuclear states undermines the objectives of the non-proliferation treaty.

  • Egypt expresses its concern about the threat posed against humanity by the continued existence of nuclear weapons. It reasserts that complete nuclear disarmament is the only guarantee to combat the use and the threat of the use of these weapons. Egypt demands of all the states non-party to the non-proliferation treaty to quickly join the treaty without any conditions. And to put all of their nuclear facilities under the Safeguards System of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This is to achieve treaty universality, which constitutes the cornerstone of an international disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation system.

  • As a step towards nuclear disarmament, Egypt supports the objectives and principles of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons explosions or any other nuclear explosions. Egypt was one of the first states to sign the treaty in light of its encouragement of nuclear states to refrain from conducting nuclear tests and to stop the qualitative development of nuclear weapons.

  • Egypt also participated effectively in the historic negotiations for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons passed on July 7, 2017 at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Egypt was one of 122 states to vote in favor of its passing. The treaty represents one of the most prominent developments in the field of disarmament in recent decades as it stipulated a ban on the development, production, possession, and stockpiling of nuclear weapons, as well as, threatening to use them and installing them in the territory of others.

  • With regards to biological weapons, Egypt ratified the 1925 Geneva Protocol that “prohibits the use of poisonous gases”. It was one of the leading states in signing the Biological Weapons Convention in 1972.


 

B. Establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in the Middle East

  • Egypt exerted strenuous efforts over decades to reach the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and all other WMDs in the Middle East. Based on its comprehension of the inhumane effects of these weapons and its deep conviction that WMDs would fuel instability in the region, Egypt took the initiative and demanded the establishment of zone free of nuclear weapons and all other WMDs in the Middle East. Egypt has sought reaching this goal not only as a security necessity but also to follow the method used by other regions that have succeeded in establishing zones free of nuclear weapons, which the Middle East should be no exception to.
  • The Middle East region has had a special position in the frame work of the non-proliferation treaty and the process of revising it. The 1995 decision to establish a zone free of nuclear weapons and other WMDs in the Middle East through an effective achievable mechanism was one of the main components included in the treaty’s indefinite extension bundle. This confirms that achieving treaty universality and nuclear disarmament constitute a main component in the treaty’s credibility and effectiveness.
  • After more than two decades since the passing of the 1995 decision regarding the Middle East, it continues to be the only decision passed in the treaty’s review conferences as a special regional case. This reflects the centrality of this issue and the urgent need to address it. To reconfirm this special position, the nuclear non-proliferation treaty’s review conference for the year 2000 reasserted the Middle East centrality. The 2010 Review Conference also called for holding a conference to establish a zone free of nuclear weapons and other WMDs in the Middle East in 2012.


C. Peaceful uses of nuclear energy

  • Egypt asserts the importance of supporting international cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy and maintaining the inalienable right of the states party to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty to develop, research, produce, and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in accordance with Article IV of the treaty.
  • Egypt asserts that any measures that would obstruct, whether partially or fully, the complete use of these inalienable rights would disrupt the delicate balance between rights and obligations in the framework of the non-proliferation treaty. This would contradict the treaty’s objective itself and would also increase the gap between the developed and developing states in this field.
  • Egypt expresses its concerns over endeavors that aim to lay down discriminative arrangements to impose additional restrictions in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which hinders the achievement of the treaty’s objectives.
  • Egypt announced the start of a program to build four nuclear units to generate electricity in accordance with the international standards of nuclear safety and security. It also took the executive steps to establish the first nuclear power plant dependent on Egyptian expertise and capabilities in cooperation with Egypt’s international partners and the IAEA. Egypt has taken some measures to reinforce the legislative, regulatory, and institutional framework in the nuclear sector. Among them was the reformation of the Higher Council for the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy chaired by the president of the republic and issuing Law 4 for the year 2010 to regulate of nuclear and radiation activities, which established the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority as an independent regulatory body that oversees the execution of law’s provisions.


D. Traditional weapons

  • Egypt supports the United Nations 2001 program of action to combat the illicit trade of small and light weapons and asserts that it lays a clear framework for the international community’s work in combating the illicit trade of these weapons. The UN’s program of action sets a group measures to be nationally passed with the aim of combating the illicit trade of small and light weapons, which can be reinforced and supported on both the regional and non-regional levels. The program
  • also urges aiding the international community in enabling states to fulfill their obligations in this regard.
  • Egypt has started implementing a number of components of the UN’s program of action before its passing in July 2001. Egyptian law regulated the production and trade of small and light weapons and set measures that should be followed by state institutions to eliminate the illicit trade of these weapons. And in the framework of implementing the program of action, Egypt completely adheres to the principles of international law and the United Nations Charter.