Egypt participated in discussions held on the sidelines of the International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland regarding a possible international treaty banning fissile material production for nuclear weapons.
There is already a proposed international treaty to prohibit the production of fissile material for weapons purposes, the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, but it is yet to be negotiated.
Egypt’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Walid Abdel Nasser, stressed that the terms of the treaty should address the current stock for fissile material. He noted that the aforementioned is enough to “create thousands of nuclear weapons.”
Abdel Nasser added, according to a foreign ministry statement released on Saturday, that the treaty should only allow the use of fissile material for peaceful purposes. Egypt also stressed the need for the treaty’s terms to include equal safety for all and non-discrimination among member-states.
Abdel Nasser said that the failure to agree on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty should not prevent further negotiations over other main topics on the agenda of the Conference of Disarmament. Reaching a nuclear disarmament treaty should be a top priority, he added.
Egypt chaired an unofficial UN event on nuclear disarmament held on 20-23 May in Geneva. The conference aimed to kick start negotiations on a variety of issues relating to nuclear weapons, including: nuclear disarmament, and a treaty to stop the production of fissile material and to stop the arms race in outer space.
Over the last year, the foreign ministry has been pushing for action on the issue of nuclear disarmament, as well as ridding the Middle East region of weapons of mass destruction.
During his address at the 68th session of the UN General Assembly Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy suggested a three-point plan with the aim of ridding the Middle East of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.