La Trobe University’s Centre for Dialogue and the European Public Law Organization (EPLO) convened a regional dialogue in Athens on the proposal to establish a Middle East zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction as well as their means of delivery (WMDFZ). In preparation since April 2010, the dialogue was the product of extensive consultation with key stakeholders in the Middle East as well as outside the region.
Those invited to participate were drawn largely from Arab countries, Iran, Israel and Turkey. Invitations were also issued to a few others noted for their expertise or involvement in or support for the proposed UN Helsinki Conference. The Athens Dialogue produced a number of proposals which could be taken to further the goal of security in the Middle East and assist the negotiation of a WMDFZ.
Writing in the Foreword to that volume, former vice-president of the International Court of Justice Judge Christopher Weeramantry wrote that the Athens Dialogue that he co-convened in 2012 was “outstanding” and “a significant step” that makes “a substantial contribution” to our understanding of the constraints and opportunities for comprehensive nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. In late-2012 and early-2013 I supplemented the dialogues with over one hundred interviews with political and cultural leaders in Iran, Israel and Egypt.