Horizon 2012: Sailing in the Same Boat Toward a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East
Indeed, the NTP Review Conference 2010 Final Document (NPT/CONF.2010/50 (Vol. I)) "underscore[d] the importance of the establishment of nuclear weapon-free zones where they do not exist, especially in the Middle East" and announced it "will convene a conference in 2012, to be attended by all States of the Middle East, on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction." In addition, "the important role played by civil society" in this regard was recognized and "encourage[d]".
Horizon 2012 is an attempt by civil society to contribute to this process by seeking to raise awareness on the value of such process, build confidence, and facilitate dialogue, thus improving the chances of success in the UN 2012 Middle East Conference on the establishment of a MENWFZ.
To do so, Horizon 2012 provides a platform for civil society information sharing and confidence building in order to bring the issue of nuclear disarmament onto the agenda of civil society movements for peace, democracy and human rights in the Middle East. It aims to develop and improve mechanisms for the coordination of CSO strategy, advocacy and outreach in the lead-up to, during and following the 2012 international conference.
Horizon 2012 seeks to facilitate discussions and enhance mechanisms for regular interactions and dialogue between civil society and decision-makers at the local, regional and international level, including government officials, representatives of regional and international organizations, as well as the recently appointed facilitator for the 2012 international conference. In this process, participants in Horizon 2012 contribute with their first-hand experience, on the ground analysis and expertise, and strategic thinking to make recommendations on issues ranging from encouraging CSO participation in the lead-up to and during the 2012 international conference to contributing key substantial elements to be negotiated in the process toward the creation of a MENWMDFZ.
> Read Horizon 2012 Concept Paper here
Launched at the 11th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in November 2010 in Hiroshima, Japan, the project has since received positive feedback and support from regional and global actors, including high profile international figures such as Nobel Peace Laureates Mairead Maguire and Jody Williams, as well as former Head of UNMOVIC and Chair of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Hans Blix.
From March 23-27, Horizon 2012 brought together in Civitavecchia, Italy and on board the Peace Boat in the Mediterranean Sea some 30 international and regional civil society participants from Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, as well as government, UN and Arab League officials, to discuss the conference on the Middle East Nuclear Weapons and All Other Weapons of Mass Destructions Free Zone (MENWMDFZ) scheduled for 2012 in Finland and how civil society can contribute to it.
> Read Summary Report here.
> Read and download the full Presentations from the meeting here.
Outcomes of the meeting include a press statement as well as a set of recommendations addressed to the 2012 international conference facilitator Mr Jaakko Laajava and to political leaders in the Middle East on the process towards the 2012 international conference
> Download the recommendations in English / Japanese
> Download the press statement in English / Japanese
The first Global Strategy Meeting of Horizon 2012's Advisory Group was held onboard Peace Boat in March 2011, in a context of major political changes in the Arab world, as well as in the midst of the nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan, which contributed attracting significant public attention to the Horizon 2012 project. The three-day-meeting brought together 15 civil society representatives from Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Turkey, Japan and Europe, as well as UN representatives, parliamentarians, former military officials and international disarmament experts to serve as an advisory group to the project and identify effective ways for civil society to contribute the process and exchange views on possible strategies.
> Read Summary Report online here
In September 2011, as part of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)'s international conference in Geneva, Switzerland, a closed session was held on civil society inputs to create conditions for a MENWMDFZ, where Peace Boat introduced Horizon 2012 as one of the ongoing initiatives. Discussions focused on how to build an effective anti-nuclear weapons campaign in the current context in the Middle East.
Horizon 2012 is a project of Peace Boat, supported by the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and in partnership with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and IKV/Pax Christi