Iran earthquake felt in UAE and Arabian Gulf

Iran earthquake felt in UAE and Arabian Gulf

Strong tremors were felt in cities across the UAE due to a severe earthquake on the western coastline of Iran Tuesday afternoon.

The shockwaves of the quake felt in the UAE forced residents of high-rise buildings to rush out to nearby open places.

The earthquake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, jolted several Iranian cities at 3.52pm (1152 GMT), which followed a serious of aftershocks measuring 5.4, 4.6, 4.8, and 4.1, according to the world’s major seismology centres monitoring the region. The powerful quake killed at least 30 people in Iran and injured 800 but left Iran's only nuclear power plant intact, reports AFP.

The shockwaves of the first quake took almost half an hour to reach Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah some 500km across the Arabian Gulf. No casualties and property damage were reported.

The epicentre of the quake was located some 280km in the north of Manama, Bahrain across the sea. It was some 10km deep, according to the US Geological Survey. The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) said the earthquake’s epicentre was some 153km in the south-west of the Iranian city of Shiraz and some 500km in the north-west of Abu Dhabi.

The closest Iranian city to the earthquake centre is Bushehr, home to Iran’s only nuclear power plant. The jolts were also felt in neighbouring GCC countries including Bahrain, Qatar and parts of Saudi Arabia.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi were rocked by jolts at around 3.50pm. Residents panicked and rushed out to safety. Yousuf Aklia, who works as an architect in Tecom in Dubai, said that he was sitting in his office on the 17th floor and felt quite dizzy. He heard one of his colleagues saying ‘earthquake’. “The earthquake lasted for around 8 seconds,” he said, adding that people from other departments in the building were evacuated.

A Gulf News reader said: “I felt strong tremors in Dubai in Al Nahda. It was really scary...I experienced the same in India also, back in 2001.”

Sharjah residents also confirmed that they experienced mild shaking of the ground. Naveen Frank, who was sitting at his desk on the 14th floor of a building on Sharjah’s Corniche Road, said that he felt the ground shake for a little over five seconds. “The tables and chairs were shaking and we felt mild tremors at the office,” he said. The building was evacuated immediately after the fire alarm went off, he added.

N. Farah, a media specialist in Abu Dhabi, said she felt the tremors in her apartment on Najda Street.

We were on the ninth floor, and the shaking did not last very long. I actually thought the tremors were from the construction work taking place behind our building. Thankfully, there was no damage,” she said.

An hour after the initial tremors were felt, hundreds of people were still gathered below buildings in the capital. Most were workers in high-rise office towers whose buildings had been evacuated following safety procedures.

Another Sharjah resident, Yasmeen Maqbool, a housewife living on the 17th floor of a residential building in Al Nahda, said she also felt the tremors at her apartment. “The chandeliers and curtains were shaking for more than a minute and then it stopped for a few minutes and started again but it was not as bad,” she said, adding that only residents on higher floors experienced the earthquake. – Gulf News

Clinton hails UAE's progress at World Tourism Summit

The UAE won praise from Bill Clinton yesterday for its long-term plan to diversify the economy into tourism, education and renewable energy.

"The UAE has done a good job with something a lot of people can't handle," the former US president said. "Poverty is a bigger problem than wealth, but in history just as many have squandered their wealth than have failed to create opportunities from their poverty. They squander it and do stupid things.

"The thing that has impressed me here is the unusually high number of well educated, serious people who think all the time about where they want to be in five years, in 10 years; how to make the most of their good fortune by diversifying their wealth; what the challenges are; and expanding their outreach and not being contained … but by opening to the rest of the world."

Mr Clinton was addressing about 1,000 delegates at the World Travel and Tourism Council summit. It is his ninth trip to the UAE since leaving office in 2001.

Since then he has worked as the UN special envoy in Haiti and founded the William J Clinton Foundation to address inequalities.

"The history of the 21st century has not yet been written," he told the audience.

"If we have more travel and tourism … it will inevitably create opportunities for you in the industry to create jobs for others and reduce global inequality," Mr Clinton said.

He said the industry was well placed to devise economically attractive ways to save the environment.

"I predict that over the next 20 years the travel and tourism industry will lead a re-examination of our energy industry policies. The fact that you have such a great stake in a global stable environment gives you enormous credibility."

Mr Clinton drew on his experiences in Haiti in his speech. The country is the poorest in the Caribbean. Even before 2010, when it was devastated by an earthquake, 70 per cent of the population had a per capita income of less than US$2 a day and only 54 per cent of school-age children attended school.

"It was clear to anyone who looks at the country that part of its rebuilding must be developing the capacity for travel and tourism," he said.

The former president last year took a tourist trade delegation to Haiti to encourage investment there. The Marriott group is now building a hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. David Scowsill, president and chief executive of the WTTC, also accompanied Mr Clinton on a trip last year to inaugurate a new industrial park in the north of the country.

Mr Clinton said the travel and tourism industry had an "enormous opportunity to build the economy of poor places" by using local suppliers.

"In Colombia, we met a group of women who had been literally blown out of their native villages and resettled along a river to grow spices," Mr Clinton said.

"They decided to make Colombia the centre of organic spices, so the Foundation reorganised their marketing and got hotels to use their products and market them, and we quadrupled their income. If you do that, it embeds the industry in the local community and builds support that is more human than political."

Mr Clinton also spoke about his work as US president to promote peace in the Balkans and in the Middle East.

"What I have seen is that peace works better than conflict and one of the best manifestations of that is travel and tourism," he said. He told the audience how international tourism had jumped 650 per cent in one seaside town in Montenegro in the five years after peace in the Balkans took hold. He said he told Palestinian and Israeli leaders when he was involved in the peace process that Jerusalem had the potential to be the most visited city in the world. – The National Read more:  Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | on Facebook

Arab youth increasingly engaged in social media, survey says

Social media is increasingly becoming influential among the Arab youth, the fifth Arab Youth Survey revealed on Tuesday.

Commissioned by ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller and conducted by international polling firm Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), the study looks into the concerns of 3,000 young Arabs from across 15 countries in the MENA region.

Sixty-four per cent of Arab youth use Facebook and socially interact or follow their friends, celebrities, and social commentators, respectively. About 94 per cent of their Facebook friends come from their own country.

Four out of ten Arab youth actively post tweets and nearly half respond to them. Eighty-seven per cent of them follow friends, while 46 per cent follow celebrities and 21 per cent follow journalists.

Blogging activity has reduced with just 46 per cent of respondents reading blogs, down by 15 per cent from 2012. Also, one in five Arab youth has their own blog, while 38 per cent contribute to a blog.

A significant shift in media consumption has been noted in the findings where more and more youth are turning to social media for news, from 20 per cent last year to 28 per cent this year. TV remains the number one source for news at 72 per cent, online news sites stand at 59 per cent, while newspapers are used as a news source by 24 per cent of the Arab youth.

TV is still the number one source for Arab youth. Some 72 per cent say that’s where they get their news from. But only 40 per cent trust what they see on TV. Social media, online media are the way ahead and that’s where the Arab youth are increasingly looking for their news coverage,” Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of Burson-Marsteller, Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Gulf News.

Other influences

Seven out of 10 Arab youth consider their parents their biggest influence, followed by religion at 69 per cent, family and friends with 66 and 49 per cent respectively. Surprisingly, Arab youth give least importance to pop stars and sports figures in terms of having an influence on their lives. – Gulf News

Arab Youth Survey: Our future looks bright, Arab youth say

While countries affected by the Arab Spring are still instituting stability, majority of Arab youth believe that their future looks bright, are very proud of their Arab identity, and for the second straight year, continue to look up on UAE as their most preferred country to live in and model country for their nations.

Released on Tuesday, the fifth Arab Youth Survey, commissioned by ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller and conducted by international polling firm Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), examines the concerns of 3,000 Arab youth aged between 18 to 24 across 15 countries in the MENA region.

Three out of four Arab youth (or 74 per cent) believe that “our best days are ahead of us.” A clear majority of the 15 countries are optimistic about the future, with Kuwait being the most optimistic at 82 per cent.

The fifth ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey illustrates that despite the negative media headlines attributed to the region, Arab Youth retain a strong sense of hope for the future and are determined to achieve a better life for themselves and their families,” Joseph Ghossoub, Chairman and CEO of MENACOM Group, said.

Nine out of 10 Arab youth likewise expressed they are “more proud to be an Arab” following the uprisings. Two out of three believe they are “better off” after the Arab Spring and that the recent changes it has sparked will positively impact them and their family.

The first two findings are very new this year. And the fact that young Arabs look at their future with great amount of optimism, and the fact that they are proud to be an Arab is an outstanding new result that has come this year,” Sunil John, CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, told Gulf News.

Model country

A third of the Arab youth picked the UAE as their top choice to live in for the second straight year, given 24 countries to choose from including the 15 countries surveyed and nine other prominent countries. The youth also regarded the UAE as a model country for their governments to emulate. John attributes these positive findings to the country’s cosmopolitan outlook, economic resilience, and wise leadership.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, seemed happy with the results, as expressed in his Tweeter post: “Pleased to know that the survey also showed that UAE youth, more than others, believe in their country’s ability to compete globally.”

It is not about showing off. I truly believe we’re still learning and in the early stages. Our goal is to compete globally in all areas,” read another of Sheikh Mohammad’s tweet regarding the survey.

Outside the Middle East, France is the most favourable country for the Arab Youth, followed by Germany and China.

Recurrent social issues

While the Arab youth are highly optimistic about their future, some recurrent social issues continue to top their priorities such as getting fair pay, owning a home, and living in a democracy.

The region’s disturbingly high youth unemployment rate — at more than 25 per cent — have unsurprisingly affected the concerns of Arab youth. Forty-one per cent of respondents in the Gulf and 46 per cent in non-Gulf countries are “very concerned” about unemployment.

Following global trends, one in four Arabs believe they will be able to buy their own homes in their 30s while a surprising 15 per cent of Arabs believe they will never be able buy their own home.

Of course the need for jobs, the need for homes, and the need for a good quality of life have been there for the last five years. So we think that those will continue to stay. The Middle East has challenges…I think this is where government and businesses need to work on,” John told Gulf News.

The rising cost of living worries the youth more at 62 per cent as opposed to economic issues, terrorist threats, Arab Spring events, or unemployment. – Gulf News

President, VP and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince offer condolences on death of Margaret Thatcher

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent two condolence cables of to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on the death of former British Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher.

Sheikh Khalifa expressed his profound sorrow on the death of Baroness Thatcher. The UAE President recalled her role and great efforts in promoting and strengthening the distinguished relations between the two friendly peoples and countries.

Meanwhile, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also sent similar cables to Queen Elizabeth II and David Cameron.  – Emirates News Agency, WAM

Abdullah bin Zayed takes part in Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative meeting

The Hague: H. H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Foreign Minister, yesterday participated in the plenary meeting of the Sixth Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), a ministerial-level group initiated by Australia and Japan.

The first working session of this meeting was attended by Ambassador Hamad Al Ka'abi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Foreign Ministers of the Netherlands, of Germany, of Japan, and of Turkey (TBC) also participated in the conference, as well as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada.

The membership of the NPDI includes the UAE, the Netherlands, Canada, Chile, Germany, Mexico, Poland and Turkey. The group aims to build confidence measures among the nuclear countries through encouraging greater transparency surrounding nuclear disarmament and proliferation.

The NPDI is currently focused on the commencement of negotiations of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). In May and August 2012, NPDI members Germany and the Netherlands organised scientific experts' meetings in Geneva to support the commencement of negotiations.

In his opening remarks, Frans Timmermans, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, stressed the need for a balanced approach to disarmament and non-proliferation in the global context. He also established a clear link between the work in this NPDI Conference and the review cycle of the universal Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). He furthermore welcomed the adoption of the The Hague Joint-Statement coming out of the conference.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the UAE Foreign Minister met Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan. The two sides discussed the bilateral relations and ways to enhance them.

They also discussed the resolutions of the NPDI meeting.

After the NPDI Conference, the UAE Foreign Minister held a series of talks with representatives from the Netherlands. He met Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen. The two sides discussed the bilateral relations, especially in the area of trade and boosting the investment between the two countries, as well as the humanitarian situation in Syria and the Syrian refugees.

Sheikh Abdullah also met Frans Timmermans, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The two ministers reviewed the issues tackled by the NPDI meeting as well as the resolutions. They also discussed the relations between the two countries, especially in the areas of investment, trade, culture and politics. In addition, they exchanged views on important regional issues, most notably Iran, Syria, and the Middle East Peace Process.

The UAE minister stressed that there is joint interest to further strengthen the bilateral relations, encourage mutual investments, and open new markets

He said that the UAE market is open to Dutch business, as the UAE is an exemplary partner for the Netherlands in the Gulf region.

Sheikh Abdullah said that the Netherlands pledged to remove all obstacles that hamper growth in trade, and the movement of people and capital between the two countries.

After the meetings, the banquet was hosted in honour of the participants. Followed by the press conference attended by the UAE Foreign Minister, Frans Timmermans, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherland, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and Bob Dechert, parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs of Canada.

Below is the statement issued by the Non -Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI):

1. We, the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates reaffirm our shared commitment to take forward the consensus outcome of the 2010 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and jointly advance the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation agendas as mutually reinforcing processes.

2. We reaffirm our shared commitment to the NPT as the essential foundation for the achievement of nuclear disarmament, as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and as the basis for the development of the peaceful uses of nuclear technology for those who choose to do so. We stress the importance of universal adherence to the NPT and call on all States not party to the Treaty to accede to it immediately as non-nuclear weapon States.

3. We convened at ministerial level in The Hague with the aim of giving further impetus to our contribution to the NPT Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) to be held in Geneva from April 22nd to May 3rd 2013. We reaffirm our deep commitment to actively implement the Action Plan agreed at the 2010 NPT Review Conference. As individual State Parties and collectively as the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), we will actively contribute to the work of the PrepCom including by submitting, for further elaboration by all State Parties, working papers on reducing the role of nuclear weapons, non-strategic nuclear weapons, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT), the wider application of safeguards, nuclear weapons-free zones and export controls as well as an update of last year's working paper on disarmament and non-proliferation education.

4. We reaffirm that the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is their total elimination. In this regard, we stress the need for systematic and continued reduction of all nuclear weapons, including non-strategic nuclear weapons, by all nuclear weapon States, in a pragmatic and step by step approach aiming at their total elimination. While we welcome the ongoing implementation of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) by the United States and the Russian Federation, we call upon all nuclear weapon States to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons, deployed and non-deployed, in an irreversible, transparent and verifiable way. In particular, we urge the inclusion of non-strategic nuclear weapons in any future nuclear disarmament processes.

5. We attach great importance to transparency as a vital confidence-building measure on disarmament. In accordance with Actions 5 and 21 of the Action Plan, we proposed to the Nuclear Weapon States a draft reporting form that aims to provide details regarding their efforts to fulfil their disarmament commitments under NPT Article VI. We will, individually and as a group, continue to encourage the Nuclear Weapon States to take practical steps on transparency concerning their nuclear weapons. We take note of the continuing discussions among the Nuclear Weapon States about the issue of transparency, verification and mutual confidence, in support of their undertaking to report to the 2014 NPT PrepCom. We look forward to the outcomes of the fourth meeting of the Nuclear Weapon States in Geneva, in April 2013, in particular on accelerated implementation of and greater transparency on these issues.

6. The NPDI emphasises the importance of reducing the role and significance of nuclear weapons in military and nuclear doctrines. To stimulate the debate on this subject, the NPDI has submitted a working paper to the 2013 PrepCom on this topic and will organise a seminar in the margins of the meeting. Steps towards reducing the role and significance of nuclear weapons are important contributions towards the goal of complete nuclear disarmament and will be mutually reinforcing with further quantitative reductions.

7. We reiterate our deep concern and frustration with the continued stalemate in the Conference on Disarmament (CD). The CD must agree on and implement a comprehensive Program of Work that will start substantive work on the CD's four core issues. We welcome the outcome of last year's session of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly that could contribute to advance the cause of nuclear disarmament, especially in the view of the continued stalemate in the disarmament machinery as a whole.

Three important resolutions were adopted at the 67th session of the General Assembly in December last year, on the establishment of a group of governmental experts to make recommendations on aspects contributing to a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (67/53); on the establishment of an open-ended working group to develop proposals for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons (67/56); and on the establishment of a High Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament (67/39). We hope these new developments give a much needed impetus to the multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation agendas.

8. The immediate commencement of negotiations on a verifiable treaty to ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices remains a priority for disarmament and non-proliferation efforts. Such a treaty remains an essential step towards a world without nuclear weapons. Pending such negotiations, all States possessing nuclear weapons should declare and maintain a moratorium on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.

9. We also firmly believe that universalisation and early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) are essential steps to achieve nuclear disarmament. We welcome the ratification of the Treaty this year by Brunei Darussalam and Chad, bringing the total of ratifications to 159. The recent nuclear test by Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) once again underscores the importance of the ratification and entry into force of the Treaty. We appeal urgently to all countries that have not yet become Parties, in particular to the remaining eight States listed in Annex II of the Treaty, to sign and ratify the CTBT without further delay. The Nuclear Weapon States have a particular responsibility to encourage ratification of the CTBT and we call on them to take the initiative in this regard. Pending the entry into force of the Treaty, we call upon all States to refrain from nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions.

10. Strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the IAEA safeguards system has been a priority of the NPDI since its creation. We strongly promote universal adherence to key non-proliferation instruments. We consider the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, in combination with an Additional Protocol, to be the international verification standard. We call upon all States that have not yet concluded an Additional Protocol to do so without delay. We stand ready to share our experience and best practices, as well as legal and practical assistance, in concert with the IAEA, in the conclusion and implementation of Additional Protocols. Furthermore we will continue our outreach to call on States, where appropriate, to rescind or amend the Small Quantities Protocol, and to sign and ratify the amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

11. Furthermore, we underscore the crucial role of export controls in achieving nuclear non-proliferation obligations under paragraph 2 of Article III of the NPT. We urge all States to establish, develop, and maintain appropriate effective national export controls for nuclear and related dual-use goods and technology, including as required by United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1540. As mentioned in the NPDI working paper for the 2013 NPT PrepCom, the NPDI members stand ready to share their individual experiences in the field of export controls with other State Parties.

12. Recognising the serious threat of nuclear terrorism, we reaffirm our commitment to work together to strengthen nuclear security including by fully implementing relevant international requirements. We welcome the third Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) which will be held in The Hague, the Netherlands, in less than a year. The members of the NPDI fully support the objectives of the NSS on strengthening nuclear security and reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism. We are participating in the preparations for the 2014 Summit and are working towards its successful conclusion. We also welcome the International Conference on Nuclear Security to be convened by the IAEA in Vienna from July 1st -5th, 2013.

13. The NPDI strongly condemns the nuclear test by the DPRK on February 12th 2013, which is a serious violation of UNSCRs 1718, 1874 and 2087 and which constitutes a grave challenge to the NPT. While deploring this third nuclear test, which undermines peace and security in the region and beyond, we welcome the unanimous adoption of UNSCR 2094 on March 7th. We strongly urge the DPRK to sincerely heed the strong warning and condemnation repeatedly expressed by the international community and to comply faithfully and fully with all of the obligations included in all relevant UNSCRs, the NPT and its IAEA safeguards agreement. We also strongly urge the DPRK to refrain from further escalatory actions and provocations including nuclear testing and missile launches or the threat of nuclear weapons' use.

14. In relation to Iran's nuclear program, we deeply regret the lack of progress in resolving the outstanding issues with the IAEA. We urge Iran to seriously engage with the IAEA. We also deeply regret that no progress was achieved the lack of advancement at the latest meeting with the E3+3 in Almaty. To address the immediate concerns of the international community, we urge Iran to engage with the E3+3 on the proposal tabled in Almaty in February and further elucidated by experts in Istanbul last month in order to reach an agreement on first concrete confidence building steps. We strongly urge Iran to fully comply with its international obligations including IAEA and UNSC resolutions without delay in order to restore international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program. We support the IAEA's essential role in establishing this confidence. We further support the E3+3 seeking a comprehensive, negotiated, long-term settlement to the Iranian nuclear issue, while respecting Iran's legitimate rights to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in conformity with the NPT and its obligations under IAEA and UNSC resolutions.]

15. As an important cooperation and confidence-building measure, we encourage and support the establishment of internationally recognised and effectively verifiable nuclear-weapon-free-zones, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among States of the regions concerned. We also call for genuine and constructive engagement of all States, especially the Nuclear Weapon States in support of this objective.

16. We regret that the Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, which is an essential and integral part of the final outcome of the 1995, 2000 and 2010 NPT Review Conferences outcomes, could not be held in 2012. We call for the earliest possible convening of a successful conference with the participation of all States of the region on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at. We support the facilitator in his efforts to realise this and we call upon the States in the region to engage in a spirit of constructive cooperation that will lead to an inclusive, substantive and goal-oriented conference and follow-on steps eventually leading to the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.

17. The members of the NPDI participated in the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons that took place in Oslo, Norway on March 4th and 5th 2013. We remain deeply concerned by the risk for humanity represented by the possibility that nuclear weapons could be used and the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from their use. The discussions at the Oslo Conference illustrated once more the devastating immediate and long-term humanitarian effects of a nuclear weapon detonation. We welcome the offer of Mexico to convene a follow-up conference on this issue.

18. We recognise the significant role that civil society can play in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The NPDI is ready to intensify its engagement with civil society organisations in order to attain our common objectives.

The members of the NPDI are further resolved to empowering members of our societies with the necessary awareness, knowledge and skills to make their own contribution, as national and world citizens, to the realisation of the global disarmament and non-proliferation objectives. We, therefore, recognise the importance of disarmament and non-proliferation education as an integral part of our joint work. The NPDI welcomes Japan's announcement of launching the "Youth Communicator for a World without Nuclear Weapons" program and the UAE initiative to support convening workshops for journalists on the subject of disarmament and non-proliferation.

19. We recall the positive atmosphere of the 2012 NPT PrepCom that took place in Vienna from April 30th to May 10th 2012, as reflected in the Chairman's Summary. The NPDI calls on all State Parties to take part in the deliberations of the 2013 NPT PrepCom in Geneva in that same spirit of cooperation and good faith. We are convinced that a successful result at the NPT PrepComs and the Review Conference in 2015 is within reach if the overall goal of the NPT, a world without nuclear weapons, guides the State Parties that will participate in the meeting. It is this goal that brought us together in The Hague this year and that in 2014 will bring us together in Hiroshima. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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