MENACS Features in Harvard’s Belfer Center Newsletter

“Building a Network of Young Arms Control Experts”

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

The Middle East Network of Arms Control Specialists (MENACS) aims to bring together young professionals who work on arms control and regional security issues from the Middle East to promote a better understanding of arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament in the region, and to facilitate indigenous processes and expertise. The network was the idea of Chen Zak, the Middle East project manager at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and a former research fellow with the Belfer Center.

Since October, our group has presented its work in the EU next generation nonproliferation consortium conference in Brussels, as well as in Washington, D.C. We also have written a number of articles together, and we conducted a simulation on the Middle East weapons of mass destruction-free zone conference.

We are currently working on a free arms control course portal in the four major regional languages: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish, as well as English.

Most recently, my Israeli colleague and I co-authored a piece in which we offered recommendations to our respective governments on constructive steps that can be taken by each government to influence and change the dynamics between them, and to reduce tension, the risk of a military strike, and miscalculation.

MENACS has provided a platform for young experts from the region to engage with one another and to have substantial and constructive dialogue. We try to work creatively to propose solutions to ongoing arms control and regional security challenges in the Middle East as well as trying to expand the Network and the scope of its work.

The Network presented at the 2014 NPT PrepCom in New York in March in cooperation with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and the Böll Foundation.