The Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction held its First Session from 18 November to 22 November 2019 at United Nations Headquarters in New York under the presidency of Ambassador Sima Bahous of Jordan. The Conference adopted a Political Declaration and its Final Report.

General Assembly decision A/73/546 (22 December 2018) “entrusts the Secretary-General with the convening, no later than 2019…of a conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction”. Pursuant to the decision, all the States of the region were invited to consultations. Agreement was reached at these consultations by the participating States to endorse the nomination of H.E. Ms. Sima Bahous, Permanent Representative of Jordan to the UN as President-designate of the First Session of the Conference. Participating States also agreed that the conference would be held from 18 to 22 November 2019 at UN Headquarters, New York. In accordance with A/73/546, the Secretary-General sent, in May 2019, invitation letters to all States of the Middle East to participate in the conference. Invitation letters were also sent to the five nuclear-weapon States to attend the conference.

Next session

The Second Session of the Conference was scheduled to take place from 16 November to 20 November 2020 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the United Nations conferences and meetings, the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction decides to postpone the Second Session of the Conference to a later date. This decision was adopted by participating  States on 28 August 2020 as A/CONF.236/DEC.5. The Second Session of the Conference is scheduled to take place from 29 November to 3 December 2021 at United Nations Headquarters in New York.


President of the Conference

Ambassador Sima Sami Bahous, Ph.D.

Dr. Sima Sami Bahous was appointed as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the United Nations in New York in August 2016. Prior to this position she served in ministerial posts in Jordan and in high level Arab League and United Nations positions. She has a distinguished career in public service, politics, multilateral diplomacy, media and communication, and international development cooperation.

From June 2012 till August 2016 Dr. Bahous served as the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States.

From 2008 to 2012, Dr. Bahous served as Assistant Secretary-General at the League of Arab States and headed the Social Development Sector.

From 2001-2008, Dr. Bahous served in two ministerial level posts in Jordan: as Adviser to HM King Abdullah at the Royal Hashemite Court (2005-2006), and as President of the Higher Media Council (2006-2008). She also served as Media Advisor and Head of His Majesty King Abdullah’s Media and Information Division at the Royal Hashemite Court (2001-2005).

Between 1986 and 2001 Dr. Bahous held various positions which included Executive Director of the King Hussein Foundation and the Noor Al Hussein Foundation, Professor of Development and Communication at Yarmouk University and Petra University, member of the Board of Trustees of a number of academic, media and NGO organizations, including the Jordan University for Science and Technology, Jordan Radio and Television Corporation, the Jordan River Foundation, the Higher Population Council and the Higher Commission for Women. She also worked in the fields of Development and Communication with a number of UN Organizations in Jordan and other Arab countries.

Dr. Bahous holds a Ph.D. in Communication and Development from Indiana University, USA; a Master of Arts in Literature and Drama from Essex University, UK; and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Jordan University. She is married and has one daughter.

Outcome and Decisions


Secretary-General of the Conference
Mr. Xiaoyu Wang
212 963-9440

Conference Focal Point
Ms. Marya Canham
917 367-6369

Conference Support 
Mr. Gabiden Laumulin

Conference Support
Mr. Taiki Kohno
917 367-2240

Invited International organizations, UN, NGO and other entities’ participation & Side events
Ms. Diane Barnes
212 963-9169

List of Participants
Ms. Elizabeth Isabelita Alip
917 367-3711

List of Speakers
Ms. Bertha Mae Ortiz
212 963-0846

Mr. Kena Alexander
917 367-9421

Ms. Suzanne Oosterwijk
917 367 -2556