NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the world needs to urgently pursue nuclear arms control and disarmament but cautioned that this had to happen in a balanced, reciprocal and verifiable way.

“Our ultimate goal is a world free of nuclear weapons”, Mr Stoltenberg told NATO’s annual Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) conference.

“Together, we have reduced the number of nuclear weapons in Europe by more than 90 percent over the past 30 years. But in an uncertain world, these weapons continue to play a vital role in preserving peace.”

Setting out steps towards nuclear disarmament, the Secretary General said that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) offers the best chance to curb atomic arsenals, pointing to the tens of thousands of nuclear weapons already eliminated. He called on the international community to further strengthen the treaty and to join forces to ensure the success of the NPT Review Conference next year.

At the same time, Mr Stoltenberg rejected a UN treaty banning nuclear weapons as it would undermine the NPT and disregard current-day security realities. “Giving up our deterrent without any guarantees that others will do the same is a dangerous option”, he said.

“A world where Russia, China, North Korea and others have nuclear weapons, but NATO does not, is not a safer world.” 

The Secretary General called on the United States and Russia to continue to lead on arms control, welcoming the dialogue between the worlds’ two largest nuclear weapons states on extending New START. As a global power, Mr Stoltenberg made clear that China now also has the responsibility to engage in arms control negotiations.

Organised by Romania this year, NATO’s WMD conference brings together more than 200 participants from over 50 countries. Because of the COVID pandemic, the event is held online for the first time.

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Mark B

The UN seems out of touch with reality. Peace does not come from burying our heads in the sand and trying to wave a magic wand. One day every country will have friendly Governments and disarmament will simply just happen but I am not holding my breath for that – in fact I may not live to see it.

Supportive Bloke

Name me a time when the UN in touch with reality?

Mark B

Good point. Perhaps we should stop funding it

George Royce

We should. The UN is useless in every way.

Tom

I think you would do that at our peril. The UK is on the UNSC with 2 other Allies. Makes legally binding resolutions and welds great influence.

George Royce

It can’t do much in the way of stopping genocide can it?

Tom

Your right. The member States with influence only interview when it suits their Foreign Policy interests. Responsibility to Protect and Humanitarian Intervention concepts are only there to further Western interest in the Global South. I believe you are referring to Rwanda in the 90s or the ongoing Rohingya Refugee Crisis. Both need (ed) strong selfless leadership to protect human life. Common good of humanity. Doesn’t mean the UN is useless.

Meirion X

You are Right, Not in my life time either!

Airborne

The UN? A very large and innefective organisation with no teeth, influence or will! Waste of time, money and effort.

dan

Disarm while China does whatever they want and continues to grow their nuke arsenal. LMAO!

Damo

Dan, you’ve posted without criticising the UK nor Germany. Bravo, sir

geoff

I cannot see the day when the likes of Pakistan, India, Russia, China and N Korea will ever give up their Nukes so we are stuck with them in the West as vital insurance. It is that simple. The sad reality is that a Nuclear conflict is likely either by an accident, miscalculation or the actions of a mad men of which there are many in power. Ironically, South Africa is the only nation in the world that had and relinquished their nukes.

geoff

Just following up on Rebecca Campbell’s article on the British Nuclear deterrent which does have some relevance here. I had said that I thought the South African bomb would have been delivered by modified Mirages but this was probably incorrect. I did not realise how early on SA started its quest for nukes(and with the help of the USA!). It was in the 1960’s and the proposed delivery vehicle were either Canberra’s of which the SAAF still operated a few or the newly acquired Buccaneers of which 15 arrived in SA, one being lost in transit. It had occurred to… Read more »

geoff

..land based missiles

Daniele Mandelli

Morning geoff. Yes, tactical. SA has never had strategic nuclear weapons. On countries disarming, you could include Kazakhstan and Ukraine, though granted they were parts of the USSR. Kazakhstan especially, as much of the Soviet SS18 ICBM force was there, at the time of the Cold War that was the biggy in the Soviet arsenal. On the subject of unilateral nuclear disarmament, I always recall a line in the film “Who Dares Wins” a 1982 film with Lewis Collins about a hard line sect of CND wanting to drop the bomb on Holy Loch to blackmail the west to disarm,… Read more »

geoff

Hey Daniele, nice to hear from you.I didn’t see the movie but will look it up. I saw a discussion on the BBC some time back between a Conservative commentator(forgotten his name) and a lady from the CND. I was tearing my hair out as he was making a hash of his argument. I would have asked her one question “Do you think the likes of Russia,China etc will EVER give up their Nukes and if the answer is No, then what should the UK do? In similar vein to your post above-there is no answer that makes any sense… Read more »

geoff

ps You are right about the former Soviets-i had forgotten about them!

Daniele Mandelli

That’s ok mate. Anglia!?? 😳 Home counties, Surrey old boy!

geoff

Oops-sorry Daniele!

Airborne

Top film, bit cheesy but over time has become a bit cult status. It was rushed into film after the Iranian Embassy siege. Was shown prior to public viewing to the lads at Stirling Lines, who ripped it apart…..good effort though, some classic lines and action…not least trying to get two lads hung on ropes under a little Scout through two top floor windows….lol…But classic mate.

Daniele Mandelli

I wonder if CRW ever tried such madness?!

Dave Wolfy

Politicians start wars.
Nuclear weapons put politicians in the front line.
People in the front line are very likely not to start wars.

Ron5

Putin & Xi are not politicians.

Dave Wolfy

I new there had to be a flaw in the plan somewhere.

Dave Wolfy

Knew

Mark B

Democratic politicians don’t start wars because they cannot initiate any military decisions. Can you imagine the PM going “I think we should nuke such and such a country today”. They would be politely ignored and quickly removed.

Dave Wolfy

How did the second Iraq war start?
The senate authorised the president to launch a military attack if he thought it necessary.
https://web.archive.org/web/20190823053520/https://www.cbsnews.com/news/congress-says-yes-to-iraq-resolution/

Mark B

It started with the first Iraq war. When Hitler got his foot it the democratic door he realised that he needed to remove all the democratic organs of state before he could start going to war left right and centre. Bush junior knew that the ground had laid by the UN security council, the attack on the twin towers and Sadam’s refusal to stop attacking his people, neighbours plus not cooperating on WMD.Bush did not act alone he carried the senate (as you say), the people and much of the world with him. If he had decided to attack France… Read more »

Ron5

Yep, more countries would have joined in.