A major NATO arms control conference got underway in Iceland on Monday, as senior experts from more than 50 countries and organisations gathered to discuss the state of global arms control treaties.
NATO say that the two-day conference will cover topics ranging from ballistic missile proliferation and the use of chemical weapons by states and terrorists, to the future of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“Arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation are essential for NATO’s security and for ensuring strategic stability around the world,” said William Alberque, Director of NATO’s Arms Control, Disarmament, and WMD Non-Proliferation Centre.
“Chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the United Kingdom show that the international non-proliferation regime is being challenged,” he said according to a news release, adding that he expected the conference to reinforce the importance of global non-proliferation norms.
NATO’s annual Conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction, Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, the 14th of its kind, is being chaired by Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, Ambassador Alejandro Alvargonzález. NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller and United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu will deliver keynote speeches.
In her prepared remarks, Deputy Secretary General Gottemoeller stressed that the Alliance strongly supports effective arms control agreements and well-established international legal frameworks surrounding them. Turning to the NPT, Gottemoeller emphasised that the treaty is one of the most important international agreements of its kind and that Allies will not support any approaches to disarmament that ignore global security conditions, or undermine the NPT.