Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday (06 September 2021) said Allies must work more together to preserve the Non-Proliferation treaty, strengthen and modernise arms control, and respond to violations.
In speech at NATO’s annual arms control conference, the Secretary General warned that “Russia continues to ignore and bend” international arms control rules while China is rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal, including by “building a large number of missile silos.” This is happening without “any limitation or constraint, and with a complete lack of transparency”, he said. All the while, Iran and North Korea are spreading dangerous missile technology.
In response, Mr. Stoltenberg said Allies need to use NATO “even more as a unique platform for dialogue on arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.” Mr. Stoltenberg urged Allies and partners to preserve the Non-Proliferation treaty, which he described as the “cornerstone” of the global nuclear arms control regime. He urged the international community to ensure the success of this year’s NPT Review Conference.
Welcoming the extension of the New Start treaty, the Secretary General stressed the need to further strengthen and modernise arms control. Mr. Stoltenberg made clear that China, as a global power, has a responsibility to engage in arms control efforts. In addition, the impact of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and autonomous system on arms control have to be addressed, the Secretary General said. Citing Russia’s breach of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the Secretary General made clear that NATO will continue to respond to arms control violations.
Hosted by a different country each year, NATO’s 2021 Weapons of Mass Destruction conference takes place in Copenhagen and brings together over 100 officials from 45 countries.