Washington DC, 19 April 2023 (TDI): Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg virtually addressed the 18th Annual NATO Conference on Arms Control, Disarmament, and Weapons of Mass Destruction Non-Proliferation, emphasizing the continued importance of arms control for Allied security.

In his address, Secretary General Stoltenberg stressed the challenging period for arms control and global security, noting Russia’s repeated violations and abandonment of international arms control agreements that have been crucial in keeping the world safe.

He also pointed out that China is rapidly growing its nuclear arsenal without any transparency regarding its capabilities.

Likewise, the Secretary General further added that the challenges also come from Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs and delivery systems, as well as new technologies like Artificial Intelligence and autonomous systems.

Also Read: US and NATO to cohost upcoming 18th Annual NATO Conference

Stoltenberg highlighted that in the short term, allies must strengthen the existing global arms control regimes, primarily the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions.

He also underscored the importance of engaging with countries in the global south. Looking to the future, the Secretary General called for a new approach to deal with the rapid spread of new, disruptive technologies.

He said that NATO is determined to develop a shared, universal gold standard for the responsible use of new technologies in defense.

Secretary Stoltenberg further underlined the importance of engaging with Beijing, stating that NATO is a unique platform to engage with China and the wider international community for mutual benefit and consult on arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation.

Also Read: US, Latvia strengthen defense ties ahead of NATO Summit

This year’s NATO Weapons of Mass Destruction conference, hosted for the first time in the US, brings together more than 150 attendees from around 50 countries.

In the opening session, Stoltenberg spoke alongside Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Bonnie Jenkins, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s remarks emphasize the vital role of arms control in maintaining global security and the need for a new approach to tackle emerging challenges.

NATO will continue to work with its Allies and partners to strengthen global arms control regimes and engage with countries around the world to ensure a more secure future for all.