Washington DC, 19 April 2023 (TDI): Wendy R. Sherman, Deputy Secretary of the United States (US), delivered the keynote address at the opening session of the 18th Annual NATO Conference on Arms Control, Disarmament, and Weapons of Mass Destruction Non-Proliferation on Tuesday, highlighting the need for reducing and stopping the proliferation of deadly weapons.

In the same vein, she emphasized the critical role of diplomacy in preventing conflicts and promoting peace.

As the world is entering a phase of transformative technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing, she discussed the challenges posed by these developments in the realm of arms control.

While innovation and invention are bringing about new possibilities, the increasing uncertainty and risk of inadvertent consequences demand a renewed commitment to global security.

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Moreover, US Deputy Secretary recognized that the mission of limiting and reducing the spread of weapons of mass destruction is never easy.

However, she called upon allies and partners to strengthen the international security architecture around chemical, radiological, biological, and nuclear weapons, regardless of the challenges.

Deputy Secretary Sherman then acknowledged the need for caution and vigilance in dealing with the rise of dangerous regimes possessing deadly weapons.

“Russia’s recent actions in invading Ukraine and using nuclear saber-rattling have created concerns about global nuclear stability,” Sherman said.

“North Korea’s increasing arsenal and delivery systems, Iran’s uranium enrichment levels, and China’s rapid and opaque expansion of nuclear arms have raised tensions in the Indo-Pacific,” she further added.

In her address, Deputy Secretary Sherman emphasized the importance of NATO’s strength and unity in the face of challenges. She stressed the need for NATO and likeminded partners to fortify the infrastructure that has helped keep the world secure for decades.

This includes risk reduction, crisis communications, stabilization mechanisms, confidence-building measures, and multilateral agreements designed to halt the growth of dangerous weapons.

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President Biden’s statement that “the US is ready to pursue critical arms control measures” was also highlighted as a position of principle that remains relevant even in times of uncertainty.

Notably, the 18th annual NATO WMD Nonproliferation Conference is a significant step towards achieving a world free of deadly weapons, and it demonstrates the commitment of NATO allies and partners to work together towards this goal.