The seventh EU Non-proliferation and Disarmament Conference took place on 18 and 19 December 2018 in Brussels, gathering high level speakers from public institutions, international organisations and civil society. The Conference, organised by the EU Consortium of independent think tanks since 2012, has become one of the key events on non-proliferation and disarmament worldwide.
In her opening address, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “Today, the European Union is recognised as a global point of reference for non-proliferation and disarmament. The starting point for our work and our European approach is to treat disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation as tools of security policy, first and foremost, to look for negotiated diplomatic solutions, to even very serious security challenges. […] The only way forward on all non-proliferation and disarmament issues is therefore to enforce the existing agreements, to modernise and universalise the current architecture and to expand it with better rules and better guarantees. […] This is why the European Union and its Member States are a driving force - and will continue to be - to preserve and strengthen the implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation architecture.”
The conference addressed key issues, notably preserving the norm against the use of chemical weapons; regulating the arms trade; the challenges of autonomous weapons; nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament; arms control in outer space; as well as cyber security challenges. Special sessions were devoted also to regional and horizontal issues such as non-proliferation and disarmament in North-East Asia; the work of the EU CBRN Centres of Excellence and the implementation of the EU's agenda in the field of non-proliferation and disarmament.
The conference was attended by over two hundred and thirty participants from some sixty countries and international organisations. A key note speech was delivered by the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Fernando Arias. Further speakers included NATO Deputy Secretary-General Rose Gottemoeller, US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Ford, Director of the Geneva Branch of UNODA Anja Kaspersen, International Atomic Eenergy Agency Chief Coordinator Cornel Feruţă, NATO Assistant Secretary-General Antonio Missiroli, besides renowned academics, researchers and officials from around the world.
The EU Non-proliferation and Disarmament Conference demonstrated once again the strong EU commitment and support to multilateral non-proliferation and disarmament and the rules-based global order at large.
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See here the full address by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini to the Conference: