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In her video message to the participants the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said: "Non-proliferation and disarmament have become once again one of the most urgent issues of our times, with new nuclear tests and other worrying developments. The only effective answer is to invest even more in diplomacy and multilateralism." She underscored the role of the European Union as a credible and indispensable partner for all those who work for non-proliferation and disarmament and stressed the European Union's commitment to remain the point of reference for multilateralism and for building a more cooperative global order.
The conference addressed a broad range of issues pertaining to the global non-proliferation and disarmament agenda. Academics, researchers and policy makers engaged in an open and rich discussion also on technological challenges to arms control. Special sessions were devoted to the Iran nuclear deal, the follow up to the Meeting of States Parties of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, small arms and light weapons control, regional security in North East Asia with a focus on the DPRK nuclear and ballistic missiles programmes, as well as the Asia Pacific region.
The conference was attended by close to two hundred participants from over fifty countries and international organisations. The conference was opened by European External Action Service (EEAS) Deputy Secretary-General Pedro Serrano and the State Secretary of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Annika Söder. Speakers included the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu, NATO Deputy Secretary-General Rose Gottemoeller, US Senior Director for WMD and Counterproliferation Christopher Ford, EEAS Special Envoy for Disarmament and Non-proliferation Jacek Bylica and a number of experts and officials from around the world.
This year's EU Non-proliferation and disarmament Conference demonstrated once again the EU's strong commitment and support to non-proliferation and disarmament in a complex and rapidly evolving global and regional security context.