NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

NATO Stands at a Crossroads for International Arms Control

April 18, 2023


WASHINGTON, DC – From April 17th through 20th, the United States and NATO are co-hosting the Conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction, Arms Control, Disarmament, and Non-Proliferation – representatives from over 50 NATO allies and partners will discuss the evolving challenges in arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation.

“Russia seeks to undermine the foundations of the international rules-based system. Ignoring, violating, or abandoning much of the network of international arms control agreements that have kept the world safe,” said NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg during his opening remarks. This year is the 18th annual conference, where allies and senior leaders discuss ongoing weapons control and disarmament challenges, including Weapons of Mass Destruction non-proliferation.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman shared her opening remarks: “This conference could not be more essential or timely… if NATO’s objective, is at its core, is to ensure our mutual defence and advance our common security, then few missions are more essential than the one that unites us here.”

This year is the first time the United States hosts the conference. It will guide NATO priorities for arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, and include talks on:

  • Strengthening implementation of existing arms control and non-proliferation regimes;
  • Challenges to global security, including from emerging and disruptive technologies;
  • The role of women in advancing peace and security;
  • Ways member countries can advance arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.

“We are seeing a changing landscape in Europe…we don’t have a lot of guarantees about the future in terms of emerging technologies… what this conference is going to do is allow experts to sit and discuss these issues,” stated Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, the US Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, who chairs the event. Attendees will continue discussions throughout the week to address ongoing challenges to NATO and its partners and allies.