Committee on Proliferation (COP)
The Committee on Proliferation (CP) is the senior advisory body to the North Atlantic Council on proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their associated delivery systems and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defence. The CP is responsible for information sharing, policy development and coordination on the issues of prevention of and response to proliferation, bringing together experts and officials with responsibilities in this field.
The CP was created following the June 2010 committee reform, replacing the Senior Politico-Military Group on Proliferation, the Senior Defence Group on Proliferation and the Joint Committee on Proliferation.
The CP meets in two formats: politico-military, under the chairmanship of the Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, and defence format, under national North-American and European co-chairmanship. The Committee addresses the threats and challenges stemming from WMD proliferation, as well as the international diplomatic responses to them. In its defence format, it also discusses the development of military capabilities needed to discourage WMD proliferation, to deter threats and use of such weapons, and to protect NATO populations, territory and forces. It cooperates with other NATO bodies with competencies in the area of WMD and CBRN defence.
It can meet in several ways: Plenary Sessions, Steering Group meetings, Points of Contact meetings, consultations with Partners in 28+1 and 28+n formats.
Some of NATO’s largest outreach activities take place under the auspices of the CP: the Annual NATO Conference on WMD Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, organized by the Committee in politico-military format, which gathers a broad range of non-NATO countries, including a number of partners across the globe from Asia and the Pacific. On average, 150 participants from more than 50 countries attend this conference every year. For the Committee in defence format, the main annual activity of this kind is the International CBRN Defence Outreach event, which has the objective of increasing engagement, exchanging views and sharing best practices on CBRN defence with a wide variety of NATO’s partners.