NATO and Partners to discuss Weapons of Mass Destruction Non-proliferation and Arms Control in Helsinki

  • 29 May. 2017 - 30 May. 2017
  • |
  • Last updated: 17 May. 2017 11:38

As a valued NATO Partner, Finland will host the 13th Annual NATO Conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation from 29 to 30 May 2017 in Helsinki.

This is one of NATO’s largest outreach activities, held with increasing success since 2004, involving Alliance member states and partners from around the world. Participants from five continents and major international organisations will gather together for this informal event. The conference will be opened by Timo Soini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland. A statement will be delivered by NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller.  

Following the repeated use of chemical weapons in Syria and nuclear and ballistic missile tests in North Korea, as well as the discussions in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and UN framework on new disarmament instruments, this dialogue between NATO Allies with NATO partners around the globe is important to ensure a better understanding of the global security challenges.

Reinforcing non-proliferation

NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, will chair this forum which provides an opportunity for open and informal dialogue. The conference will address topical issues, such as:

  • The state of play and future of the multilateral non-proliferation regimes and initiatives in view of a changing international security environment;
  • regional proliferation challenges in the Middle East and in Asia, including in Syria and North Korea;
  • NATO’s contribution and other international organisations’ efforts in the area of WMD arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.

More than 100 participants from nearly 50 NATO and Partner countries and international organisations such as the United Nations and the European Union will gather in Helsinki, among them many senior non-proliferation officials from around the globe, including Assistant Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ambassadors and Directors-General.

Dr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) will be a keynote speaker at the opening of the conference and Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013, will address the conference with a keynote speech at dinner.  

Previous conferences on the challenges of WMD proliferation were held in Rome (2004), Sofia (2005), Vilnius (2007), Berlin (2008), Warsaw (2009), Prague (2010), Bergen (2011), Budapest (2012), Split (2013), Interlaken (2014), Qatar (2015), and Ljubljana (2016).