On Friday, November 10, NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller spoke at an international disarmament conference hosted by the Vatican. Gottemoeller said that NATO and its Allies have a long history of working to reduce nuclear weapons in the world. Since the end of the Cold War, NATO Allies have reduced their collective nuclear arsenal in Europe by more than 90%. The Deputy Secretary General stressed the strong commitment of all NATO Allies to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as the best mechanism for achieving a world without nuclear weapons, through pragmatic and verifiable reductions in nuclear arsenals.
Commenting on the recent UN treaty calling for a ban on nuclear weapons, Ms Gottemoeller warned that the ban treaty risks disregarding today’s security challenges, including the growing threat presented by North Korea’s illegal weapons programmes.
The two-day symposium on perspectives for a nuclear-weapons-free world was attended by Nobel peace laureates, United Nations and national officials, arms control experts, heads of foundations and civil society organisations, and university students. His Holiness Pope Francis addressed the conference on Friday and received the participants in audience at the Vatican.
L. J. De Rothschild