Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference
Germany regards the Non-Proliferation Treaty as the key framework for action in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Almost all countries in the world have joined it. It obliges the nuclear-weapon states that are parties to the Treaty (the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom) to strive for complete nuclear disarmament. In return, non-nuclear-weapon states refrain from acquiring nuclear weapons. The Treaty also regulates cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitors compliance with the provisions of the Treaty.
Review Conferences are held every five years. A conference was due to take place in 2020, but it had to be postponed several times as a result of the COVID‑19 pandemic. That conference is being held now. The aim of the Review Conference is to document progress made in implementing the Treaty, decide on further action and strengthen the Treaty so that it measures up to current challenges.
Foreign Minister Baerbock emphasised:
In New York today, we will be talking about our commitment to nuclear disarmament, a goal that remains extremely important to me in the face of nuclear posturing from actors such as North Korea and Russia and the continual expansion of nuclear capabilities and arsenals. As distant as this goal may seem given the current situation in the world, we must not lose sight of it; we must remain determined to achieve it.
Nuclear arms control and disarmament as core goals of the German Government
Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has shown that credible deterrence and defence are necessary to safeguard our security in Europe. At the same time, the German Government is committed to the goal of a world without nuclear weapons and thus also a Germany without nuclear weapons. On the path towards this goal we urgently need new impetus for nuclear disarmament. In the context of the Stockholm Initiative Germany, in cooperation with partners, has developed concrete proposals to strengthen the NPT and thereby opened up a way to make the world safer from nuclear weapons. Foreign Minister Baerbock will have discussions with the participating states on the fringes of the Review Conference.
Another forum for exchange on the common goal of a world without nuclear weapons is the Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The German Government shares the concern of the States Parties to the TPNW about the lack of progress in the area of nuclear disarmament. Like several other allies and close partners, the German Government therefore participated in the first Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW as an observer.
First official visit to Canada
Foreign Minister Baerbock will subsequently travel on to Canada for her first official visit to that country. In Montreal she will meet Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly. Canada is one of Germany’s closest partners outside the EU and we work closely together with the Canadians in the G7 and other forums. Bilateral trade, and trade with the EU as a whole, has increased considerably in the past few years. When it comes to cooperation in science and research, Canada is one of Germany’s most important partners worldwide. Current priority research areas under these auspices are natural resources, energy, the environment (including Arctic and oceanic research), modern manufacturing technologies, as well as information and communication technologies with a focus on artificial intelligence and health research. The Foreign Minister will therefore have talks covering the full scope of bilateral relations.
Foreign Minister Baerbock stressed:
As part of the G7, Canada has played an important role over recent months in the resolute response to the Russian war of aggression, working tirelessly for a free and self-determined Ukraine and for the European peaceful order. We work closely together in NATO, too, for example to ensure the security of our Baltic allies. In visiting Canada, I want to explicitly acknowledge this close and trustful cooperation.