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.
The Non‑Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the focus of the conference in New York, plays a crucial role. It prohibits the spread of nuclear weapons, calls on the nuclear powers to disarm, and promotes international cooperation on the civilian use of nuclear technology. In short, it is much more than just a piece of paper. The aim now is to further build on this. That is why, within the framework of the Stockholm Initiative, we have worked with 15 other countries to produce 22 very concrete proposals intended to advance effective nuclear arms control and disarmament. If, in New York, we make even the tiniest bit of progress in the discussion on these proposals and the next steps, then all the effort will be worthwhile.
During my trip, I will also be making it very clear once again that Germany, Europe, the United States and Canada stand firmly united in their fundamental beliefs and values and that they are closer now than at any time since the end of the Cold War. Our joint, closely coordinated response to Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, the ongoing, extremely trustful discussions and talks, and the mutual support we enjoy all remind us in practice on a daily basis of the huge potential inherent in transatlantic relations. The unscrupulous, inhumane behaviour of the Russian regime gives Europe and North America as a team the opportunity to build up an even stronger transatlantic partnership for the 21st century. Together we want to and we must explain what the peaceful order stands for, and why it is worth defending at all costs.
In Canada I am visiting one of Germany’s closest friends and partners outside the European Union. 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. And not least because Canada is a leading global grain supplier, one key point in my talks with my Canadian colleague will be to further coordinate how we can together counter even more resolutely the Russian propaganda on the causes of the global food crisis.