Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (5 July) before departing for the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament in Madrid:
Where tensions and mistrust predominate, there is also a risk of a new arms race. That is why, more than ever, we need steps that create trust through verifiable agreements between nuclear-weapon states. In the Stockholm Initiative, we, along with 16 further non-nuclear weapon states from various continents, have made proposals on how we can get back on the track to nuclear disarmament. This can only succeed if we work together with the nuclear-weapon states. At today’s Ministerial Meeting of the Stockholm Initiative in Madrid, we will therefore call for new momentum in nuclear disarmament even before the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.
Since our last meeting early this year in Amman, we have seen that change is possible. Under US President Biden, the New START Treaty with Russia has been extended. Just three weeks ago, Russia and the United States pledged that a nuclear confrontation in the future must be prevented at all costs. We now need to build on that through clear steps by which the nuclear-weapon states live up to their commitments to and responsibility for disarmament. The Stockholm Initiative’s proposals on this are on the table. The foundation for a new generation of arms-control agreements must be laid so that nuclear arsenals can be further reduced. Binding steps, such as the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), must finally be achieved. We therefore call on all states that have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty to do so now.