Sweden to host ministerial meeting on nuclear disarmament

Margot Wallström, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs
Margot Wallström, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs

In a fresh initiative to ratchet up international opinion towards a nuclear weapons-free world, Sweden plans to host an international ministerial meeting in Stockholm on June 11 on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

The purpose of the meeting, to be hosted by Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström, is to discuss how governments can work together to create political pressure for disarmament.

Argentina, Canada, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Spain and Switzerland have been invited to attend the meet. All the 15 countries non-nuclear-weapon states committed to disarmament.

The meeting will be crucial as it comes ahead of the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons next year.

“The situation in the world is critical, and the risk of nuclear arms use is greater than it has been for many years. We are taking this initiative because we must make vigorous efforts for disarmament,” Wallström said in a press release.

Terming the NPT the cornerstone of international action for disarmament and non-proliferation, she observed that nuclear-weapon states have in-principle made commitments to reduce their stockpile. “This is why we are focusing on discussing the NPT in particular when we meet on Tuesday,” she added.

The Stockholm meet will discuss be about reducing the role of nuclear weapons in doctrines, increasing transparency surrounding arsenals and looking into measures to reduce the risk of nuclear weapon use. The idea is that this type of action can contribute to strengthening confidence between countries and thus also to a better cooperation climate in disarmament diplomacy.

“We have to mobilize political will and increase pressure on parties to actively participate in disarmament work within the framework of the NPT,” Wallström said, adding, “We hope Tuesday’s meeting will make a contribution to positive progress in this work.”

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