EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Conference 2016
Introduction and Keynote Address
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (via video)

Provisional transcript

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Dear friends, I am truly sorry I cannot be there with you today. You all know that, over the last few years, non-proliferation and disarmament have been at the core of the European Union’s foreign policy, and of my daily work. We have contributed to great success stories, but we have also witnessed some serious setbacks and the emergence of new threats.

When new obstacles arise, and the international environment becomes more confrontational, that is precisely the moment when we cannot afford to just sit and wait. So today it is even more important to look for new solutions, new initiatives, new pathways towards a more peaceful global order.

This is what our global strategy means when it talks about ‘widening’ the system of global governance. We are working constantly to implement existing treaties on non-proliferation and disarmament, and to expand their membership. But we also need to tackle proliferation crises when they arise, seeking creative solutions and investing in multilateral formats, exactly as we did with Iran.

Last time I addressed this conference, our deal with Iran had just been reached. Many were still sceptical that the deal could ever be fully implemented. But over the past year, we successfully reached the Implementation Day. The Ministerial Joint Commission I chair has confirmed that all sides are sticking to their commitments, for instance during our last meeting, just last September in New York. And the IAEA has done the same.

It’s a major success, but it is not the only success we have. We shipped out of Libya the last chemical-weapon precursors – a crucial step for the stability of the country. We have celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty with two new ratifications, from Swaziland and Myanmar. At the Nuclear Security Summit organised by President Obama, we agreed on stronger international cooperation against nuclear threats and particularly with regard to terrorist groups.

This is the only approach that can guarantee success: security from cooperation, security from diplomacy, security from disarmament. And it’s the approach we need as the stakes get higher.

New chemical attacks took place inside Syria. And for the first time, inside a state that is party to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

North Korea carried out new nuclear tests, following an unprecedented campaign of ballistic-missile launches.

The European Union, you know, is imposing autonomous restrictive measures against North Korea’s nuclear programme. But we all know also that to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, we also need diplomacy. DPRK has to re-engage constructively with the international community, and for this to happen, it is vital that all permanent members of the Security Council do their part.

Only multilateral diplomacy can stop this escalation. Only multilateral diplomacy can lead to a successful review of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Only multilateral diplomacy could convince countries such as India and Pakistan, or Egypt and Israel, to ratify simultaneously the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty.

However, we also see global powers threatening to step back from previous agreements. A confrontational posture can do no good. A fragile international environment calls for stronger, not weaker, global governance. It calls for cooperative solutions, and for innovative solutions.

So, to make this possible, we need a constant channel of communication between governments but also between experts. This is why this conference is so important, and the research of the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium is so valuable. We need to understand if we want to act well. We need the best technical expertise, if we want diplomats and policymakers to do a good job.

So let me wish you a very positive conference. Let me thank you for all we have achieved so far, and for everything we will achieve together in the years ahead.


Back to content list