Qatar was the host for the annual NATO conference, held on 1-3 March to discuss proliferation challenges regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
According to the NATO news summary, the event brought representatives from approximately 50 countries to Doha, Qatar, to discuss views and opinions in advance of the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, which will take place April 27 to May 22 at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Key speakers at the three-day conference included Qatar’s Defence Minister, Maj. Gen. Hamad bin Al Attiyah; UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane; and NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow. In his speech, Vershbow said:
This conference is a strong demonstration of the important role that NATO attributes to engaging with partner countries here in the Gulf region. The case of Syrian chemical weapons shows that it is possible to meet non-proliferation challenges … Further success will require two things: first, all countries and all international institutions must play their rightful part. And second, we need an open and frank debate on what the challenges are and how we can address them.
The conference discussed the future of the NPT as well as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats.
“There is a growing concern that [CBRN] material, still not all fully accounted for in Syria and Iraq, as well as remaining material in Libya, could be used by terrorist organisations, such as ISIL and Al Qaida, as ‘weapons of terror’ both in countries of the region, as well as beyond,” Head of the NATO WMD Non-Proliferation Centre, Wolfgang Rudischhauser, said.