More than 140 participants gathered on 6-7 September in Berlin to discuss conventional arms control challenges at a major conference co-organized by the German Federal Foreign Office and the European Leadership Network.
The meeting brought together official representatives and political figures from the majority of OSCE participating States, representatives of the OSCE, NATO and other organizations, and members of the expert community. The opening speech was delivered by Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, among other speakers were OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger and Federal Government Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control Patricia Flor.
The conference focused on the role which existing and new conventional arms control instruments can play in addressing the challenges of the “new Cold War” in Europe. The participants highlighted the dangers inherent in the current confrontation, with additional factors such as advance of military technology making the situation further unstable.
The meeting focused on three major issues:
1. Is there a need for a new and effective conventional arms control regime in the OSCE area or its sub-regions? If yes, how can such a regime become an important instrument in stabilizing the Euro-Atlantic security architecture, including in conflict zones?
2. What should be the key elements of such a regime if it is to address the most important challenges introduced by developments in military doctrines, capabilities and technologies as well as the lessons from recent conflicts in the OSCE area?
3. What are the political pre-conditions for initiating work on any new conventional arms control regime in the OSCE area?
The European Leadership Network will prepare a detailed post-conference report with recommendations which will be available shortly on the ELN website.