NATO releases Qatar conference overview

Qatar was the host for the annual North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conference, held March 1 through March 3, to discuss proliferation challenges regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMD).


This event brought representatives and dignitaries from approximately 50 countries to Doha, Qatar. The conference acted as a venue for views and opinions, to be voiced prior to the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, which will take place April 27 to May 22 at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in N.Y. 


Key speakers at the three-day conference included Qatar's Defense Minister, Maj. Gen. Hamad bin Al Attiyah; UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane; and NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow. According to the report, this was the first NATO conference to be held outside of Europe. 


Over the course of the conference, the NPT's future was discussed, the threat WMDs pose to national and international security was reiterated multiple times. Bringing cause for concern are the countries that are not a part of non-proliferation treaties. 


Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats were also discussed in great detail over the three-day conference. 


“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 Center, Wolfgang Rudischhauser, said.