U.N. and ROK officials discuss challenges of global non-proliferation and disarmament

United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane made the opening statement on Thursday at the 12th U.N.-Republic of Korea Joint Conference on Disarmament and Nonproliferation Issues, which seeks to move towards a nuclear weapon-free world.

The Conference took place in Jeju Island, ROK, and was organized by Vice Governor Bang Kisung and the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. The U.N.-ROK Conference on Disarmament and Nonproliferation Issues began in 2002, and serves as a platform to discuss challenges towards global disarmament and nonproliferation.

The Conference this year was titled "Non-proliferation Regime in the 21st Century: Challenges and the Way Forward" and focused on U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540, which prohibits Member States from assisting the manufacture, possession, transportation or development of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

"The extension of the 1540 Committee's mandate to April 2021 underlines the long-term commitment of the international community to the full implementation of the Resolution," Kane said. "There is little doubt that achieving its aims will continue to depend heavily upon the commitment and national efforts of the Member States themselves with the support of the 1540 Committee."

The Conference also focused on disarmament and the importance of achieving the total elimination of weapons of mass destruction.

"When it comes to nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, the world community has long agreed that the goal is the elimination of such weapons, not just their limitations," Kane said. "I look forward to insightful presentations as well as frank and interactive discussions."