This week's "Photo of the Week" comes to us from the First Plenary of the 2012 Session of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 24, 2012. Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Rose E. Gottemoeller delivered the opening statement for the United States on the progress on arms control and disarmament that has been made over the course of the past year.
Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller said, "The New START Treaty entered into force on February 5, 2011.… The treaty represents a strong foundation for further bilateral reductions and an important step on the path towards a world without nuclear weapons. Discussions between our two governments on the next steps are underway."
Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller also discussed beginning negotiations on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT). She said, "If the CD fails to deliver an FMCT negotiation this year, we will again have shirked our responsibility to move forward towards a world without nuclear weapons…. We recognize that this is a crucial year for the CD as an institution and that the UN General Assembly is monitoring our progress closely. Let's seize the opportunity to make real progress here and restore the vibrancy of this once vital institution. Business as usual is a recipe for disaster."
On February 3-4, 2012, global leaders gather for the 48th Munich Security Conference, an annual event that addresses common security challenges. The 2012 Munich Security Conference agenda includes a broad range of issues. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will address the conference, where she will reaffirm the fundamental importance of the transatlantic relationship and Europe's role as an essential partner in addressing global security challenges. You can follow her travel to Germany on state.gov's trip page as well as on Facebook and Twitter.