19th Republic of Korea-United Nations Joint Conference on Disarmament and Non-proliferation

New Technologies and its Impact on Disarmament and Non-proliferation Regime

Written by Guillaume Milot, Yeseul Woo, Moumi Awundu, Sweta Basak and Kseniia Pirnavskaia, CYG Members after their participation at "19th Republic of Korea-United Nations Joint Conference on Disarmament and Non-proliferation"

This year's United Nations Joint Conference on Disarmament and Non-proliferation commenced on December 2nd, 2020, with a Youth Special Session focusing on New Technologies and its Impact on Disarmament and Non-proliferation Regime. The panel discussion started with the presentations of five international youth representatives who actively work on spreading awareness about non-proliferation and disarmament matters.

CTBTO Youth Group was represented by fellow CYG member Idriss Irakoze, a specialist in international security who comes from Burundi. He advocates for raising awareness about security issues among African young generations and actively promotes the CTBT within African youth communities and educational institutions. Apart from the main representative, the group of newly selected members of the Coordination Team was invited to participate in the conference, among them – Guillaume Milot (North America and Western Europe), Yeseul Woo (South East Asia the Pacific and the Far East), Moumi Awundu (Outreach), Sweta Basak and Kseniia Pirnavskaia (Education).

Along with other youth representatives, Idriss was to address several questions on pressing security issues and possible solutions. Some of the discussion topics included the potential threats of new emerging technologies, increasing youth participation, and the impacts resulting from the current COVID 19 pandemic on the international community. Regarding the latter, Idriss mentioned that for the world to recover from the pandemic and become a safer place, it is significant for the international community to advance communication to accelerate defense against global issues in a coordinated and inclusive manner.

On the following day, the 1st session began with the opening remarks of H.E. HAM Sang-wook, Deputy Minister for International and Global Affairs, the Republic of Korea, which was followed by a virtual address by H.E. Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, UNODA. H.E. Izumi Nakamitsu highlighted three key issues which are relevant in the current discourse of arms control and disarmament, they are as follows: containing the development of lethal autonomous weapon system; missile control at the multinational level; secure and sustainable use of outer space for better future.

After her address, the panel discussion started analyzing the current status of New Technologies in International Fora. Dr. Daniel Feakes, Chief of the Implementation Support Unit of the BWC, UNODA, Geneva, was the session's moderator. Dr. Peter Martinez is the Executive Director of the Secure World Foundation spoke about multilateral space diplomacy and its significance for strategic stability. George Nacouzi of Rand Corporation was also one of the panellists and talked about the concerns related to hypersonic missile development proliferation. He was vocal about a strong need for a multilateral export control regime. Kelley Sayler,Kelley has a account an Analyst in Advanced Technology and Global Security at Congressional Research Service, shaded lights on the urgent need for international governance and reviving the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. Jaime Yassif, a senior fellow for global biological policy and programs at NTI, was the panel's last speaker. She argued about bio-security aspects and the emerging technologies associated with it.

On the last day, the participants displayed how emerging technologies could affect international security. In particular, the development of lethal autonomous weapons or biological threats is a good example of dual-use technologies. While those have been developed for civil uses, they can find military applications. Advancements in the space and aeronautic field led as well to the development of new hypersonic or space weapons. To tackle the proliferation challenges such dual-use technologies bring, the panellists explained that the arms control system should strongly evolve to follow up with their quick development, emphasizing the need for a more substantial multi-stakeholders' engagement and an appropriate international regulation and verification regime.


Competition for arms proliferation, especially in cyber military capabilities, will continue in great power countries, particularly among the G2 (the United States and China). Also, middle-power countries, such as Turkey, Brazil, and South Korea will increase military capabilities and intensify technology competition. Further, there are many current issues about autonomous weapons, space security, hypersonic missiles, and bio-security. Therefore, we have to continue thinking about how we can analyze all those new technologies. With this cyber capability definition, how should the next generation prepare for high technology military balance? Whether or not, it will become more important to foster experts who can encompass both policy-technical terms. We have to think about cooperation through international organizations for peace.