Disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction as well as arms control are key objectives of international security policy. Austria is committed on a global, as well as on a European level, with safety and security of civilians forming the basis of Austria’s engagement.

Nuclear disarmament is a key focus of the United Nations General Assembly First Committee’s work. Austria has played a leading role to bring about the Resolution on Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations (A/RES/67/56, 3 December 2012) and is generally at the forefront of multilateral nuclear disarmament initiatives. In particular, the emphasis on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons raises awareness on how urgent and important the complete ban of nuclear weapons is to human security. Any use of nuclear weapons would have global humanitarian, health as well as economic consequences, and affect the climate and the environment. Austria will therefore host the third international conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons (after Oslo/Norway 2013 and Nayarit/Mexico February 2014) on 8 and 9 December 2014 in Vienna.

In the field of conventional arms control, the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty by the United Nations General Assembly in April 2013 marks an important step towards enhanced arms control.  Austria has offered to host the Secretariat of the Treaty.