June 7 ACA Conference: Remarks from UNSG Guterres, Rep. Garamendi, and White House Director for Arms Control

For Immediate Release: May 28, 2024

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, 202-463-8270 ext. 107; Tony Fleming, director for communications, 202-463-8270 ext. 110.

(Washington, D.C.)—UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the House Armed Services Committee chair John Garamendi (D-Calif.), and the senior director for arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament for the National Security Council will deliver keynote remarks at this year's annual conference of the Arms Control Association, “Moving Back from the Nuclear Brink,” on Friday, June 7 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Expert panels will also address critical national and international security issues including:

• the debate over the rising costs of the $1.5 trillion U.S. nuclear weapons modernization program and proposals to increase the size of the already massive U.S. nuclear arsenal in the years ahead. Panelists include the nuclear weapons expert Hans Kristensen, the chair of the Congressional Commission on the U.S. Strategic Posture, Madelyn Creedon, and W.J. Hennigan of The New York Times

• the Biden administration’s failure to enforce its own arms transfer policies and U.S. law as it supplies weapons being used by Israel in its assault on Gaza. Panelists include a senior State Department official and independent civilian protection and arms transfers experts.

• options to curtail Iran’s sensitive nuclear activities and the nonproliferation implications of a deal for nuclear cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which has threatened to pursue nuclear weapons if Iran does.

Secretary-General Guterres will deliver special remarks via video in the morning. In recent weeks, Mr. Guterres has warned about a resurgence of nuclear threats, noting that: "The nuclear risk is higher than at any moment since the depths of the Cold War … And the vital norms and standards against the proliferation, testing, and use of nuclear weapons are being eroded.”

Rep. Garamendi will open the June 7 conference live via video with a keynote address focusing on cost-effective alternatives to the U.S. nuclear modernization program, including the troubled Sentinel ICBM program, and why President Biden needs to redouble his efforts to engage Russia and China in talks on nuclear risk reduction and arms control.

“Since 2014, the U.S. has spent $570 billion in taxpayer dollars on nuclear weapons and is slated to spend an additional $756 billion by 2032. [T]he House Armed Services Committee had the rare opportunity to rein in this wasteful spending, but Republicans refused to provide necessary oversight,” Garamendi said after the committee considered the National Defense Authorization Act, last week.

Pranay Vaddi, Special Assistant to President Biden and Senior Director for Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation at the National Security Council will deliver remarks on "Adapting the U.S. Approach to Arms Control and Nonproliferation to a New Era.” He is expected to provide an update on the administration’s efforts and plans since National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s proposals on nuclear deterrence and arms control with Russia and China that were unveiled in his speech at the 2023 ACA Annual Meeting.

The nonpartisan Arms Control Association promotes effective arms control policies and supports international efforts to reduce and eliminate the threats posed by the world’s most dangerous weapons. The organization has been at the forefront of efforts to promote nuclear arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament for more than 50 years.

The June 7 event will run from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm EDT.  The full list of speakers and the registration details for the event, which is open to the public, are available through the Arms Control Association's website.

Members of the press may request complimentary registration.