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Since Barack Obama administration took office in 2009, it has put considerable effort into placing nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation at the center of the U.S. nuclear policy. In April 2009 in Prague American president delivered a speech where he called for complete elimination of nuclear weap...

Various ideas for establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East were first voiced in the early 1960s. Nevertheless, negotiations on establishing a WMD-free zone in the region remain very far from conclusion. The establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East was part of the 1995 N...

The fast moving controversial developments in the Middle East and North Africa seem to be sidelining the search for responses to some fundamental security challenges in the region. This refers, among many other issues, to the discussion of steps for the preparation and successful conduct of this yea...

Dear Tom,

It is a pleasure to have the chance to correspond with you, and I am grateful to the Security Index for this exchange. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on whether a policy of nuclear disarmament is appropriate within the current international security climate.

For my part, I a...

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  • Position : Deputy Minister
  • Affiliation : The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
  • Position : Associate Professor
  • Affiliation : Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (retired), Associate Professor, International Law Department, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
  • Affiliation : First Secretary for Political and Economic Affairs of the Royal Embassy of Norway to Moscow
  • Affiliation : Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to the Russian Federation
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International Conference “Multilateral Approaches towards Nuclear Disarmament: The Next Steps” 03.07.2009

On July 3, 2009 PIR Center held the International Conference “Multilateral Approaches towards Nuclear Disarmament: The Next Steps” with support from the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.

The Conference was attended by 86 representatives from 8 Russian cities and 21 countries, as well as by representatives from two international organizations.

The representatives from three official nuclear-weapon states made presentations at the conference, including Anatoly Antonov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Director of the Department for Security Affairs and Disarmament of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation, Jean de Gliniasty Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of France to Moscow, Anne Pringle, Ambassador, Embassy of the United Kingdom to Moscow, and Mikhail Lysenko, Ambassador, Director of the Department of International Cooperation of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom. The first secretary of the Embassy of Norway Kari Eken Wollebæk presented the position of Norway on nuclear disarmament issues.

On the eve of the summit of the presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama on July 6-8, 2009, the new START Treaty was the high on the agenda of the conference. Anatoly Antonov stated: “We welcome any constructive steps that could lead the disarmament process away from a prolonged crisis. It is our understanding that the most important objective is to create a favorable international climate for complete renunciation of nuclear weapons while strengthening the strategic stability with undiminished security for all.”

Certainly, nuclear disarmament is not the exclusive responsibility of the United States and Russia, participation of other nuclear-weapons states is also required to move towards nuclear-free-world. Ambassador of France to Russia Jean de Gliniasty explained the position of France: “As for the next steps of multilateral cooperation we have two priorities: entry into force the CTBT and the beginning of the negotiations on a fissile materials cut-off treaty.”

The issue of the entry into force the CTBT is the most important on present day. Kari Eken Wollebæk, First Secretary of the Embassy of Norway to Moscow, voices a hope that the USA will ratify the CTBT and soon it will enter into force: “The entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is crucial to prevent a new nuclear arms race. Until the treaty enters into force, the existing moratorium on nuclear testing should be strengthened. We hope that the US will ratify the CTBT as soon as possible.”

The experts in the field of nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament presented their vision of the nuclear-weapons-free-word: Dr. William Potter, Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Nandan Unnikrishnan, Senior Fellow of the Observer Research Foundation, Roland Timerbaev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Chairman of the PIR Center's Board, Gennady Efstafiev, Lieutenant-General (ret.), Senior Vice President of the PIR Center, Prof. Alexander Radchuk, Advisor to the Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

Commenting on the U.S.-Russian negations for the START follow-on Treaty William Potter said that “U.S. and Soviet leaders during the Cold War learned the value of nuclear cooperation the hard way after both sides contributed to the global spread of nuclear weapons and came frighteningly close to their use. It would be tragic for contemporary leaders of the United States and Russia to forget this lesson or their common stake in preventing a nuclear Armageddon.”

A renowned expert on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament Roland Timerbaev expressed his views on nuclear-weapons-free world: “Successful nonproliferation is possible only with Article VI of the NPT being fulfilled. New challenges emerged since the entry into force of the NPT. It means that Article VI does not function properly, despite vigorous push to disarmament. The United States and Russia are preparing now a new nuclear disarmament agreement, but it is not enough. A FMCT would contribute to Article VI of the NPT.”

Nandan Unnikrishnan, expert from India, unofficial nuclear-weapons state, addressed prospective participation of India in nuclear disarmament process. “It will require great political courage for nations to begin consider nuclear disarmament as a matter of global interest that supersedes national interest. Just as work is leading to work on climate change it is high to view nuclear disarmament as something that enhances everyone's security.”

The final session of the conference also involved the younger generation of the experts, who shared their views on nuclear disarmament issues. The participants of the PIR Center's 2009 International Summer School on Global Security joined the discussions.

You can find materials of the conference “Multilateral Approaches towards Nuclear Disarmament: The Next Steps” on our website in the section devoted to “Ways Towards Nuclear Disarmament”. These materials will also be published in one of the coming issues of the Security Index journal.

 Speakers.pdf

 List of Participants.pdf

AGENDA OF THE CONFERENCE ON

“MULTILATERAL APPROACHES TOWARDS NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT: THE NEXT STEPS"

July 3, 2009

National Hotel (Moscow) 

10.00 – 10.10 Welcome remarks of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey V. LAVROV on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the PIR Center

10.10 – 10.30 Opening remarks – Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, President,PIRCenter

10:30 – 12:00 Panel 1: “Nuclear Disarmament: Directions and Dynamics”

Chairman/SpeakerRoland M. TIMERBAEV, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Chairman of the Board, PIR Center (in Russian)

12.00 – 12.30 Coffee break

12:30 – 14:00 Panel 2: “Unequivocal Commitment to Nuclear Disarmament: What Does it Mean?”

Chairman/Speaker – Gennady M. EVSTAFIEV, Lieutenant-General (ret.), Senior Vice President, PIR Center (In Russian)

14.00 – 15.30 Lunch

15.30 – 17.00 Panel 3: “Nuclear Arms Reductions: Mutual Efforts and Everyone's Steps”

Chairman/Speaker – Prof. Alexander V. RADCHUK, Advisor to the Chief of General Staff, Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (in Russian) 

17.00 – 17.30 Coffee break

17.30 – 18.30 Roundtable: World without Nuclear Weapons: What is the Motivation for Nuclear-Weapons States to Fulfill their Obligations under Article VI of the NPT?

Chairman Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, President, PIR Center

18.30 – 22.00 Celebration of the 15th Anniversary of PIR Center

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