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PIR Center reflects on the international conference "Emerging technologies and global security: an agenda for the 21st century"


MOSCOW. OCTOBER 21 2016. PIR PRESS – "What will the control over nuclear, chemical, biological and other technologies, for example, in the field of robotics, look like in the age of rapid perception of information, the rapid decision making and new communication opportunities? The world needs a global security system corresponding to its realities. Russia has every reason to be among the leaders in shaping a new agenda", - Albert Zulkharneev, Director, PIR Center.

PIR Center reflects on the International Conference “Emerging Technologies and Global Security: an Agenda for the 21st Century” held on September 29 in the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry. The conference was organized by the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry and PIR Center.
PIR Center Director, Albert Zulkharneev outlined the main objectives of the forum: “The world needs a global security system corresponding to its realities. There are, at least, two sets of questions. The first - whether it is necessary and if necessary, how to adapt the existing system of nonproliferation, arms control to new technological and socio-political realities. Another set of questions is about how to reduce the risks of new technologies, and at the same time, not stalling their development and not reducing their beneficial usage”.

Introducing the structure of the conference, Albert Zulkharneev noted: "More and more people are fascinated by images of the beautiful, or, as a rule, repulsive unknown future, but for us it is important to bring the ideas about future into correlation with the reality though. Today we will not talk about abstract things - very specific issues became imminent that we will discuss in our sections.

These are the challenges of new military and peaceful technologies for strategic stability, the prevention of the weaponization of outer space, providing cybersecurity of critical infrastructure, including nuclear ones, and Internet and communications infrastructure, issues of the use of lethal autonomous systems, strengthening nuclear safety and nuclear nonproliferation regime".

The conference was attended by 143 experts from 20 countries and three international organizations. Among the participants were also students of Dual Degree Program in Nonproliferation Studies, participants of International School on Global Security – 2016, and representatives of Russian universities from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok.

The conference was held with the support of The Gorchakov Fund in cooperation with Carnegie Corporation of New York, Kaspersky Lab, The International Committee of the Red Cross, Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, “Skolkovo” Foundation, Trialogue Club International, Centre russe d'études politiques.
Yevgeny Bazhanov, Rector of the Diplomatic Academy of Russian Foreign Ministry addressed the participants of the conference with greeting speech.

The first session was headed by Vladimir Orlov, Head of Center for Global Trends and International Organizations, Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Speakers identified the main challenges and opportunities that new technologies create for global security.

Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary, Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBT) marked that the organization was able to establish an effective verification system based on the latest technological solutions and capable of promptly providing information necessary for decision making to the member states. Lassina Zerbo believes that the verification mechanism of the CTBT could become a model for the establishment of monitoring systems in other fields, but it is important to demonstrate the proper functioning of the system, which is possible only after the Treaty's entry into force. Mr. Zerbo reported that the preparatory commission also provides its data and technology for civil and scientific purposes, such as warning about the tsunami and nuclear disaster monitoring.

In his conceptual speech, Jarmo Sareva, Director of UNIDIR addressed the impact of autonomous systems, space, cyber and bio-technology, 3D-printing and directed-energy weapons on global security. The speaker outlined the following challenges:
• the possibility of the use of relatively low-cost systems with high military potential by non-state actors;
• complexity of the attribution of new technologies’ implementation undermines deterrence;
• International law is not adapted to the emergence of certain new technologies and does not regulate them, which endangers the functioning of the contemporary world order today.

As responses to these challenges, Jarmo Sareva proposes to develop a complex of measures in legal, political and technical nature: more active convocation of groups of governmental experts to develop international legal mechanisms of the regulation of new technologies, to increase the possibilities in attribution of attacks in cyberspace, to raise the level of transparency and trust, to reduce the risks of significant damage from attacks with the use of new technologies by improving the stability of defensive systems.

Vice President, National Research Center "Kurchatov Institute", Oleg Naraykin spoke about the development of nature-like technologies that "gives humanity a chance to avoid resource collapse and, if one takes a cosmological view, gives human civilization the opportunity to extend the period of its existence until the time of the geological existence of Earth." However, the transition to this kind of technology makes all the existing non-proliferation system, arms control and export control useless, which means the need for serious upgrade of the existing security mechanisms.

Andrey Dukhvalov, Head of Future Technologies of Kaspersky Lab, noted that thanks to the Internet we have not only the new means of communication, but also a new environment, security of which is impossible without joint efforts: "Computer technologies are transboundary. Whatever means may be designed to protect from some computer incidents or problems, they need to be applied in coordination".

Details of the discussion of the weaponization of outer space, provision of the cybersecurity of critical, including nuclear, infrastructure, questions of use of lethal autonomous systems, strengthening of nuclear security and nuclear nonproliferation - will be available in the new issues of PIR PRESS, Yaderny Kontrol, The CyberPulse and Security Index Journal.

The presentations and the texts of statements by participants of conference are available on the website