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PIR Center Special Advisor Vladimir Orlov participated in sessions of The UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters

17.02.2017

GENEVA, FEBRUARY 17, 2017. PIR PRESS. — Issues of innovative technologies, so called “frontier disputes”, are moving forward from the periphery to the center of attention of the UN Secretary-General. Definitely. I was going to say “slowly, but steadily”. However, it would be inaccurate, because the process goes at full drive. The bureaucratic machine of multilateral diplomacy simply cannot keep pace with this tendency, — Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, Special Advisor to the PIR Center.

UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters at in Geneva has concluded its winter session in Geneva.

At the moment, the Board consists of representatives of the following states: Australia, China, Croatia, France, Ghana, Jordan, Mongolia, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Spain, the United States. Also, the Director of UNIDIR Jarmo Sareva participates in the work of the Board.

The discussion in the Board centered around three main issues. First, the threat of cyber terrorism to nuclear infrastructure facilities. Second, the impact of the development of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems on international security. Third, the development of education in the field of nonproliferation and disarmament.

Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, the PIR Center Founder & Special Advisor and member of the Board since 2015 noted: “Issues of innovative technologies, so called “frontier disputes”, are moving forward from the periphery to the center of attention of UN Secretary General. Definitely. I was going to say “slowly, but steadily”. However, it would be inaccurate, because the process goes at full drive. The bureaucratic machine of multilateral diplomacy simply cannot keep pace with this tendency”.

According to Orlov, one of the most inspiring moments during the session was the presentation by Dr.
Stuart Russell, a computer engineer and also a specialist in neurological surgery, Professor of University of California at Berkeley, on AI and global security. It was Professor Russell, who led Elon Musk, Bill Gates and hundreds of other major representatives of technological world to a substantive discussion of arms control in the sphere of the lethal autonomous robotic systems a year and a half ago.

While discussing the issues about development of education in the field of non-proliferation and disarmament, special attention was given to the review of the report of the UN Secretary General “United Nations Study on Disarmament and Non-proliferation Education”, which was released 15 years ago.

The report stated: “There has never been a greater need for education in the areas of disarmament and non-proliferation, especially with regard to weapons of mass destruction, but also in the field of small arms and international terrorism. Since the end of the cold war, changing concepts of security and threat have demanded new thinking. Such new thinking will arise from those who are educated and trained today”.

As noted by Vladimir Orlov, the recommendations of the report are still relevant today.

Implementation of the provisions of this report was one of the key topics during the last winter session of the Board; moreover, it will be the focus of the part of the summer session, which will take place in New York. At the end of the summer session a package of recommendations will be prepared to the Secretary-General.

PIR Center has been very active along all three areas of the Board activities.

In 2016 the joint report of the PIR Center and the Centre russe d'etudes politiques “Cybersecurity of Civil Nuclear Facilities: Assessing the Threat, Mapping the Path Forward” was also presented on the session. Summary of the report, as well as other materials on this topic can be found on PIR Center project webpage “Cybersecurity of Critical Nuclear Infrastructure”.

PIR Center is engaged in the problems of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) from the beginning of 2016. During this time, Dr. Vadim Kozyulin, Senior Research Fellow at the PIR Center has participated in two international conferences on LAWS under the aegis of the ICRC, as well as in the review conference of CCW on this issue. Within the framework of the International Conference «Agenda of the 21st Century – New Technologies and Challenges to Global Security» a round table “Deadly Autonomous Systems – Mythical and Real Opportunities and Threats – Political and Legal Issues” was held. At the end of a round table was published article “Lethal robots: threats foreseen or unexpected ?” (in Russian).

Two publications on the problems of LAWS were published by PIR Center. “New Bond - car with license to kill” (in Russian), “Military robotics in the United States, China and Russia: start of undeclared competition” (in the issue of Russia Confidential analytical bulletin).

Educational program of the PIR Center includes the International School on Global Security and internship program aimed at training professionals in the field of nonproliferation and disarmament.

In 2016 the PIR Center started a new educational program – Dual Degree Program in Nonproliferation Studies. Program is jointly organized by PIR Center, MGIMO (Russia), and The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (USA). Information about the program was disseminated during the winter session of the Advisory Board

For questions regarding to the participation of Vladimir Orlov in the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, please contact the “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program Director, Andrey Baklitskiy, by phone +7 (495) 987 19 15 or e-mail baklitsky at pircenter.org.


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