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  • Position : President
  • Affiliation : Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Position : Chairman of the Executive Board
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
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Vladimir Orlov: “Russia and the United States should resume a comprehensive dialogue on global nuclear proliferation threats” image

On January 19, 2021, Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, Director of the PIR Center, gave an interview to Security Index journal.

 

SECURITY INDEX: In your recent op-ed column, co-authored with Sergey Semenov and published by Kommersant Daily, you stated that “Russia and the United States, as major nuclear-weapo...

The Middle East remains one of the zones of high tension and instability in the contemporary world. Today, new challenges – e.g., international terrorism, the crises in Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Syria – are adding to the old and deeply rooted problems created by the Arab-Israeli conflict. The un...

International Security Index iSi increased to 2751 points. Duarte, Buzhinsky comment events of the week

27.11.2012

Duarte1.pngMOSCOW, NOVEMBER 27, 2012. PIR PRESS  “Barack Obama has again taken a prudent stance regarding the main sources of instability (Iran, Syria). Together with others, including the UN Secretary General, the U.S. was instrumental in brokering a cease-fire in the Gaza strip.  Given Obama's known views, it is to be expected that the negotiated reduction of nuclear forces between the U.S. and Russia will be resumed and that the Administration will renew efforts to get Senate approval for the ratification of the CTBT. Unfortunately, modernization of the nuclear arsenal seems to continue in both the U.S. and Russia”, - Ambassador (ret.), High Representative of the United Nations for Disarmament Affairs (2007-2012), Sergio Duarte.

The new weekly International Security Index iSi was published in Kommersant (in Russian). 

During the week of November 12-19, 2012, the International Security Index iSi increased to 2752 points. Israel and HAMAS, which controls the Gaza Strip, agreed on ceasefire under mediation of Egypt. However, the next day southern Israel was shelled by Hamas militants. In Syria, fighting between the army and the rebels continued. In Egypt, mass protests of the opposition against the new Constitutional Declaration, which significantly expands the powers of President Mohammed Mursi, erupted. In Congo, rebels captured the strategic town of Goma in the east of the country. At the summit of the International Conference of African lakes without visible results DRC President Joseph Kabila met Runiga Lugerero the leader of the rebel Movement of March 23. In Thailand, anti-government demonstrations of the Siam Phithak movement escalated into clashes with the police; there were wounded. Major terrorist attacks occurred in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, and Syria. At the extraordinary EU summit participating States failed to agree on unified seven-year EU budget. In Bangladesh at a garment factory fire broke out, killing over 100 people.

Comments on the week's events by members of the International Expert Group of the PIR Center

Sergio Duarte (Brazil), Ambassador (ret.), High Representative of the United Nations for Disarmament Affairs (2007-2012) – by e-mail from Brasilia: New round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict has led to a sharp deterioration of the situation in the world. It is sad that this eight-day war between Israel and Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip jeopardized a conference on establishing a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. The idea, nurtured since the early 90-ies of XX century, seemed, finally, to find real form and date. At the Review Conference on the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 2010, an international Mideast conference was among the priority tasks. It was anticipated that the conference would be held this year in Helsinki, but because of the crisis its time were relegated. The stated position of the hard-liners in both Israel and Iran add another element of concern. The lack of a final agreement on the proposed Middle East Conference on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone is to be regretted. This does not bode well for the next NPT Preparatory Conference in April 2013.

Globally, the Syrian situation and the worsening of the crisis between Palestine and Israel increased concerns about security in the Middle East. At the same time, the absence of agreement between the P5+1 and Iran continues to fuel preoccupation about the nature of the Iranian nuclear program. Barack Obama has again taken a prudent stance regarding the main sources of instability (Iran, Syria). Together with others, including the UN Secretary General, the U.S. was instrumental in brokering a cease-fire in the Gaza strip.  Given Obama's known views, it is to be expected that the negotiated reduction of nuclear forces between the U.S. and Russia will be resumed and that the Administration will renew efforts to get Senate approval for the ratification of the CTBT. Unfortunately, "modernization" of the nuclear arsenal seems to continue in both the U.S. and Russia.

128_350_175.jpgEvgeny Buzhinsky (Russia), PIR Center Senior Vice President, Lieutenant General (Retired)  by phone from Moscow: The ongoing civil war in Syria and armed conflict between Hamas and Israel have the greatest impact on the growth of tensions in the world. Despite the truce agreement, it is early to say that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is over. I am confident that the truce will not last long, and Israel would have to solve the issue of security of its territory radically through occupation of the Gaza Strip. Taking into consideration that in Egypt Islamists are in power, and perhaps, in the case of defeat the government of Bashar al-Assad they come to power in Syria, as well as the growing militancy of the Iranian government, this development could lead to another large Arab-Israeli war in the Middle East, with unpredictable consequences for regional and global stability. Barack Obama, I think, will make another attempt to act as a key mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation, but it would be difficult for him to leave the position of unconditional support for Israel, even despite the so-called greater freedom of maneuver, which he has now being re-election for a second presidential term. In general, the re-election of Obama has made the situation in the global security environment more predictable.  It would be desirable to hope that a course on improvement of the Russia-US relations will continue and the compromise on the ABM will be found. If that occurs, it is possible to predict the bigger support from Moscow to the American policy toward Iran.

In the winter of 2012-2013 security situation in the world will depend in many aspects on the development in the Middle East. The territorial disputes between Japan and China are a destabilizing factor in Eurasia.

The iSi index is calculated weekly and monthly. A weekly iSi value is published on Tuesdays in Kommersant Daily (www.kommersant.ru) accompanied by brief comments explaining Index fluctuations. Results of the monthly iSi calculations are published on the first working day of each month at the PIR Center website at www.pircenter.org

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