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PIR Center activities at the Geneva Prepcom

16.05.2018

GENEVA, MAY 18, 2018. PIR PRESS – “Although there is a number of efforts to bridge Russia and the United States as key players in the NPT review process, unfortunately, today we are witnessing the opposite situation when the dialogue is falling apart. Even at this PrepCom we could witness both the dialogue and the traditionally established rules of behavior falling apart, which is very dangerous. We decided that we needed a special meeting involving next generation of nuclear nonproliferation specialists from both countries, which we called a Track 2.5 meeting. I am particularly grateful to the Gorchakov Fund for its support in bringing three young Russian specialists to the PrepCom and the seminar. The fact that the Russian official fund is interested in this channel of public diplomacy is notable,” – Dr. Vladimir Orlov, PIR Center Founder & Special Advisor.

PIR Center took part in the Second session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference (PrepCom) which was held on April 23 – May 4, 2018. The delegation was represented by Dr. Vladimir Orlov, PIR Center Founder & Special Advisor, Head of the Center for Global Trends and International Organizations of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Albert Zulkharneev, Director of PIR Center, as well as young experts – Adlan Margoev, PIR Center’s “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program Director, Vladislav Chernavskikh and Alexey Polyakov, both in their senior year at the Ural Federal University (UrFU) and at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) respectively, with major in International Relations.

Vladislav Chernavskikh and Alexey Polyakov were selected through an essay competition as part of a three-year project “Young Experts in the NPT Review Process,” initiated by PIR Center in 2018. The project is aimed at increasing the number of Russian experts and NGO representatives in the NPT review process so that the authority of Russian public and expert diplomacy would match the role of Russia in strengthening the nuclear nonproliferation regime. The participation of the young experts in the PrepCom from April 25 to 29 was sponsored by the Gorchakov Fund.

Dr. Orlov held a special briefing for the members of the delegation on activities of non-governmental organizations in the framework of the NPT review process and shared PIR Center’s experience which goes back to the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference. The briefing was attended by the members of the UrFU delegation: Ekaterina Lapanovich, Assistant at the Department of Theory and History of International Relations, Dr. Ekaterina Mikhailenko, Head of the Center for Security and Nonproliferation Research and Education, and Dr. Ksenia Muratshina, Associate Professor at the Department of Theory and History of International Relations, as well as Noah Mayhew and Daria Selezneva, second-year students of the M.A. dual degree program in WMD Nonproliferation run by MGIMO University, PIR Center and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS).

The young delegates also visited the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) office. The meeting, endorsed by Dr. Renata Dwan, Director of UNIDIR, was hosted by Dr. Wilfred Wan, Research Fellow at UNIDIR.

On April 28, on the sidelines of the PrepCom, the fourth meeting of the U.S.-Russian Working Group on the NPT Review Process was held under the topic “U.S.-Russian Dialogue on the NPT Review Process: Ideas from Next Generation.” The meeting was organized by PIR Center, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), Monterey, and Centre russe d’etudes politiques, Geneve. The seminar was part of long-term projectRussian-American Dialogue on Global Security” that the three partners launched in 2016. For the first time since the inception, the meeting of the Working Group was held in what the partnering institutions called a Track 2.5 format – with special emphasis on the participation of young experts who, together with diplomats and experts from the two countries, discussed how to narrow the gap between the United States and Russia on two major issues for the current NPT review process: disarmament agenda and a WMD-free zone in the Middle East.

The meeting was opened by Co-Chairs of the Working Group Dr. Vladimir Orlov, Founder & Special Advisor to PIR Center, and Prof. William Potter, Director of CNS and Professor at MIIS. The Russian delegation was represented by Vadim Smirnov, Deputy Head of the Delegation and Deputy Head of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, and Alexander Trofimov, Head of Section at the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Anita Friedt, Acting Assistant Secretary and Head of Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, U.S. Department of State, represented the U.S. delegation. The meeting was moderated by Sarah Bidgood, Senior Research Associate and Project Manager at CNS, and Adlan Margoev, PIR Center’s “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program Director. The UrFU delegates Ekaterina Lapanovich and Dr. Ksenia Muratshina also took part in the meeting, as well as a number of MIIS graduate students.

At the seminar, Co-Chair of the Working Group Dr. Vladimir Orlov assessed the current state of the U.S.-Russian dialogue and stressed the importance of engaging the younger generation:Although there is a number of efforts to bridge Russia and the United States as key players in the NPT review process, unfortunately, today we are witnessing the opposite situation when the dialogue is falling apart. Even at this PrepCom we could witness both the dialogue and the traditionally established rules of behavior falling apart, which is very dangerous. We decided that we needed a special meeting involving next generation of nuclear nonproliferation specialists from both countries, which we called a Track 2.5 meeting. I am particularly grateful to the Gorchakov Fund for its support in bringing three young Russian specialists to the PrepCom and the seminar. The fact that the Russian official fund is interested in this channel of public diplomacy is notable.”

PIR Center Director Albert Zulkharneev delivered a presentation on nonproliferation education, in which he presented a blueprint of a Foresight School on U.S.-Russian relations and highlighted the 10-year plan on disarmament and nonproliferation education that PIR Center offered earlier in 2018. The plan was part of a joint article by Dr. Vladimir Orlov and Adlan Margoev “Recommendations of the 2002 UN Study on Disarmament and Non‑Proliferation Education: Ideas for the Next 10 Years,” which was published in UNODA Occasional Papers.

For questions related to “The Future of the NPT: Shaping Russia’s Position” and “Russian-American Dialogue on Global Security” projects, you can contact “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program Director Adlan Margoev by phone +7 (495) 987 19 15 or via e-mail margoev at pircenter.org.


 


 

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