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  • Position : "Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation" Program Director
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
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UN Secretary-General to Present the Report on Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters Activity

18.09.2018

NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 18, 2018. PIR PRESS. — “More education and training opportunities should be established to empower women and young people to be a force for change and disarmament and there must be better engagement and integration of experts, industry and civil society representatives into United Nations efforts for disarmament,” — Report of the UN Secretary-General on the work of the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. 

The 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly is opening today. The UN Secretary-General’s report on the work of his Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters in 2018 will be presented at the session. The report contains the recommendations proposed by the members of the Board during its 69th and 70th sessions, the letter held on June 28-30, 2018 in New York. For four years now, PIR Center Founder, Head of the Center for Global Trends and International Organizations of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, has been participating in the work of the Board. 

On June 27, in the framework of 70th session, the meeting of the Board members with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took place. During this meeting the recommendations to the report have been proposed. 

The Board includes representatives of China, Croatia, Egypt, France, India, Japan, Mongolia, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Russia, Sierra Leone, United Kingdom, United States, as well as the Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Affairs (UNIDIR).

Among a number of issues related to disarmament and international security, the report touches upon four areas: arms control and nonproliferation processes, the NPT review process, including establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East, the JCPOA, and disarmament and nonproliferation education.

The Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters believes the States should “reinvigorate global arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation processes, make the nuclear test ban permanent, develop approaches for nuclear disarmament verification and end the production of fissile material for use in weapon.” It also highlights that “preventing the emergence and potential deployment of new and destabilizing strategic weapons, including in outer space, remains vital for the preservation of international stability.” 

In the context of reinvigorating global disarmament and nonproliferation processes, the Board recognizes the NPT as “the cornerstone of global nuclear nonproliferation regime” and underscores the importance of preparing for the 2020 NPT Review Conference in order to secure its successful outcome. The Board “welcomes the readiness of the Secretary-General and the High Representative to contribute to that goal” by using his good offices.

Concerning the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East, the Board members agree it is important for the 2020 NPT Review Conference to identify ways to implement the 1995 resolution on the Middle East. According to the report, this process requires “two-track approach of persistent track-1.5 diplomacy and the establishment of a wider Helsinki-like process in the Middle East to build confidence.” As the Secretary-General highlighted in his remarks to the Board, “a larger confidence-building strategy that could begin with issues more suitable for agreement” could be beneficial and “lead to greater congruence on more sensitive topics.” 

The Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters also recalled that the United Nations Security Council unanimously endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action through its resolution 2231 (2015). The Board “emphasized that the Plan of Action was a major achievement in nuclear non-proliferation and diplomacy and that all efforts should be made to abide by its respective commitments”. 

As for the strategy for achieving the above-mentioned goals, the Board notes that “disarmament initiatives have been most successful when they involved effective partnerships between Governments, the expert community, private sector and civil society.” In view of the Board members, education in the field of disarmament and nonproliferation can contribute to the world free from nuclear weapons: “The Board states that more education and training opportunities should be established to empower women and young people to be a force for change and disarmament and that there must be better engagement and integration of experts, industry and civil society representatives into United Nations efforts for disarmament.” 

Mobilizing of youth networks, organizations, association of young diplomats, inviting them to consultations and brainstorming of new solutions to current disarmament negotiation challenge, as well as engaging students in relevant educational programs are recommended by the Board as practical steps toward achieving disarmament and nonproliferation goals.  

PIR Center places a premium on disarmament and nonproliferation education. Its efforts to encourage the youth to pursue a career in the field include Master’s Dual Degree Program in nonproliferation studies, established in 2016 by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) at PIR Center’s initiative. This Fall, the third cohort has begun studies at MGIMO University in Moscow. 

Another initiative by PIR Center, in collaboration with its Swiss and US partners – “Young Specialists in the NPT Review Process” – is aimed at bringing next generation of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation specialists to the NPT Preparatory Committee sessions and Review Conference to educate them at such multilateral fora. The key element of this project is Track 2.5 discussions held on the margins of the NPT review process. 

Although Track 1.5 and Track 2 events remain the key channel for an in-depth international dialogue, both officials and experts speak about the necessity to generate new, fresh ideas for cooperation. “We believe there is no better way to foster creative thinking rather than to invite next generation of specialists (Track 3) – those who will soon become either officials (Track 1) or experts (Track 2) – to speak at a regular Track 1.5 seminar as panelists,” states Adlan Margoev, PIR Center’s “Russia and Nonproliferation” Program Director and himself graduate of PIR Center’s educational programs. 

“For the younger generation, continues Margoev, it is a rare opportunity to develop solutions to real-world problems and present these solutions to decision-makers. For officials and senior experts, presence of young specialists is a strong incentive to take a more constructive approach to discussion, to overcome the official fashion of discussion, and to immerse themselves in a free and creative brainstorm. Having successfully held a U.S.-Russian seminar on the NPT review process in the Track 2.5 format on the margins of the 2018 NPT PrepCom session, we reaffirm our commitment to this format and are set to promote it among other think tanks and institutions not only in Russia but also across the globe, so that young people speaking all six UN official languages are represented and actively participate in multilateral discussions on nonproliferation.” 

For questions related to PIR Center’s “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation” Program, you can contact the Program Director Adlan Margoev by phone +7 (499) 940 09 83 or via email margoev@pircenter.org.

For all questions related to the PIR Center educational programs, you can contact PIR Center Project Coordinator Yulia Sych by e-mail edu@pircenter.org, tel. +7 (499) 940 09 83.

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