II Timerbaev debates «Does the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) contribute to the strengthening of the nuclear nonproliferation regime or does it diminish the regime?» within the framework of the Dual Degree Master’s Program in Nonproli


  • Affiliation : Member, International Advisory Board, International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastroph
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On November 27, the second Timerbaev Debate took place

MOSCOW, DECEMBER 9, 2020. PIR PRESS. On November 27, the second Timerbaev Debate took place online as part of the Dual Degree Master's Program in Nonproliferation Studies (Moscow State Institute of International Relations – Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey – PIR Center).


The debate was dedicated to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) that will enter into force on January 22, 2021. Proponents of the Treaty consider it an important step towards strengthening international security. As Roland Timerbaev wrote, “Nuclear disarmament, the elimination of nuclear weapons is a long-held cherished dream of humanity, if not of all humanity, then, of course, of its overwhelming majority. Since the creation of the atomic bomb and even before it was made, best minds have already thought that this terrible weapon of mass destruction should be destroyed under international control”. Opponents of the TPNW, in turn, point out that the role of the Treaty is not so clear-cut.

The participants in the debate, students of the dual degree program, were divided into two teams that presented two opposing points of view. The team of Mariela Langone and Davide Avenia defended the position according to which the NPT undermines the nuclear nonproliferation regime, while the team of Joseph Moses and Samuele Vasapollo stood up for the new Treaty.

The debate was attended by reputable foreign experts: Tariq Rauf, the former Head of the Verification and Security Policy Office at the IAEA, and Thomas Hajnoczi, the former Head of the Disarmament Department in Austrian MFA. PIR Center employees and interns were also part of the event. They were actively involved in the debate and asked questions to both the debaters and the invited experts.

Tariq Rauf and Thomas Hajnoczi positively commented on the quality of the debate but also gave the participants some practical advice. In particular, the experts recommended that young nonproliferation experts use more direct and less philosophical arguments in their presentations. At the same time, the experts did not name any winners of the debate, saying that both teams had done a great job.