Status: Open

In Remembrance of Roland Mikhailovich Timerbaev

August 21, 2022

NEW-YORK. AUGUST 21, 2022. PIR PRESS. “Roland was a remarkable individual in many respects. He was the consummate diplomat, who understood the importance of personal relations in overcoming seemingly intractable obstacles.  He once told me that he collected friends the way other people collected art and other valuable objects.  He had no interest in worldly possessions, but was deeply committed to promoting a world in which people could live without the specter of nuclear war and nuclear weapons.  He also was committed to training the next generation of nonproliferation specialists in his country and throughout the world.  I had the honor of working with him in pursuit of that objective for three years in Monterey after he left his post as the last Soviet ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency”, said Dr. William Potter, Director, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor of Nonproliferation Studies Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (USA), a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Today, August 21, is Memorial Day for Ambassador Roland Timerbaev, one of the world’s foremost experts in nuclear nonproliferation, a national diplomat who made a tremendous contribution to the international treaty framework of the nuclear nonproliferation, arms control and strategic stability regime. Over decades of his professional life Roland Mikhailovich took an active part in drafting such international agreements as the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty – the cornerstone of the whole nuclear nonproliferation regime, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Agreement on Measures to Reduce the Nuclear War Threat between the USSR and the US, the IAEA safeguards system, the Treaty on Limitation of Underground Nuclear Testing, the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty, and so on.

Now in New York, in the midst of the NPT Review Conference (1-26 August 2022), members of official delegations and representatives of the NGO community from various countries are recalling the relevant words of Roland Timerbaev: “The NPT is the foundation of life. It is the most important international treaty of our time. There is simply no treaty more important. This treaty must be fought for as hard as we can; without it, we will all be lost. We need to talk more about the NPT so that everyone knows about it.”

In one of his last interviews, Roland Mikhailovich Timerbaev stressed: “It is mandatory to reduce [nuclear arsenals]… And it doesn’t even matter by how much, the most important thing is to continue, by 500, 300 or 200, so that the process continues. I would also, of course, like our leaders to say that it is necessary to move towards a total ban, and any efforts on this path are welcome – not even mentioning the Treaty on Prohibition – any activity in the spirit of Article 6 of the NPT is useful.

It is encouraging to observe that the views and precepts of Roland Timerbaev continue to guide the intellectual and creative thinking of specialists on nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and global security. Joint, coherent work on the pressing issues of the non-proliferation and disarmament international agenda is what will guarantee the success of the 2022 NPT RevCon.

Roland Timerbaev paid great attention to the issue of educating a new generation of specialists. Many of today’s experts emerged from under his wing, many of whom are actively involved in the NPT Review Process. Roland Timerbaev was honored at the seminar “US-Russia Dialogue on the NPT Review Process and the Role of Youth,” held by PIR Center and the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) on August 15, 2022 in New York, for his contribution to training young professionals.

PIR Center is preparing to launch NONPROLIFERATION.WORLD, a scientific and educational platform where digitized materials from R.M. Timerbayev‘s archive will be available. In April last year PIR Center completed the main cycle of works on systematization of the archive. It consists of R.M. Timerbaev’s own writings, deliberations and notes as well as an imposing collection of monographs, periodicals and other materials in Russian and English pertaining to WMD nonproliferation and global security – everything Amb. Timerbaev made use of in his work, which gives an impression of his high professionalism and his wisdom of life.

On the memorial day of R. M. Timerbaev on August 21, 2022, the PIR Center publishes the documents from his archive related to the NPT review process and the international non-proliferation regime:

PIR Center continues to commemorate the outstanding specialist Roland Mikhailovich Timerbaev. We are pleased that he is remembered not only in Russia, but all over the world.