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Fresh Ideas for the Future: Symposium on the NPT Nuclear Disarmament, Non-proliferation, and Energy

Fresh Ideas for the Future: Symposium on the NPT Nuclear Disarmament, Non-proliferation, and Energy

Event Summary, Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

April 30, 2015

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security; Managing the Atom; Science, Technology, and Public Policy


On April 28, the Project on Managing the Atom joined the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, The Netherlands government, and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs in convening nuclear nonproliferation experts from around the world at the United Nations to participate in a symposium on the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

The symposium aimed to accomplish two goals. The first was to present and discuss cutting-edge scholarly research on issues with which delegates to the 2015 NPT Review Conference must grapple. The intent was to facilitate sound decision-making at the Review Conference by offering creative but practical conceptual innovations, critical analysis, and empirical evidence drawn from academic research. The second major purpose was to expose early-career academic researchers to the review process, where they would have an opportunity to share their research findings and interact with practitioners.

Below is a list of the symposium presentations, with links to papers, posters, slides, and videos where available.

Welcoming remarks:

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Bert Koenders (Video)
  • UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane (Video)
  • UN Messenger of Peace Michael Douglas (Video)

An Overview of Research and Goals for the Day: Director of the International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program at CNS, Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova (Video)

Cluster 1: Disarmament: Past, Present, and Future - Moderated by Nina Tannenwald (Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University)

  • "Realism, Idealism, and American Public Opinion on Nuclear Disarmament" - Mark Bell, MIT & Harvard University (Poster)
  • "Defining the Nuclear Disarmament Norm: How Much is Enough?" - Lyndon Burford, University of Auckland (Poster)
  • "The Political Effects of Nuclear Proliferation" - Alexandre Debs, Yale University (Poster)
  • "Overcoming Challenges of Non-nuclear-weapon States Involvement in Disarmament Verification" - Malte Göttsche, University of Hamburg (Poster)
  • "The History of Article VI: Five Lessons for the NPT Today" - Matthew Harries, International Institute for Strategic Studies (PaperVideo)
  • "Building a Trust Toolkit: Lessons from US-Russia Strategic Arms Control" - Heather Williams, King’s College London (Video)
  • "Understanding the Challenges and Building Global Capacity toward Verifying Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament" - Hassan Elbahtimy, War Studies Department, King’s College London (SlidesVideo)
  • "Multilateral Groupings and the Humanitarian Initiative in the 2015 NPT Review Cycle: Engagement, Diverging Postures and Possible Implications for the 2015 NPT RevCon and the 2020 NPT Review Cycle" - Jenny Nielsen, The University of Queensland (Video)
  • "Sea-Based Nuclear Weapons and Global Nuclear Disarmament" - Tong Zhao, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Poster)

Cluster 2: Peaceful Uses: Safety, Security, and Justice - Moderated by Martin Malin (Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University)

  • "Determinants and Issues of Newcomers to Nuclear Power in Asia" - Sungyeol Choi, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (Poster)
  • "Reinforcing the Three Pillars: How Nuclear Security Efforts Underwrite the Strength of the Non-Proliferation Regime" - Jonathan Herbach, Centre for Conflict and Security Law, Utrecht University (Paper, Video)
  • "A New Pathway to Enhance the Nuclear Security Regime? Emerging Approaches in Southeast Asia and in the Gulf Region" - Francesca Giovannini, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Video)
  • "Nuclear Waste Disposal as a Transnational Issue" - Behnam Taebi, Delft University  and Harvard University (Video)

High Level Panel: "Political Perspectives on Disarmament" - Moderated by the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane (Video)

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Bert Koenders
  • Former US Senator Sam Nunn
  • Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Arbatov

Cluster 3: "Nonproliferation: Cooperation and Coercion" - Moderated by anya Ogilvie-White (Centre for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University)

  • "Negotiating Nuclear Sensitivity: Export Controls and Article III of the NPT" - Isabelle Anstey, King’s College London (Video)
  • "Impact of the Ukrainian Crisis on Iranian Nuclear Choice" - Oleksandr Cheban, Russian Center for Policy Studies (Poster)
  • "Technical Aspects of the Verification of Non-proliferation: the Role of the Safeguards Analytical Laboratory" - Naida Dzigal, IAEA (Poster)
  • "Coercive Nonproliferation: Security, Leverage, and Nuclear Reversals" - Gene Gerzhoy, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University (Video)
  • "From Nuclear Rivalry to Nuclear Cooperation: How a Mutual Hostility towards the NPT Led to Two Former Nuclear Rivals Creating the World’s Only Existing Bilateral Mutual Safeguards Inspection Agency" - Sara Kutchesfahani, Center for International Trade and Security, University of Georgia (Video)
  • "Ideational Sources of Non-proliferation Policy in the Global South" - Michal Onderco, European University Institute (Poster)
  • "Nuclear Strategy & Status: Assessing the Impact of Nuclear Strategies on Power and Status, and the Case of the Islamic Republic of Iran" - Mahsa Rouhi, MIT (Poster)
  • "Apartheid’s Atomic Bomb: Birth and Demise" - Anna-Mart van Wyk, Monash University, South Africa (Paper, Video)
  • "Regional Approaches to Nuclear Non-Proliferation" - Wilfred Wan, UNU Centre for Policy Research and Hitosubashi University (Poster)

Cluster 4: "Nuclear and WMD Free Zones" - Moderated by William Potter (James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey)

  • "Reconciling Order and Justice: NPT and the Middle East resolution - Tytti Erästö, SaferGlobe research network (Video)
  • "Five Years after Entry Into Force of the Treaty of Pelindaba on the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone: Progress, Challenges, and Next Steps" - Hubert Foy, African Center for Science and International Security (Video)
  • "How the Treaty of Tlatelolco Shaped the NPT’s ‘Grand Bargain’" - Jonathan Hunt, Rand Corporation (Poster)
  • "Tlatelolco Tested: The Malvinas/Falklands War and Latin America’s Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone" - Ryan Musto, The George Washington University (Paper, Video)

Cluster 5: "The NPT Regime"

  • “'What are we doing here'?” The Role and Relevance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty" - Tom Coppen, Utretch University (Poster)
  • "Dealing with Challenges from within the NPT Regime: The Case of Brazil" - Renata Hessmann Dalaqua, Getulio Fargas Foundation (Poster)
  • "Beyond Pessimism: Why the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Will Not Collapse" - Liviu Horovitz, ETH Zurich (Poster)
  • "The NPT in a Time of Power Transition" - Benjamin Zala, University of Leicester (Poster)

Closing Remarks: Directions for Future Research

  • Steven Miller, Director of the International Security Program at Harvard University’s Belfer Center (Transcript, Video)

Watch the full proceedings of the Symposium via UN WebTV here (part 1) and here (part 2).


For more information about this publication please contact the MTA Program Assistant at 617-495-4219.

For Academic Citation:

"Fresh Ideas for the Future: Symposium on the NPT Nuclear Disarmament, Non-proliferation, and Energy." Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, April 30, 2015.

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We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.