"I find hope in the work of long-established groups such as the Arms Control Association...[and] I find hope in younger anti-nuclear activists and the movement around the world to formally ban the bomb."

– Vincent Intondi
Author, "African Americans Against the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement"
July 1, 2020
Vote for the 2009 Arms Control Person(s) of the Year
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As 2009 nears its end, it is time to recognize some of the most important arms control developments and achievements of the past 12 months. To help do that, the staff of the Arms Control Association have nominated several well-known and some lesser-known individuals and institutions for the title of "2009 Arms Control Person(s) of the Year."


And the nominees are:

The governments of the 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for achieving the entry into force of the 2006 Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons in September when Benin became the ninth state to deposit its instruments of ratification. The Convention bans arms transfers by member states with exceptions for the legitimate defense and security needs, law enforcement, and participation in peace support operations. (More details.)

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) for his tireless efforts on behalf of landmine victims worldwide and for his role in convincing the Obama administration to launch a more thorough review of U.S. policy on the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and for pressing it to join the treaty. (More details.)

The law enforcement authorities of the United Arab Emirates and Thailandfor their successful interdiction of illicit North Korean arms shipments bound for unstable regions of the world in July and December, respectively. The interdictions were carried out in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1874, which mandates an intensified inspection regime to prevent proliferation to and from North Korea, calls for enhanced financial restrictions against North Korea and North Korean firms, and requires a nearly comprehensive arms embargo on the country. (More details.)

Ambassador Roberto García Moritán of Argentina for chairing the open-ended working group on a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty. His work helped lead UN member states to adopt a process leading to the conclusion of a treaty in 2012. (More details.)

The governments of Malawi and Burundi, for becoming the 27th and 28th states to ratify the 1996 Treaty of Pelindaba on July 15 and triggering the pact's formal entry into force. The treaty establishes a nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) in Africa by prohibiting the possession, development, manufacture, testing, or deployment of nuclear weapons on the African continent and associated islands. (More details.)

The intelligence services of BritainFrance, and the United States for successfully identifying Iran's clandestine effort to build the Fordow Nuclear Enrichment Plant near Qom, which raised further questions regarding the purpose of Iran's program and led to the application of IAEA safeguards at the site. (More details.)

Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) for his long-running support for U.S. financial contributions to assist with the construction of Russia's Shchuchye chemical weapons demilitarization complex, which began work this year to neutralize about 2 million shells and warheads stored nearby that are loaded with VX, sarin and soman. Under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, Russia and the United States are required to destroy their chemical weapons by 2012--a deadline neither will likely meet. (More details.)

U.S. President Barack Obama for his April 5 commitment to achieving concrete steps toward a world without nuclear weapons, his September 23 pledge to the UN General Assembly to "complete a Nuclear Posture Review that opens the door to deeper cuts and reduces the role of nuclear weapons," and for proposing and winning UN Security Council approval of Resolution 1887, which calls for  action on a comprehensive set of nonproliferation, disarmament, and nuclear materials security measures. (More details and additional details.)

Former German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and new German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle for their respective calls for the withdrawal of the U.S. tactical nuclear weapons deployed in their country. Steinmeier told the German magazine Der Spiegel April 10 that "these weapons are militarily obsolete today" and promised that he would take steps to ensure that the remaining U.S. warheads "are removed from Germany." On October 25, Westerwelle said the new German government would "enter talks with our allies so that the last of the nuclear weapons still stationed in Germany, relics of the Cold War, can finally be removed." (More details.)

Japan's new Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada for his call for states that possess nuclear weapons to adopt no first use policies and for the recognition that "[w]e do not necessarily need a nuclear umbrella against the nuclear threat of North Korea. I think conventional weapons are enough to deal with it." (More details.)

Russian Foreign Ministry security and disarmament chief Anatoly Antonov and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Arms Control Rose Gottemoeller for their efforts to negotiate a follow-on to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty that would establish lower, verifiable limits on strategic deployed warheads and delivery vehicles. (More details.)

Or, you can write in a candidate, but you can only vote once.

Click here to vote!

Past winners include (2008) Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and his ministry's Director-General for Security Policy and the High North Steffen Kongstad, and (2007) U.S. Congressmen Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) and David Hobson (R-Ohio).