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– Frank von Hippel
Co-Director of Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University
Nuclear Disarmament Panel Members Named
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Kirsten McNeil

On Sept. 26, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced the members of a new joint panel with Japan on nuclear disarmament. The International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament will be co-chaired by former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans and Japanese counterpart Yoriko Kawaguchi.

Members of the commission include Ali Alatas (Indonesia), Turki Al-Faisal (Saudi Arabia), Alexei Arbatov (Russia), Gro Harlem Brundtland (Norway), Frene Noshir Ginwala (South Africa), Fraçois Heisbourg (France), Jehangir Karamat (Pakistan), Brajesh Mishra (India), Klaus Naumann (Germany), former Defense Secretary William Perry (United States), Wang Yingfan (China), Shirley Williams (United Kingdom) and former President Ernesto Zedillo (Mexico). The 15 co-chairs and commissioners will be supported by a panel of experts.

Rudd originally announced the formation of the commission after a trip to Hiroshima in June. He proclaimed that the commission’s mandate is “to reinvigorate the global debate on the need to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons and for nuclear disarmament, and to strengthen the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) by seeking to shape a global consensus in the lead up to the 2010 NPT Review Conference, and beyond.” The commission will study several interdependent issues dealing with civilian nuclear energy, nuclear weapons proliferation, the global disarmament system, and the structure of the NPT.

A report is anticipated prior to the 2010 NPT Review Conference. The commission’s report is expected to build on the work done by the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in 1996 and previous NPT review conferences. The commission will meet for the first time Oct. 19-21 in Sydney.