Brenna Gautam is a CTBTO Youth Group Member who will be working with the Project to post brief daily updates about the on-goings at the conference as it relates to the CTBTO Youth Group, civil society, and capacity building. She is a student at Georgetown Law School. Shervin Taheran is the program and policy associate at the Arms Control Association.
Day 3: Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Educational initiatives remained at the forefront of the conference’s third day with the panel discussion “Training Education and Public Advocacy for the CTBT: The Role of Academia in Securing the Treaty’s Entry into Force and Universalization.”
Professors Matthew Yedlin and Allen Sens from the University of British Columbia announced their project to launch a massive online open course on nuclear weapons and arms control, including the CTBT. Bronwyn McCarter, a student enrolled in his course, spoke to how the materials introduced her to the treaty and led to her advocating with the CTBTO Youth Group. The University of British Columbia program is currently seeking collaboration with other institutions and NGO's in the hopes to expand their program to civil society globally.
Dr. Edward Ifft provided useful insight into the relationship between the proposed nuclear weapons prohibition treaty and the CTBT, describing what he termed a “curious legal situation” of a new ban treaty signed by only non-nuclear weapons states, most of whom are already prohibited from acquiring nuclear weapons by the NPT.
While Dr. Ifft held that the draft ban treaty follows the CTBT wording, he cautioned that some ban advocates are pushing for defining a "nuclear test" beyond what has been accepted by the CTBTO. Another key concern raised was how the ban treaty will treat existing nuclear weapons; the draft suggests states will work out procedures individually with the IAEA, but Dr. Ifft noted that this approach could cause huge issues by multiplying elimination and verification regimes.
Wrapping up the morning session was a presentation on the new report by the U.S. national nuclear laboraties on "Trends in Ground-Based Nuclear Explosion Monitoring Research and Development" where they discuss the advances made in CTBT-related science. The full report is available in the resources list below.
The afternoon sessions focused on public advocacy, education, and CTBTO Youth presentations. The first panel discussion, "Training, Education, and Public Advocacy for the CTBT: The Role of Academia in Securing the Treaty's Entry into Force and Universalization," had a wide breadth of experts and diplomats who have worked on nuclear testing as well as a CTBTO Youth Representative. The full video will be available in the "Further Resources." The final 3 panels of the afternoon were 3 mini-panels of CTBTO Youth Group Panel discussions: "Nuclear Testing and Use," "The CTBT as a Confidence Building Measure," and "Advocacy and Outreach." This video is will also be available below.—BRENNA GAUTAM and SHERVIN TAHERAN
Further Resources on Day 3:
VIDEO "Panel Discussion—Training, Education, and Public Advocacy for the CTBT: The Role of Academia in Securitng the Treaty's Entry into Force and Universalization," William Potter, Duyeon Kim, Allen Sens, Sahil Shah, Jo-Ansie van Wyck, Matthew Yeldin, June 28, 2017. (2 hours)
"POLI 369T: Living with Nuclear Weapons? Arms Control and Verification Technologies," description of an interdisciplinary (Political Science and Electrical/Computer Engineering) course by Faculty of Arts Dr. Allen Sens and Faculty of Applied Science Dr. Matt Yedlin, who aim to provide a holistic view of nuclear weapons and arms control.
VIDEO: "Panel Discussion—Global Verification Capability: The Five Announced DPRK Nuclear Tests," Moderator: W. Randy Bell; Panelists: Steven Gibbons, Chiappini Massimo, öcal Necmioglu, Anders Ringbom, Kim Won-Young, June 28, 2017. (1 hour, 30 minutes)