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 5: Friday, June 30, 2017
The final day of the 2017 Science and Technology conference began with a discussion of how the CTBT can be advanced through “science diplomacy.” In addition to more traditional confidence building measures such as information sharing and research collaboration between government scientists, panelists proposed the establishment of summer schools and scholarship programs in the nonproliferation field and applauded the increased role of the CTBTO youth group at scientific conferences.
Although the conversation focused on the actions of scientific communities, panelists noted that there needs to be political will and vibrant civil society engagement to fully reap the benefits of science diplomacy. Later, scientists discussed how to use the International Monitoring System and other monitoring technologies to foster global development by affecting realms such as climate change and disaster risk reduction.
The conference ended on an inspiring and uplifting note, with brief remarks from former Executive Secretaries of the CTBTO Wolfgang Hoffman and Tibor Toth, and Keynote Remarks from Lord Des Browne and a closing speech from current Executive Secretary Dr. Lassina Zerbo. Both speakers focused on the need for science alongside politics, for engagement between disciplines, for involvement of youth in the CTBTO, and for maintaining hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds and chaotic international circumstances.
Applauding the presence of CBTO Youth Group members at the conference, Lord Browne remarked, “Youth are going to inherit a very complicated and difficult world.” His keynote address concluded by describing the optimism of youth and challenging attendees to set aside politics of despair in favor of politics of hope in their continued engagement with the CTBT.—BRENNA GAUTAM and SHERVIN TAHERAN
Further resources from Day 5:
VIDEO: Keynote speech at the Closing Ceremony by CTBTO GEM Member, former Secretary of State for Defense for the United Kingdom, and Co-Chair of the Nuclear Threat Initiative Lord Des Browne of Ladyton, June 30, 2017. (25 minutes)
VIDEO: "Panel Discussion—Advancing the CTBT with Science Diplomacy: Learning from the Past to Enable Confidence Building Across Scientific Communities." Moderator: Grigory Berdennikov, Russia's Ambassador-at-Large; Panelists: Anatoli Diakov, Jonathan Forman, William Potter, and Special Appearance by Dr. Strangelove. (1 hour, 45 minutes.)
VIDEO: "Panel Discussion—Utilizing Monitoring Technologies for Global Development: Exploring Potential Applications of IMS data to Support the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement, and Disaster Risk Reduction," Moderator: Patrick Grenard, CTBTO; Opening Address: José Fidel Santana Núñez, Cuban Deputy Minister of Science; Panelists: Abel Adelakun Ayoko, Bruce Howe, Yoshiyuki, Gérard Rambolamanana, June 30, 2017. (1 hour, 30 minutes)