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"[Arms Control Today is] Absolutely essential reading for the upcoming Congressional budget debate on the 2018 NPR and its specific recommendations ... well-informed, insightful, balanced, and filled with common sense."

– Frank Klotz
former Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration
March 7, 2018
Events

US Chemical Weapons Stockpile Elimination: Progress Update

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Thursday, September 23, 2021
10:00am - 11:30am Washington, DC time

As part of its treaty obligations to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the United States must finish destroying all of its declared chemical weapons stockpiles by September 2023. 

With two years remaining before the stockpile elimination deadline, the CWC Coalition seeks to discuss what has been accomplished, what still lie ahead, and the importance of meeting the 2023 deadline. 

Since becoming a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997, the United States has worked steadily to destroy its declared chemical weapons stockpiles. As of May 2021, the United States has destroyed 96.52% of its Category 1 chemical weapons stockpile and all of its Category 2 and Category 3 chemical weapons. The United States is the last of eight declared stockpile possessor states to complete its safe and permanent demilitarization of chemical weapons. 

Speakers:

  • Dr. Brandi Vann, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense
  • Irene Kornelly, Chair of the Colorado Citizens' Advisory Commission
  • Paul Walker, Coordinator, Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition, moderating

This discussion was on the record. This recording can also be found on the CWC Coalition website.

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Subject Resources:

Kazakhstan: How Events 30 Years Ago Spurred Action to Halt Nuclear Testing Worldwide

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Thursday, September 9, 2021
9:00am - 10:30am Washington / 4:00pm - 5:30pm Vienna / 7:00pm -8:30pm Nur-Sultan time

Thirty years ago on August 29, the main Soviet nuclear testing site, located in eastern Kazakhstan, was officially shut down. The closure was the result of a remarkable and often overlooked anti-nuclear movement that arose in opposition to Soviet nuclear tests at the Semipalatinsk site. Kazakhstan's anti-nuclear movement Nevada-Semipalatinsk was linked closely with Western anti-nuclear testing movements, and together they leveraged the Soviet testing halt to advance a series of steps that would lead to the conclusion of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996.

 

Opening:

HE Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States

Speakers and topics:

Kazakhstan’s Closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site -
Togzhan Kassenova, senior fellow with the Project on International Security, Commerce, and Economic Statecraft at the Center for Policy Research at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of the forthcoming book Atomic Steppe: How Kazakhstan Gave Up the Bomb (Stanford Press, Feb. 2022)

The impact of Kazakhstan’s anti-nuclear movement on the global anti-nuclear movement -
Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford, International Physicians Against Nuclear War Canada

The impact of the closure of the Semipalatinsk Test Site on the Soviet and U.S. moratoriums on nuclear testing, and subsequent opening for signature of the CTBT -
Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, Arms Control Association

Moderator:
Dr. Francesca Giovannini, Executive Director, Managing the Atom project at the Belfer Center, Harvard University and author of “The CTBT at 25 and Beyond” in the September issue of Arms Control Today

Following comments from the speakers, there will be a question-and-answer session.

Cohosted by the Arms Control Association, the Center for Policy Research at the University at Albany, SUNY and the Embassy of Kazakhstan to the United States

 

Description: 

Thirty years ago, the main Soviet nuclear testing site in eastern Kazakhstan was officially shut down. Join us for a special virtual briefing on the events that led to the end of nuclear testing in Kazakstan and how it helped change the course of nuclear history.

Smarter Options on U.S. Nuclear Modernization

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Monday, May 17, 2021
2:00 - 3:30pm Eastern time

The debate about how the United States should approach nuclear modernization is once again a hot topic in Washington ahead of the imminent release of the Biden administration’s fiscal year 2022 budget request and as the administration prepares to begin a more comprehensive review of U.S. nuclear policy.

The United States is planning to spend at least $1.5 trillion over the next several decades to maintain and upgrade its nuclear arsenal. The biggest bills for this effort are slated to hit over the next 10 to 15 years and poised to pose a growing challenge to other security and military priorities amid what most experts believe will be flat defense budgets over the next several years.


Competing demands such as combatting climate change and strengthening pandemic defense and response capabilities illustrate the importance of examining more cost-effective alternatives to sustaining the arsenal while ensuring a strong deterrent, enhancing stability, and pursuing additional arms control measures.

While the Trump administration expanded the role of and spending on the arsenal, the Biden administration in its interim national security strategic guidance released in March said: “We will take steps to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, while ensuring our strategic deterrent remains safe, secure, and effective and that our extended deterrence commitments to our allies remain strong and credible.”

The Biden administration also quickly agreed with Russia a five-year extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) without conditions and pledged to “pursue new arms control arrangements.”

The expert speakers addressed how the Biden administration should approach the nuclear modernization effort, alternatives to building a new fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) via the ground-based strategic deterrent (GBSD) and the W87-1 warhead replacement programs, the challenges facing the National Nuclear Security Administration’s warhead and infrastructure modernization plans, and the relationship between nuclear modernization and arms control diplomacy.

Speakers included:

  • Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.)
  • Steve Fetter, associate provost and dean, University of Maryland, and a former assistant director in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Sharon Weiner, associate professor, American University, and a former program examiner with the National Security Division of the White House Office of Management and Budget
  • Amy Woolf, specialist in nuclear weapons policy, Congressional Research Service

Additional Resources:

Description: 

Speakers addressed how the United States should approach nuclear modernization ahead of the Biden administration’s fiscal year 2022 budget request and its comprehensive review of U.S. nuclear policy.

Reinforcing the Norm Against Chemical Weapons: The April 20-22 Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention

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May 10, 2021
10:00 AM Eastern Time

The Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition, in cooperation with the Arms Control Association, hosted this briefing to review the results and implications of the 25th Conference of States Parties for the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the CWC regime. 

Opening remarks were provided by H.E. Fernando Arias, Director-General of the OPCW. Following, we heard from 

  • Amb. Lisa Helfand, Permanent Representative of Canada to the OPCW
  • Amb. Gudrun Lingner, Permanent Representative of Germany to the OPCW
  • Dr. Jean Pascal Zanders, independent disarmament and security researcher at The Trench
  • Dr. Paul Walker, moderator, Coordinator, Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition

KEY QUOTES

Director-General Fernando Arias:
“The civil society community of non-governmental organizations, researchers, scientists, and other relevant stakeholders are essential partners in achieving the OPCW’s mission and raising awareness about the risks posed by certain chemicals. The Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition has played a critical role in this regard by coordinating and supporting civil society engagement with the OPCW through the Conference of the State’s Parties.”
“The report of the Fact Finding Mission related to the incident in Douma on the 7th of April 2018 is still the object of discussion between some member states. The Fact Finding Mission released its report on the 1st of March, 2019. In its report, the Fact Finding Mission concluded reasonable grounds that the use of chlorine as a weapon likely took place. ... None of the 193 member states of the organization have challenged the findings of the Fact Finding Mission that chlorine was found on the scene of the attack in Douma.”
“As we count down to mark the 25th anniversary of the organization in 2022, we need to acknowledge that our world today is very different to the one in 1997 when it was founded. To meet the challenges, it is imperative for us to keep adapting and evolving in an ever changing global landscape. Preventing re-emergence will require the commitment and the efforts of all stakeholders - civil society, government, and chemical industry.”

RESOURCES
The following resources provide supplemental information on the topic of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and strengthening the norm against chemical weapons use. 

If you wish to remain informed on this or other topics, including future webinars, please sign up and indicate your interests at www.armscontrol.org/get-the-latest

 

Description: 

 this briefing on the results and implications of the 25th Conference of States Parties for the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the CWC regime.

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Ending Nuclear Weapons Before They End Us: Opportunities Under the Biden Administration to Take Action

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Thursday, March 4, 2021
11:00 a.m.

REGISTER HERE

In January 2017, then-Vice-President Biden said: “As a nation, I believe we must keep pursuing the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons—because that is the only surety we have against the nightmare scenario becoming reality.”

Over the last month, we’ve seen some positive developments: the inauguration of President Biden, the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and the decision by the United States and Russia to extend the New START agreement by five years.

The history of the nuclear age shows that public pressure for saner nuclear weapons policies are essential for progress.

The event will begin at 11 am EST / 8 am PST.  The conference is organized by the Back from the Brink campaign and our colleagues at the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. The Arms Control Association is one of several official partner organizations.

Click here to view the full program and register.

We will kick off with an expert panel including ACA board members Thomas Countryman, Zia Mian, Michael Klare, and Beatrice Fihn of ICAN and Denise Duffiled of Physicians for Social Responsibility/Los Angeles. We will then present several interactive skills-building workshops to provide the tools and information to help empower you for making progress under this administration.

We hope you’ll join us to learn what opportunities exist to finally eliminate these weapons and what you can do to help.
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REGISTER HERE

Description: 

The history of the nuclear age shows that public pressure for saner nuclear weapons policies are essential for progress. Join us to learn what opportunities exist to finally eliminate these weapons and what you can do to help. (Organized by the Back from the Brink campaign)

Nuclear Challenges for the Biden Administration in the First 100 Days

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Eastern U.S. Time
via Zoom

Upon taking office Jan. 20, 2021, the new presidential administration is confronting a dizzying array of major challenges, not the least of which are related to the risks posed by the world’s most dangerous weapons. 

In this webinar, senior policy analysts from the Arms Control Association reviewed the most consequential nuclear weapons policy challenges and the decisions that the new Biden administration will need to address in its first 100 days—and sooner — and outline their recommendations on the steps that would make the United States and the world safer from the threats posed by nuclear weapons.

 

The speakers elaborated upon the recommendations in the new report, "Nuclear Challenges for the Biden Administration in the First 100 Days," including measures to adjust nuclear launch procedures, extend the New START agreement, return to the Iran nuclear deal, and more.

Speakers included:

  • Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy
  • Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy
  • Daryl G. Kimball, executive director
  • Tom Countryman, fmr. acting undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, and ACA’s board chair, moderating
Description: 

Analysts will review the most consequential nuclear weapons challenges that the incoming administration will need to address in its first 100 days and outline their recommendations as described in the new report, "Nuclear Challenges for the Biden Administration in the First 100 Days."

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2020 Arms Control Association Annual Meeting

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Our virtual, interactive global gathering of members, friends, colleagues, and policymakers examined the key challenges and approaches for steering arms control and disarmament efforts back on course in the coming decade. 

The election of Joe Biden to the presidency creates the potential for significant progress in several key areas. Achieving meaningful and durable changes, however, will not be automatic and will not come easily. The next U.S. administration and other world leaders will need to move quickly to make decisions on a range of key issues.

We want to thank our many sponsors for helping us carry out this year's event and enable over 850 attendees from 60+ countries—a global gathering—to examine today’s tough global weapons-related security challenges.

Ambassador: Paul F. Walker, Ph.D
Leadership: Dr. Joe Hogler
Partner: Amb. Susan F. Burk · Prof. Michael Klare · Leland Cogliani · Dr. T. Douglas Reilly · Dr. Bruce Amundson · Angela Kane · Amb. Bonnie Jenkins · Jacques Guillet · Natalie Goldring · Joseph  Berkson · Alyn Ware · Peter Herby · Phillip Padgett · Stanley Riveles
Advocate: Lilly Adams · Barclay Ward · Alfredo Alejandro Labbe · Jeffery Richardson · John Balkcom · Katariina Simonen · Pedro A. Cruz · William Courtney · Charles J. Ball · Joseph P. Kerr · Robert E. Frye · John Woodworth · Rusten Lynn · Edward M. Ifft · Thomas Graham Jr. · Theodore Prociv · Milton Hoenig · Cherrill M. Spencer · Frank Klotz · Laura Rockwood · Alexander Liebowitz · Jane H. Kavaloski · Amb. Carlo Trezza · Waheguru Pal Sidhu · P. Terrence Hopmann · Rebecca Gibbons · Greg Thielmann · Norman Ret · Timothy Tulenko · Jeff Abramson · Mark Fitzpatrick

PROGRAM

Our 2020 Annual Meeting brought together keynote speakers and expert panelists for virtual plenary sessions and simultaneous, interactive breakout sessions. Bios of all of our speakers and moderators are available here.

12:30 p.m.

Welcome

Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director
Thomas Countryman, Chair of the Board

Video Recording  

12:40 p.m.

Opening Keynote

"Restoring U.S. Leadership on Nuclear Weapons Risk Reduction"
Senator Jeff Merkley, (D-Oregon)

Video Recording

1:00 p.m.

Panel

"Diversifying and Strengthening the Disarmament Movement,"
with Amb. Bonnie Jenkins (WCAPS), Cecili Thompson Williams, (Beyond the Bomb) Vincent Intondi (Montgomery College), and Daryl Kimball (ACA), moderated by Lilly Adams (ACA Board).

Video Recording 

1:50 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

  • "The Future of the U.S.-Russian Nuclear Arms Control Regime," with Rose Gottemoeller moderated by Shannon Bugos
Video Recording
  • "Repairing the Broken U.S. Policy on Iran," with Kelsey Davenport
Video Recording 
  • Strengthening the NPT and the 10th Review Conference: a conversation with Amb. Gustavo Zlauvinen," moderated by Laura Kennedy
Video Recording

2:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

  • Re-evaluating U.S. Nuclear Weapons Modernization Plan” with Kingston Reif, moderated by Aaron Mehta with Defense News
Video Recording
  • "After New START: Engaging Other Nuclear-Armed States in the Disarmament Enterprise" with Tom Countryman, ACA Board Chair, and Prof. Heather Williams with Kings College, moderated by Julia Masterson
(Technical issues precluded a video recording of this session.)
  • The Impact of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” with Amb. Elaine Whyte Gómez, moderated by Zia Mian, Princeton University Program on Science and Global Security and Arms Control Association Board
Video Recording

2:40 p.m.

Remarks

How You Can Be Part of the Solution
Kathy Crandall Robinson, Chief Operations Officer

Video Recording

2:50 p.m.

Closing Keynote

Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General, UN Office of Disarmament Affairs

Video Recording

3:10 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-NY)

Thomas Countryman, Chair of the Board

Video Recording 

Questions? Contact Tony Fleming, director of communications ([email protected]) or Rachel Paik ([email protected]).

Description: 

Our virtual, interactive global gathering brought together members, friends, colleagues, and policymakers through virtual plenary sessions and simultaneous, interactive breakout sessions to examine the key challenges and approaches for steering arms control and disarmament efforts back on course in the coming decade.

BRIEFING: "Trump’s Effort to Sabotage New START and the Risk of an All-Out Arms Race"

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Friday, October 9, 2020
9:00 – 10:15am Eastern time
via Zoom webinar

In four months, the last treaty limiting the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals is due to expire. If the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) lapses with nothing to replace it, there would be no legally-binding limits on the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals for the first time since 1972.

However, the treaty permits an extension “for a period of no more than five years” so long as both the U.S. and Russian presidents agree to it.


 

Russia has offered to extend New START by five years without any preconditions, but the Trump administration has conditioned extension on Russian support for changes to the New START verification system and acceptance of a new framework that limits all types of nuclear warheads and that can involve China in the future.

Russia has rejected the U.S. offer, which it calls “absolutely unrealistic.” In response, Trump officials say they will “raise the price” for New START extension after November. Unless President Trump adjusts course, or Joe Biden is elected in November, there is a high risk that New START will disappear.

Our speakers, Senator Chris Van Hollen, and the panelists explained the value of New START, evaluated the Trump administration’s approach, and outlined pathways for extending the treaty, pursuing negotiations on deeper nuclear reductions, and guarding against an unconstrained arms race if New START is allowed to expire.

Speaker

  • Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), co-sponsor of the "Richard G. Lugar and Ellen O. Tauscher Act to Maintain Limits on Russian Nuclear Forces" Act

Panelists

  • Alexandra Bell, senior policy director, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
  • Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, Arms Control Association
  • Kingston Reif, moderator, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy, Arms Control Association

A question and answer session followed both the speaker’s remarks and the panel. This event was open to the press and is on the record.

Description: 

Briefing with Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Alexandra Bell, and Daryl G. Kimball on the value of New START, the Trump administration’s approach, and guarding against an unconstrained arms race if New START is allowed to expire.

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WEBINAR: "The Future of the Iran Nuclear Deal and the NPT"

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Thursday, October 1, 2020
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time
via Zoom webinar 

The Trump administration’s unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action has led Iran to retaliate by exceeding key nuclear limits set by the deal. The U.S. strategy has hobbled but not unraveled the agreement and increased tensions with Iran and the international community. Unless Washington and Teheran return to compliance, however, the deal could collapse entirely creating a serious new nuclear crisis in the region.

In this edition of the “Critical NPT Issues” webinar series sponsored by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the Arms Control Association, our panelists reviewed the benefits of the JCPOA, the current status of noncompliance, pathways to repair the situation, and the potential effects on the global nonproliferation system and the upcoming 10th Review Conference of Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Panelists:

  • Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association;
  • Ellie Gerenmyah, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program and Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations; and
  • Emad Kiyaei, Director, Middle East Treaty Organization (METO)

Our next webinar in the Critical NPT Issues series will address steps to fulfill Article VI of the NPT. We encourage you to sign up to receive invitations to future webinars and other updates from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the Arms Control Association.

RESOURCES

For more information on the JCPOA, subscribe to the P4+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert from the Arms Control Association, which provides periodic news and analysis on the negotiations and implementation of the nuclear deal. 

If you want to follow discussions on nuclear weapons during the 2020 session of the UNGA First Committee, subscribe to the First Committee Monitor, a publication of WILPF’s disarmament programme Reaching Critical Will, or visit their resource page for more information.

 

Description: 

In this edition of our “Critical NPT Issues” webinar series, we will review the benefits of the JCPOA, the current status of noncompliance, pathways to repair the situation, and the potential effects on the upcoming NPT Review Conference.

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WEBINAR: 75 Years After the Trinity Explosion: The Taboo Against Nuclear Testing and the Legacy of Past Nuclear Tests

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Thursday, September 3, 2020
9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Eastern

Co-sponsored by the Center for Policy Research at the University at Albany, SUNY, with the support of the Embassy of Kazakhstan to the United States

 

Over the 75-year history of the nuclear age, nuclear weapons have been used only twice in war, with deadly results. But the world’s nuclear armed states have also carried out more than 2,000 nuclear tests, which fueled the arms race and inflicted widespread health and environmental damage.

Since the conclusion of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996, nuclear testing has been considered taboo. However, the effects of past nuclear tests linger, and the door to the resumption of nuclear testing remains ajar.

On the occasion of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests (Aug. 29), we invite you to a special virtual briefing on "The Taboo Against Nuclear Testing and the Legacy of Past Nuclear Tests.” 

Panelists discussed current threats to the global test ban, strategies to resolve accusations of cheating, how states can reinforce the test ban at the upcoming review conference on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), how nuclear testing by the Soviet Union and the United States has affected downwind populations, and what can be done to assist people adversely affected by those tests.

Welcome:

  • His Excellency Erzhan Kazykhanov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States

Speakers:

Moderator:

  • Togzhan Kassenova, senior fellow with the Project on International Security, Commerce, and Economic Statecraft at the Center for Policy Research at the University at Albany, SUNY

Following comments from the speakers, there was be a question and answer session.

Description: 

This discussion with Ambassador Erzhan Kazykhanov and an expert panel, we discuss the 75-year history of nuclear tests, current threats to the global test ban, how states can address threats to the global test ban and reinforce it at the upcoming NPT review conference, and what can be done to assist populations adversely affected by nuclear tests.

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