CNS Activities at the 2019 NPT PrepCom

May 20, 2019
Sarah Bidgood

From April 29–May 10, 2019, the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) of states parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) met at the UN Headquarters in New York City. This is the third meeting of the current NPT review cycle, which will culminate in a month-long NPT Review Conference in 2020.

CNS Director William Potter with CNS experts and students

CNS Director William Potter with CNS experts and students

As in past years, CNS experts and students participated in the meeting in various ways. CNS Director William Potter served as an advisor to the delegation of Chile, along with Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova, director of the International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program, and Sarah Bidgood, director of the Eurasia Nonproliferation Program. NPTS graduate student Cameron Henderson was also a member of the delegation, and Willa Nathan and Ana-Maria Musteata, who are currently interning at the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, served as members of the PrepCom secretariat. Two CNS Visiting Fellows from fall 2018—Nizhan Faraz Rizal and Carla Molina—also participated as members of the Malaysian and Chilean delegations, respectively.  In total, more than two dozen CNS alumni served on 18 national delegations and three international organizations.

In addition to her role on the Chilean delegation, Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova also spoke at an event entitled, “The INF Treaty, New START, and Article VI of the NPT: How to Preserve the Global Arms Control Architecture?” Adlan Margoev, an alumnus of the MIIS-MGIMO dual degree program, was also a featured speaker. This panel discussion was hosted by the Deep Cuts Commission and the Permanent Mission of Germany.

Angela Kane, senior fellow of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, in her capacity as a member of the Group of Eminent Persons for Substantive Advancement of Nuclear Disarmament, presented the Group’s “Kyoto Appeal” to the PrepCom, which made several recommendations for delegates preparing for the 2020 NPT Review Conference. At a side event on May 3, co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Mexico, the Permanent Mission of Austria, and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Ms. Kane spoke about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and encouraged states to shift their attention to cooperation and positive steps to address long-standing questions of disagreement.

Sarah Bidgood was a panelist at a side event entitled, “When Participation Becomes Meaningful: Advancing the Conversation on Gender Diversity in the NPT.” This event was cosponsored by the governments of Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Namibia, and Sweden, as well as the UN Institute for Disarmament Research. Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova also spoke at the Nuclear Discussion Forum that day on “Steps toward New Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones: Prospects and Challenges,” organized by the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan and the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs, addressing lessons learned from the establishment of existing nuclear-weapon-free zones.

Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova

That same day, Dr. Potter co-chaired a Track 2.5 workshop with Dr. Vladimir Orlov entitled, “US-Russian Dialogue on the NPT Review Process: Ideas from the Next Generation” at Carnegie Corporation of New York. The workshop was co-organized by the Centre Russe D’etudes Politiques, the PIR Center, and CNS. Presenters included MIIS-MGIMO dual degree students and alumni Annelise Plooster, Vladislav Chernavskikh, Alexey Polyakov, Veronika Bedenko, Tom Hickey, Natalia Artemenkova, and Daria Selezneva. Jaewon Oh, Cameron Henderson, and Jakob Lengacher, all students in the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies program at MIIS, also presented original research. Sarah Bidgood and Adlan Margoev served as moderators. Mr. Oleg Rozhkov, deputy director of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Jennie Gromoll, senior advisor in the Multilateral Nuclear and Security Affairs Office at the US Department of State, also participated in the meeting.

Track Meeting

On May 7, Sarah Bidgood spoke on a panel entitled, “Pushing forward the disarmament agenda: Entry into force of the CTBT.”  The panel was organized by Pugwash, the CTBTO and the Permanent Mission of Brazil.

On May 8, Natalia Artemenkova, graduate of the MIIS-MGIMO dual degree program, spoke at a side event entitled, “Toward a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East: Introducing Novel Initiatives.” This event was organized by the Academic Peace Orchestra Middle East and the Geneva Center for Security Policy.

The PrepCom was also attended by alumni of the CNS Summer Undergraduate Nonproliferation Program, including Rowen Price, Ariel du Temple, Jack Nassetta, Ethan Fecht, and Endi Mato. Maggie Rowland Croy, a graduate of the MA program in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies, provided a daily brief from the PrepCom and live tweets. In addition, many former CNS visiting fellows and program alumni represented their national governments on delegations at the PrepCom. On May 6, Dr. Potter hosted a get-together of these and other members of the “MIIS Mafia,” to which approximately 15 program alumni came.

In the lead-up to the PrepCom, CNS published an updated “NPT Briefing Book 2019,” a reference guide containing a wide selection of documents related to the NPT review process, produced in partnership with the Centre for Science and Security Studies at King’s College London.

See also:
NPT PrepCom 2019: CNS Daily Summaries
NPT Briefing Book 2019

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