More than 20 nuclear experts met in Geneva for the Luxembourg Forum on the eve of the US-North Korea summit
London / Moscow / Geneva – June 11, 2018 – Leading international experts on nuclear non-proliferation met today in Geneva for the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe (“The Luxembourg Forum”), with the main theme being the need for a co-ordinated international political response to prevent impending nuclear disaster.
On the eve of the US-North Korea summit in Singapore, more than 20 political scientists, nuclear physicists and military strategists, met in Geneva to discuss fresh approaches and practical proposals for dealing with nuclear non-proliferation. In particular, discussions centred on how world leaders should approach Iran and North Korea, and how to defuse dangerous tensions between the US, UK and Russia.
Attendees at the Summit included former US Secretary of Defense Dr. William J. Perry, James Acton (Co-Director of the Nuclear Policy Program and Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) and Stephen J. Flanagan (Senior Director for Defense Policy and Strategy at the National Security Council).
Speaking at the opening of the two-day conference, Dr. Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor, President of the Luxembourg Forum, highlighted that tensions between the US and Russia are undermining regional stability and driving a renewed nuclear arms race. “One of our tasks must be to try and convince political leaders as soon as possible of the need to work together, despite all their disagreements, in order to prevent a nuclear catastrophe,” he argued.
Participants advocated for a balanced and coordinated international approach to resuscitate the ailing Iran deal, without which, Dr Kantor warned, “it would take Iran only a couple of years to build a nuclear warhead for its missiles”.
Dr. Kantor argued that a shared interest in tackling the threat of nuclear terrorism must override other regional and strategic disagreements. The real threat of a nuclear terrorist attack is a direct consequence of “more nuclear countries and a reduction in efforts to safeguard nuclear materials”, he said.
Reflecting on the US-North Korea summit, Dr. Kantor cautioned that lessons must be learned from the Iran deal, as he observed that "the progressive stiffening of sanctions by the UN Security Council and individual states proved most pivotal in bringing about a nuclear agreement with Iran and making Kim Jong Un amenable to a ‘sporting reconciliation’ and then to state-level meeting".
The meeting also featured sessions on Russia-US strategic dynamics, as experts discussed the need for cooperation between the US and Russia at the highest level in order to ensure global nuclear stability.
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The International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophewas established in Luxembourg on the 24-25th of May 2007 by decision of the International Conference on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe. The Forum is one of the most representative non-governmental organizations to bring together leading international experts on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and arms reduction and limitation. The Advisory Council comprises more than 50 of the most authoritative and best-known international experts from 14 different countries. The President of the Forum is Dr. Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor who oversees the International Advisory Council and the Supervisory Board.
The main tasks of the Forum are:
- To analyze threats of proliferation of nuclear weaponry and to draw up specific proposals and recommendations as to further ways of reducing nuclear weapons, strengthening nuclear and missile non-proliferation regimes, preventing attempts to acquire nuclear weapons and technologies by unstable regimes and terrorist organizations and of resolving regional nuclear crises.
- To facilitate the process of arms limitation and reduction and to counteract growing threats to the non-proliferation regime and the erosion of the fundamental tenets of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
- To strengthen global peace and security through fresh approaches and practical proposals for political leaders on key nuclear non-proliferation and arms-control issues.