Final Declaration of the Conference of the International Luxembourg Forum "Arms Control: the Burden of Changes". Rome, June 4-5, 2019
The Doomsday Clock on the cover of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 2018
was set at two minutes to midnight – for the first time after the end of the Cold War
Arms Control: Burden of Change
The Final Document of the Conference of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe
Rome, June 5, 2019
The June 4-5 Conference in Rome included the heads of a number of world-renowned international organizations, dedicated to arms control and non-proliferation – the Arms Control Association, Global Zero, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, the Russian International Affairs Council, and the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (APLN).
All participants are unanimous in their profound concern at the continuing degradation of strategic stability due to the obvious disintegration of the arms control regimes and the accelerating development of new types of nuclear weapons.
The main manifestations of this crisis are the impending termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 2019, and growing uncertainty related to the future of the New START and the feasibility of a START follow-on after 2021. The viability of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on curtailment and transparency of the Iranian nuclear program is in grave doubt, with the ensuing risk of yet another armed conflict in the Middle East. There is an increasing possibility that the 2020 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) Review Conference will not conclude with an agreed plan of action to strengthen the NPT, with the risk of undermining the integrity of the nuclear non-proliferation regime as a whole.
Worse, this degradation of strategic stability combined with the unraveling of major arms control treaties coincides with the accumulation of major crises and wars throughout the planet, which have the potential for uncontrolled escalation and incalculable risks. The dangers of nuclear catastrophe are currently higher than at any time during the Cold War. The primary danger is not deliberate use of nuclear weapons by any state, but blundering into war through human error, system error, miscommunication or miscalculation, with these risks compounded by new cyber technology. The analogy with the past is not World War II but World War I. With the weapons of that day – machine guns and poison gas – 25 million people were killed. With the nuclear weapons of today, hundreds of millions would be killed, and life on this planet as we know it would be destroyed.
In contrast to the declarations made by the leaderships of the most powerful nations of their desire to avoid an arms race, in fact these nations are gradually becoming involved in nuclear and conventional, offensive and defensive, regional and global, space and cyber arms races. This will encourage further proliferation of nuclear arms and increase the risk of these falling into the hands of terrorist organizations.
For all the complexities of the evolving world order and advanced military technologies, a crucial contribution to this dire situation is the low priority given to arms control by the authorities of the leading nations and their pursuit of destabilizing innovative weapon systems. What is most evident is the unforgivable underestimation of the dangers of the forthcoming uncontrolled, multinational and multifacetous arms race, replacing half a century of nuclear arms control.
In view of these dangerous developments we urge the leaders of the United States and the Russian Federation to prevent the termination of the INF Treaty by urgently negotiating appropriate methods of on-site inspections for removing mutual suspicions of Treaty non-compliance. While such talks proceed, both sides should agree on a moratorium on deployment of weapon systems which are prohibited by the INF Treaty. In parallel, they should initiate talks with China and other nuclear-armed states on effective nuclear risk reduction and arms control measures.
In order to sustain strategic stability, we appeal to the US and Russian leaderships to extend New START for five years beyond 2021 and to commence talks on a follow-on START treaty, which should cover traditional and qualitatively new strategic weapon systems and apply realistic counting rules and reliable verification methods.
With the goal of enhancing the NPT we strongly recommend to the leaderships of the five nuclear-weapon states to apply all efforts to ensure the success of the 2020 Review Conference. Saving the INF Treaty and New START are the first crucial steps towards this goal. The second step would be to preserve the Iran JCPOA, which requires that all parties meet their nuclear and sanctions relief commitments under the deal. The third step should be achieving some progress on the weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-free zone in the Middle East. The fourth is to start a constructive dialogue between nuclear-armed states and non-nuclear-armed states – including the parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – focusing on practical risk reduction measures including de-alerting, reduced deployments, decreasing stockpiles, and no first use.
Of utmost importance for the enhancement of the global nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security regime is for all responsible states to further strengthen international treaties and conventions to deter and combat the threat of nuclear terrorism, which requires greater cooperation to achieve the full implementation and universality of relevant international legal instruments. This indisputably is one of the key areas where the national interests of all states converge to ensure security of nuclear materials and facilities. In this context it is vital for the US and Russia to intensify their cooperation to combat nuclear terrorism.
To provide better organizational capacity for strengthening collective efforts we propose the establishment of an international coordination center located in Europe, with a specific mandate on combating the risks of nuclear terrorism. Such a center could involve the participation, on a permanent basis, of representatives from relevant national institutions of states parties with competence in the field of protection and security of radioactive and nuclear materials as well as of nuclear facilities, and could include a capacity for recourse to emergency response forces.
The conference participants noted that the system of contact groups on the highest and other levels, involving ministers, researchers, the military and political scientists, that operated continuously between the two nuclear superpowers, US and Russia, has been disrupted, and this could result in unpredictable consequences. It should be a priority to restore this system.
The conference participants recommend that the Russian Federation and the United States adopt a new declaration reconfirming their belief that nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. Such a declaration has been emphasized by the Luxembourg Forum during the last several years. Under the present circumstances adopting this declaration would serve as a good starting point to move along the “road map” for addressing the issues identified by this conference of the Luxembourg Forum.
The participants of the Conference of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe:
President of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, Ph.D. (Russia).
Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the International Luxembourg Forum; Head of the Center for International Security at the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) (former Deputy Chairman of the Defense Committee of the State Duma, Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation); Academician, RAS (Russia).
Non-resident Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Ambassador (former Under Secretary of Energy for Nuclear Security and Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration) (USA).
Co-Founder of Global Zero International Movement; Research Scholar, Princeton University; Member of the Supervisory Board of the International Luxembourg Forum, Ph.D. (USA).
Мember of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network, Counsellor to the Nuclear Threat Initiative (former Director General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office, Chairman of the Standing Advisory Group on Safeguards Implementation, International Atomic Energy Agency) (Australia).
President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs,Member of the Supervisory Board of the International Luxembourg Forum, Ambassador (former United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs) (Brazil).
Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the International Luxembourg Forum; Principal Researcher at the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences (former Director of the 4th Central Scientific Research Institute, Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation); Full Member of the Russian Academy of Missile and Artillery Sciences, of the Russian Engineering Academy, of the International Engineering Academy, of the Academy of Military Sciences, of the Tsiolkovsky Russian Academy of Astronautics; Professor, Ph.D.; Major General (retired) (Russia).
Ambassador, Member of the Supervisory Board of the International Luxembourg Forum (former High Commissioner on National Minorities at the OSCE; Chairman of the Governing Board, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) (Sweden).
Leading Researcher, Institute for the US and Canadian Studies Russian Academy of Sciences; Leading Researcher, World Policy Faculty, Moscow State University (former Chief of Staff – First Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Missile Forces); Professor, Ph.D.; Colonel General (retired) (Russia).
Chancellor of the Australian National University, Member of the Supervisory Board of the International Luxembourg Forum (former Member of the Senate and the House of Representatives; Minister of Foreign Affairs) (Australia).
Associate Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (former Executive Director, International Institute for Strategic Studies – Americas) (USA).
President of the Russian International Affairs Council; Professor at MGIMO (University), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; Member of the Supervisory Board of the International Luxembourg Forum (former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation); Corresponding Member, RAS (Russia).
Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, Ph.D. (USA).
Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science and the Harriman Institute, Columbia University; Ph.D. (USA).
Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; President, Russian Paralympic Committee; Professor, National Research University – Higher School of Economics; Member of the Supervisory Board of the International Luxembourg Forum (former Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Deputy Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; Commissioner on Human Rights for the Russian Federation; Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States of America); Ph.D. (Russia).
Emeritus Board Member at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (former Member of the French Parliament, French Special Representative for Afghanistan-Pakistan, Minister of State for Europe and Minister of State for Foreign Trade), Ph.D. (France).
Director, International Security Program; Editor-in-Chief, International Security magazine; Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Ph.D. (USA).
Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the International Luxembourg Forum; Head of Section for Military-Political Analysis, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS); Director, Institute for Strategic Assessments; Professor at MGIMO (University), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; Full Member of the Tsiolkovsky Russian Academy of Astronautics; Ph.D. (Russia).
Professor at the Stanford University, Member of the Supervisory Board of the International Luxembourg Forum (former US Secretary of Defense), Ph.D. (USA).
Director, James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies; Professor of Non-Proliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey; Member of the Supervisory Board of the International Luxembourg Forum, Ph.D. (USA).
Consulting Advisor for Policy and Outreach, Office of Executive Secretary, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO); Principal, Global Nuclear Solutions (Former Director, Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Program, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute; Head of the Verification and Security Policy Coordination Office of International Atomic Energy Agency); Ph.D. (Canada).
President and Chief Operating Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) (USA).
Director and Senior Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (former National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia at the US National Intelligence Council), Ph.D. (USA).
Distinguished Professor of the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland; Director Emeritus, Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS); Member of the Supervisory Board of the International Luxembourg Forum; Academician, RAS (Russia/USA).