First Declaration of the Youth Group of the International Luxembourg Forum: New Voices

The International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe (ILF) has initiated a new project on establishing a Youth Group of the Forum. The Group will comprise of young professionals from different countries that have an understanding of, and interest in, the issues of arms control, nuclear non-proliferation and security. While the final composition of the Group has not yet been established, its first participants have already had a chance to meet and work together within the framework of the annual ILF Supervisory Board Meeting held in Geneva, December 4-5, 2019.

Posted below you can find the substantial part of the Final Document worked out by the participants of the Youth Group meeting. It was proposed to name the Group as New Voices.

Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, professor, Sergey Oznobishchev

First Declaration of the International Luxembourg Forum: New Voices

During our first meeting, we collectively reaffirmed that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. We agreed on the following declaration and recommendations:

  • We call on the governments of Russia and the United States to resume substantive and constructive dialogue to prevent the complete collapse of strategic arms control and eliminate the prospect of a new nuclear arms race. This should include extending the New START Treaty–which is set to expire in February 2021—without delay, maintaining a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe, reaffirming the international norm against nuclear testing, and engaging in discussions towards follow-on arms-control and reduction agreements. Such discussions should include new strategic weapons systems, missile defense, and all kinds of nuclear armed cruise missiles and air-delivered nuclear weapons. Further, the U.S. and Russia should pursue measures to prevent targeting of nuclear weapons command-and-control structures, including space-based assets, by nuclear or any other means.
  • We call on the United States and Russia to reaffirm their commitment to abide by the terms of existing agreements relating to risk reduction, including the 1972 Incidents at Sea Agreement, the 1973 Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War, the 1987 Soviet-U.S. Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers Agreement, the 1987 Agreement on the Prevention of Dangerous Military Activities, the 2011 Vienna Document, and the Open Skies Treaty. We also urge them to resume and expand military-to-military and strategic stability discussions as soon as possible. These discussions should cover doctrinal changes limiting the potential uses of nuclear weapons and include the serious consideration of bilateral No-First-Use and de-alerting. With the deterioration of the arms control regime, such measures are necessary to provide outlets for crisis management and de-escalation and reduce the likelihood that a crisis may occur.
  • We urge the United States, Russia, and other nuclear weapon-possessing countries to begin substantive discussions on measures to prohibit cyberattacks on one another’s nuclear command, control, and communications (C3) systems. Recognizing the cyber vulnerabilities of C3 systems, an agreement not to exploit them would contribute significantly to reducing the risk of nuclear use.
  • We call on all nuclear weapon-possessing countries to discuss nuclear doctrines openly and multilaterally. In recent years, key nuclear postures have evolved to include language suggesting that nuclear weapons could be used for nuclear warfighting rather than for deterrence. These changes greatly increase the likelihood of nuclear use in crisis situations, and increase the prospect of a new unrestrained arms race. Given existing international tensions, it is crucial that all nuclear weapons states maintain a degree of transparency on the size and scope of their nuclear arsenals as to avoid any misunderstanding that could further fuel an arms race.
  • We call for states to develop a shared scientific understanding of emerging military capabilities leveraging technological developments in the fields of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, big-data analysis, artificial intelligence, autonomous and unmanned systems, as well as hypersonic, high-precision, and maneuverable weapon systems as to avoid any misunderstanding fueled by unsubstantiated claims of revolutionary capabilities, and to explore how such technologies could positively affect the development of new monitoring and verification technologies that are needed to support future arms control agreements.
  • We call on all states to abide by their obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1540, in particular those related to export controls. Export control regimes should be regularly reviewed and updated in order to reduce proliferation risks associated with emerging technologies. The fact that these regimes do not impose restrictions on the development and deployment of certain weapon systems and only control the transfers of such systems and technologies does not diminish their importance.
  • We recognize that, half a century after its inception and twenty-five years after its indefinite extension, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons faces a plethora of old and new challenges. There is no consensus among NPT states parties concerning the pathway for substantive nuclear disarmament. There is growing anxiety about the outcome of the crucial 2020 NPT Review Conference. The failure of the 2015 Review Conference to reach a consensus final document further increases pressure on NPT States Parties to achieve a successful outcome next year. In light of these challenges, we call upon all NPT States Parties to do their utmost to maintain and strengthen the NPT. In conjunction, we call on all NPT member countries to set aside short-term disagreements for the sake of saving the whole non-proliferation regime in the world. Furthermore, considering the central role that the United States and Soviet Union played in concluding the Treaty, we specifically urge the United States and Russia to continue to cooperate on strengthening the NPT in spite of the crisis in their bilateral relationship. We welcome the revival of the P5 process and encourage the five nuclear-weapon States to continue their discussions on doctrine, strategic risk reduction, and other topics related to the implementation of Article VI.
  • We believe that the P5 should reaffirm their shared commitment to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and we call upon the remaining Annex 2 states that have yet to do so to ratify the treaty at the earliest possible date. We recognize the ongoing importance of the CTBT and seeing through its long-delayed entry into force. States should further pursue confidence-building measures and maintain verification procedures that would further strengthen its goals, including developing transparency mechanisms for subcritical experiments conducted underground to provide confidence they do not violate the Treaty. Additional steps should be taken to restore the credibility of the disarmament pillar of the NPT, including substantive negotiations towards a fissile material cutoff, nuclear disarmament verification research, and reaffirmed commitments to the ultimate vision of a world free from nuclear weapons.
  • We welcome the efforts now directed to improve the security situation on the Korean Peninsula. We urge the United States and North Korea to maintain an open dialogue and refrain from escalatory rhetoric and behavior, including through restraint on military exercises and ballistic missile tests. We call on states to fully abide by their commitments in relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. Moreover, all stakeholders should discuss practical measures in support of denuclearization, drawing on the lessons learned of the successful experience of denuclearization of other states and cooperative threat reduction activities between the United States and Russia.
  • We urge all parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to live up to their commitments under the agreement. While other parties of the P5+1 continue their efforts to preserve the agreement, the decision of the United States to unilaterally withdraw from the JCPOA has exacerbated tensionsin the region and undermined the credibility of nonproliferation efforts more broadly. We commend Iran’s recent reaffirmation of its commitment to never seek, develop, or acquire nuclear weapons, but consider that the country’s recent decision to inject uranium gas into centrifuges at the Fordow facility , which constituted Tehran’s fourth step in reducing commitments under the JCPOA, poses new threats to the sustainability of the agreement . We call on Iran to reverse any activities inconsistent with the JCPOA and to refrain from undertaking any further measures undermining the deal’s preservation.
  • We welcome the UN General Assembly’s recent convening of a conference on the establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction. We call on those states that remained absent from the conference to join the process going forward, and urge all regional states, supported by the P5, to establish a parallel process focused on regional security issues more broadly, considering such a process vital for confidence-building and underpinning regional non-proliferation efforts with a solid foundation.
  • We call on the United States and Russia, as the world’s largest nuclear powers, to return to cooperation on security of nuclear and radioactive materials. Moreover, Washington and Moscow should resume scientist-to-scientist engagement on areas such as nuclear safety, nuclear disarmament verification, nuclear science, and nuclear environmental remediation, which has previously served as the backbone of cooperation between the nuclear complexes of the United States and Russia. The threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism remains serious and compels international action. The international community should seek to strengthen the global nuclear security architecture, including by ensuring a robust and successful 2021 Review Conference on the Amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (CPPNM). We welcome the ongoing U.S. and Russian co-chairmanship of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
  • We urge nuclear weapon-possessing countries and all other states to engage in victim assistance and environmental remediation efforts in relation to nuclear arms development, testing, and use. While nuclear weapons are often described as indiscriminate, the environmental, economic, and human costs of the nuclear age have been heavily and disproportionately born by specific communities, particularly indigenous communities.
  • We call on all states to invest in programs designed to make these challenges accessible to new generations and diverse audiences. We encourage states to deepen cooperation on education and outreach programs with relevant civil society and international organizations. As members of an emerging generation of experts on nuclear security issues, we keenly recognize the importance of education on nuclear risk reduction and the consequences of nuclear use.We believe that teaching people how to think, rather than what to think, about weapons of mass destruction is a key step in empowering them to engage in decision-making on nonproliferation, arms control, and disarmament. High-quality, accessible education and timely, accurate, publicly available information about nuclear weapons, arms control, and disarmament is absolutely essential to ensuring robust democratic control over the most destructive weapons ever created.

We live in a world which is becoming more and more divided every day. Only an equal, diverse, and open dialogue without any prejudice can help all countries to overcome the global security crisis and prevent nuclear catastrophe.

List of Participants


Sarah Webster BIDGOOD

Director, Eurasia Nonproliferation Program, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (USA).


Konstantin BOGDANOV

Research Fellow, Section of Military-Political Analysis and Research Projects, Center for International Security, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS); Ph.D. (Russia).


Emma Claire


Program Associate, Military Incidents Project, Global Zero (USA).




Research Associate, Institute for Science and Technology Policy, George Washington University (USA).



Senior Political Officer, The Shaikh Group; Ph.D. (Germany).



Associate Research Scholar, Program on Science and Global Security, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Ph.D. (France).




Senior Program Officer, Material Risk Management Program, Nuclear Threat Initiative (USA).



Senior Researcher, Department of Military and Economic Security Research; Head of the Group, Group of Military and Economic Globalization Processes, Center for International Security Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS); Ph.D. (Russia).