The Luxembourg Forum Conference on Major Issues of International Nuclear Security Opened in Montreux

Yesterday, on May 21, 2013, a two-day conference billed as Secure Tolerance Criteria for Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regimes organized by the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, opened in Montreux, Switzerland. The world’s leading experts on nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation from the Luxembourg Forum and other international organizations attended the Conference are discussed critical issues of international security. The Conference is held jointly with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

The Conference was attended by renowned scientists and experts on nuclear security: President of the Luxembourg Forum Viatcheslav Kantor; Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy Fred Tanner; University of Maryland Professor, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Roald Sagdeev; Chairman of the Governing Board, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Rolf Ekeus; Head of the Centre for International Security of the Institute for World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), RAS Academician Alexei Arbatov; Chairman of the Organizing Committee, International Luxembourg Forum, IMEMO RAS Principal Researcher Vladimir Dvorkin; General of the Army, former Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Rocket Forces Vladimir Yakovlev; Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Ariel Levite; Director of the Non-Proliferation of the Mass Destruction Weapons and Disarmament Programme at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Mark Fitzpatrick; Director of the Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology Anatoliy Diakov; Counsellor to the Nuclear Threat Initiative John Carlson; Head of the Euro-Atlantic Security Programme, Director of the European Training Course in Security Policy, Geneva Centre for Security Policy Gustav Lindstrom; Director of the Institute for Strategic Assessments Sergey Oznobishchev; President of Global Nuclear Solutions Tariq Rauf; Deputy Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament and Director, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Geneva Branch, Jarmo Sareva; Senior Programme Advisor, Emerging Security Challenges Programme, Course Director, New Issues in Security Course, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Marc Finaud; Associate Fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy David Atwood, and other international experts.

The agenda included technical aspects of creating nuclear weapons, nuclear munitions and their delivery vehicles, the development and deployment of nuclear forces, and scientific, technical and industrial potential as a precondition for the development of nuclear weapons.

Unlike previous events, this year’s Forum Conference focus marked the initial stage of research aimed at identifying those conditions and features that prove that a state’s nuclear technologies are approaching the so-called “red line” which, when crossed, strongly suggests their intention to develop nuclear weapons. Urgent solutions and appropriate measures are required to prevent such developments.

Based on the Conference outcome, the experts intend to aggressively continue their research to provide grounds for acceptable limits of “nuclear tolerance,” the point at which non-nuclear states that have the right to create a complete nuclear fuel cycle for the benefit of the nuclear power industry under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but start to show signs of abusing this right in order to illegally develop weapon technologies.

The Forum’s experts are confident that suppression of such activity must be implemented in tougher resolutions than the existing resolutions of the UN Security Council, which, as experience shows, may be inefficient, specifically as concerns prohibitions against Iran’s enrichment of uranium. The token nature of such prohibitions is demonstrated by the position of the Six Nations held in negotiations with Iran, which allows for compromise agreements limiting nuclear enrichment to a mere 20% and allowing enrichment to fuel grade. This essentially undermines the authority of the UN Security Council. In these circumstances, the Forum experts strive to elaborate clear criteria for nuclear tolerance.

In his opening address to the Conference the Luxembourg Forum President Viatcheslav Kantor emphasized that “the theme of tolerance is widely used in public practice, despite the fact that it does not meet the challenges of the 21st century. That is why we need to enhance the idea of tolerance with the concept of security. The ‘limit of tolerance,’ defining of the conditions in which tolerance becomes dangerous for society, is an innovative feature of the concept of secure tolerance. Crossing this limit requires strict and legitimate measures to restore secure and civilized compromise. The initial application of this approach may prevent nuclear technologies from progressing to the military level.”

“I am confident that we will finally perform the assigned research tasks,” Kantor assured. “Our experts will continue to analyze current issues of enhancing nuclear non-proliferation regimes, which issues do not diminish. Over recent years, progress in further reduction of strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons has been hampered by lack of acceptable compromise regarding European and global ballistic missile defence. We have repeatedly analyzed these issues in detail and provided our recommendations, and we will continue to do so.”

Based on the event outcome, its participants will draft the traditional final document with their recommendations and specific proposals. The Luxembourg Forum experts issue similar documents on a regular basis after every event and valued by the global political leaders and heads of major international organizations who receive them.

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The International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe was established pursuant to a decision of the International Conference on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, held in Luxembourg on May 24-25, 2007. The Forum’s Advisory Council includes 57 most reputable and world-renowned experts from 14 countries.

The Forum is one of the most representative non-governmental organizations uniting leading world experts on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, arms reduction and limitation. The Forum is headed by its President, Viatcheslav Kantor, PhD. The principal guiding bodies of the Forum are the International Advisory Council (IAC) and the Supervisory Council (SC).

The Forum’s priorities are to analyze threats imposed by nuclear arms proliferation and elaborate practical proposals and recommendations on the ways to further reduce nuclear arms, strengthen nuclear and missile non-proliferation regime, counteract acquisition of nuclear weapons and technologies by unstable regimes and terroristic organizations, and resolve the Iranian and North Korean nuclear crises. Reducing nuclear threats is closely connected to conventional arms balance, development of precision weapons and prospects for cooperation between states on ballistic missile defence.