25th Anniversary

VERTIC celebrated 25 years of achievement in 2011

VERTIC celebrated a major milestone in 2011 - the 25th anniversary of its establishment in 1986. In its early years, VERTIC was known as the Verification Technology Information Centre, and later became the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre. 

VERTIC is an independent, non-profit making charitable organization, and supports the development, implementation and verification of international agreements as well as initiatives in related areas.

VERTIC organised a series of events during 2011 to celebrate our anniversary, which are highlighted on this page.

Geneva side event

VERTIC hosted a side event at the Review Conference for the Biological Weapons Convention in the UN Palais in Geneva, on 14 December, with over 60 participants. To celebrate our 25th anniversary, statements were made by Ambassador Jo Adamson, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for Disarmament and Mr John Griffin, Program Officer, Global Partnership Program (Biological Non-Proliferation), Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. A keynote address was given by Dr Mohammad Hashimzai, Deputy Minister of Justice, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

VERTIC also gave an overview of the global and regional status of national implementation of the BWC, and then officially launched the expansion of its NIM Programme in 2012 into legislative drafting assistance for the comprehensive implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540.  

London event

On Friday 25 November 2011, and as part of its 25th anniversary celebration, VERTIC organised a meeting in London to discuss the very timely issue of a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone (WMDFZ) in the Middle East. The event, which was attended by around 25 participants from both sides of the governmental/non-governmental divide, was intended to take stock of the Middle East WMDFZ situation at present and to share ideas about what to expect - and how best to contribute - in 2012. Next year promises to be an eventful one as far as efforts to establish a Middle Eastern WMDFZ go, with a key conference on the issue - under the stewardship of Finnish diplomat Mr Jaakko Laajava - due to be held at some point before 2013. There remains, however, much preparatory work left to do before this conference can be held. It is in this spirit that VERTIC's meeting was convened, and we would like to thank all those that attended and contributed to it.

Vienna reception

On the evening of Thursday 22 September 2011, VERTIC hosted a 25th anniversary social reception on the margins of the 55th IAEA General Conference in Vienna. The event was opened with remarks by VERTIC’s Executive Director, Andreas Persbo, and Jill Cooley, Director of the Division of Concepts and Planning at the IAEA Department of Safeguards.

Speaking of the relationship between VERTIC and the IAEA, Mr Persbo noted in his address (available in full here) that the work of the Agency embodies all of the values that VERTIC’s founders wanted to promote: ‘A fair, equitable, world. A richer world. A safer world for all of us.’ In her remarks (available here), Ms Cooley noted that it was particularly fitting for VERTIC to hold an event in Vienna, which might be considered ‘the world capital for international verification.’

Indeed, Ms Cooley added, while the IAEA and VERTIC play their own respective roles in the field of verification, ‘they share the common goal of building trust through effective verification.’ VERTIC’s longstanding interest in IAEA matters ‘helped raise awareness of safeguards long before the Agency’s verification activities became the subject of what has become almost daily media attention,’ Ms Cooley said. ‘The research and analysis VERTIC has carried out has been valuable not only to the broader verification community but also to Agency staff who carry out safeguards activities on a day-to-day basis.’

Wilton Park conference

VERTIC co-organised its 25th anniversary conference with Wilton Park, which was held at Wiston House during 1-3 June 2011. The conference - 'Uncertain futures: where next for multilateral verification?' - was an opportunity to discuss the current state of multilateral verification and its future development. The conference examined the relevance, benefits and effectiveness of multilateral verification across major arms control and environment regimes, and considered options for improving policy and practice. Brief No. 15 'Verifying multilateral regimes: uncertain futures'  summarizes the discussions and conclusions of the conference.

Also listen to the conference podcast, where Angela Woodward discusses multilateral verification with Ruth Greenspan-Bell of the World Resources Institute and Richard Burge, the Chief Executive of Wilton Park.

Trust & Verify and archived publications

For our 25th anniversary, VERTIC has scanned and released all back issues of Trust & Verify - VERTIC's flagship publication - and several other archived publications. We hope that this collection will not only illustrate the organisation’s rich past, but also serve as an archive for those who are interested in historical aspects of arms control, peace agreements, and the environment.

Trust & Verify has had a colourful past and several editors. Starting out in 1989 as a small pamphlet, it has grown into a publication with substantial analysis provided by both VERTIC staff and a large cadre of invited authors.

The editors of Trust & Verify have been:

Larry MacFaul, editions 129 to present;
Andreas Persbo and Larry MacFaul, editions 125 to 128;
Larry MacFaul, edition 124;
Angela Woodward, edition 123;
Michael Crowley, editions 121 and 122;
Angela Woodward, editions 119 and 120;
Trevor Findlay, editions 113 to 118;
Trevor Findlay and Ben Mines, edition 112;
Trevor Findlay, editions 110 and 111;
Kenneth Boutin, editions 108 and 109;
Kenneth Boutin and Trevor Findlay, editions 106 and 107;
Trevor Findlay, editions 104 and 105;
Oliver Meier, editions 101 to 103;
Trevor Findlay, editions 80 to 100;
Richard Guthrie, editions 29 to 79;
Declan McHugh, editions 24 to 29; and
John Grounds, editions 1 to 23.

All editions can be found here.