VERTIC holds two regional workshops on nuclear disarmament verification

VERTIC’s Verification and Monitoring (VM) Programme has completed two workshops aimed at gathering views on a prospective Group of Scientific Experts for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (GSE-NDV). The programme held the first workshop, for European states, in Vienna, Austria, on 11 and 12 April 2017. The second workshop, for African countries, was held outside Pretoria, South Africa, on 19 and 20 April 2017.

The two-day consultations involved 33 researchers, diplomats and policy makers, drawn from eleven countries and 16 organisations on the two continents. Half of the participants—or 18 altogether—was drawn from governments. All individuals took part in their personal capacity and contributed subject to the Chatham House rule.

On 14 December 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 71/67, entitled ‘Nuclear disarmament verification.’ The resolution, adopted with 175 states voting in favour and none against, instructs UN Secretary-General António Guterres to establish a ‘Group of Governmental Experts’ (GGE) later in 2017 to ‘consider the role of verification in advancing nuclear disarmament.’ The group, comprising 25 experts, will meet in Geneva in 2018 and 2019 for a total of three sessions of five days each. The GGE will submit its final report to the General Assembly in 2019. The VERTIC series of consultations is designed to feed into this process, by examining the potential to form a scientifically oriented group in the early 2020s, based on the CTBT group of scientific experts which met from 1976 to 1996.

The VM Programme will now produce a short briefing paper outlining its preliminary conclusions following the first two workshops. The paper will be introduced at a side-event in Conference Room M3 at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) on 10 May 2017 at 1:45 pm. This event will be open to all governmental and non-governmental delegations accredited to the 2017 Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. The programme may hold a further ‘informal consultation,’ again for European governments, on 11 May 2017.

VERTIC will then hold two further workshops in the latter half of 2017, one for South American and one for Asian stakeholders. The VM Programme will deliver its final report to the UN First Committee in October or November 2017.

Last changed: Apr 24 2017 at 5:42 PM