On 17 and 18 November 2021, VERTIC hosted a Trilateral Conference bringing together its regional in-country partners to finalise plans to establish Nuclear Disarmament Verification (NDV) Hubs in Africa, Central Asia and Latin America. The conference was the culmination of a three-year process consisting of in-depth research and a series of regional consultative workshops.

The three-year process involved:

  1. Assessing existing and potential capabilities in these regions to contribute effectively to multilateral efforts aimed at strengthening disarmament verification;
  2. Identifying technical and conceptual challenges that need to be addressed (through research and other activities) from the perspective of non-nuclear weapon states and in particular from the point of view of participants from the African, Central Asian and Latin American regions;
  3. Analysing the most suitable way to facilitate capacity-building and knowledge transfer as a means to create a new generation of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation experts in countries of the Global South;
  4. Developing Action Plans to establish three regional research and innovation Hubs.

Dr Pavel Podvig, Senior Researcher, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) provided his perspectives on ‘nuclear disarmament verification: status of multilateral efforts, challenges, and opportunities’.

Participants also received personal views of the impact of the current global security situation on nuclear disarmament related policies, actions and initiatives. This included the forthcoming NPT Review Conference; the prospects for a fissile material treaty; and, the potential role of non-nuclear weapon states in the verification of nuclear disarmament in the future.

Each region’s participants outlined the parameters of their Action Plan for the establishment of a NDV Hub and the approach they will be taking.

A final session addressed the possibility of the Hubs contributing to the formation of an international NDV network consisting of research institutes from the Global South and the Global North.