Arms Control and Disarmament Programme

In October, members of the Arms Control and Disarmament team travelled to the United States to promote VERTIC’s recently-released publication on Verifying Warhead Dismantlement. During the trip, Andreas Persbo presented the main findings of the report to the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs and the EastWest Institute in New York City, and at the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences in Washington, DC. October also saw Hassan Elbahtimy travel to Austria to lecture on verification, as part of a course run by the CTBTO in Vienna. He also participated in a Pugwash consultation on the Middle East in the UK.

In early November, Mr Elbahtimy travelled back to Vienna to attend the IAEA Safeguards Symposium, as part of a delegation that also included Andreas Persbo, David Cliff and the nuclear team’s newest volunteer, Sonia Drobysz. At the symposium, Mr Persbo delivered a presentation on the verification of warhead dismantlement, and VERTIC subsequently submitted a paper on the subject for inclusion in the conference compendium.

During November, Mr Persbo also participated in a high-level roundtable discussion organized by the United Nations Association of the UK. Then, in late November, the VERTIC ACD Programme hosted a book launch for John Walker of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, whose book on British Nuclear Weapons and the Test Ban 1954-73 has recently been released.

In December, Mr Persbo took part in a conference on nuclear non-proliferation at Wilton Park in West Sussex, and VERTIC’s newest briefs—on the 2010 NPT Review Conference and the IAEA General Conference—were released (and made available for download on our newly-redesigned website). Aside from these activities, the VERTIC nuclear team is currently fully engaged in a project investigating the concept of irreversibility in nuclear disarmament, on schedule to be released in March.