Last month, we traveled to Jordan for the Amman Security Colloquium and Nuclear Forum, an annual gathering of leading experts from the Arab World to discuss contemporary security issues. Organized by the Arab Institute for Security Studies (ACSIS), the Security Colloquium and Nuclear Forum attracted more than 100 participants from dozens of countries, including the Crown Princess of Jordan and the Vice President of Iraq. NTI has been a proud sponsor of the Nuclear Forum since its inception in 2014, and we’re pleased to say that it’s quickly become the premier regional forum for dialogue and debate on nuclear issues.
This year, the Nuclear Forum focused largely on the Iran Nuclear Agreement (the JCPOA), the WMD Free Zone in the Middle East, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Conference participants echoed considerable frustration at the lack of progress on a WMD Free Zone in the Middle East and discussed possible implications for the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Time will tell whether key regional players – as well as the NPT nuclear weapons states – will be able to deliver on convening a conference on the Zone. One thing is for sure: the lack of a Zone will be a key challenge for the nonproliferation community as we head into the next NPT Review Conference in 2020.
NTI’s Deborah Rosenblum headlined the opening of the Nuclear Forum, conveying the importance of radiological security in a region with many potentially dangerous radioactive sources. She also previewed the release of a groundbreaking new NTI report on cyber security and implications for nuclear facilities.
The report, released last week at the IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security in Vienna, offers nine priorities for governments, industry and international organizations to get ahead of the growing cyber threat. “We know that governments and industry are working to address vulnerabilities, but getting ahead of the increasingly sophisticated threat is difficult,” Rosenblum said.
Meanwhile, Leon Ratz spoke at a parallel event with students and young professionals about the threat of nuclear terrorism and about NTI’s next generation outreach efforts. (Highlight of Leon’s day was meeting – and taking a selfie with – Ambassador Mohamed Shaker, author of the definitive history of the NPT negotiations which was an invaluable resource for his college thesis!)