Global Nuclear Policy Leadership Networks to Meet in Buenos Aires

More than two dozen high-profile global leaders and experts from across five continents will gather in Buenos Aires on November 20-21 to develop cooperative ways to address today’s pressing nuclear security concerns, engage policy makers and raise public awareness about the risks posed by nuclear weapons and materials.

The 2014 Global Networks Forum marks the second time members of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network, European Leadership Network, Latin American Leadership Network and North American Nuclear Security Leadership Council have convened to identify opportunities to improve global cooperation on critical disarmament, nonproliferation and nuclear security goals. The Nuclear Security Project (NSP), coordinated by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) in partnership with the Hoover Institution, is sponsoring the forum.

"The global networks are gathering at a time of great risk, as well as great opportunity, for reducing urgent nuclear dangers around the globe," NSP principals George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger and Sam Nunn said about the meeting. "The crisis in Ukraine, strained relations between the United States, Europe and Russia, evolving terrorist threats and other security concerns continue to hinder progress. At the same time, a number of upcoming events—including the 2015 NPT Review Conference and the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, among other forums—hold the promise of raising awareness and providing a springboard for new and positive work toward risk reduction."

NTI President Joan Rohlfing said the networks’ meeting comes at a crucial time. "Working cooperatively, the networks can bring needed urgency and focus to the steps needed to reduce nuclear security risks both in their regions and globally."

In Buenos Aires, the network participants will develop coordinated approaches to regain momentum toward the vision of working for a world without nuclear weapons and the critical steps to achieve it, advanced by former U.S. Secretaries of State Shultz and Kissinger, former U.S. Defense Secretary Perry, and former U.S. Senator Nunn.

In a series of op-eds in The Wall Street Journal, these Cold Warrior statesmen called for a global effort to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, prevent their spread, and ultimately end them as a threat to the world. Their approach was echoed by leaders around the world, including President Barack Obama in speeches made in Berlin in 2013 and Prague in 2009.  Also in 2009, the UN Security Council affirmed the goals in a resolution at a head of government meeting.

The work of the four principals also inspired the creation of the four regional networks which are meeting in Buenos Aires following a successful meeting last year in Singapore. Led by Des Browne, Gareth Evans, Irma Arguello and Gary Roughead, these networks represent more than 200 high-level former and serving political, military and diplomatic leaders committed to engaging wide-ranging audiences in an ongoing discussion about today’s nuclear threats and the need for increased public awareness and understanding of the consequences of inaction.

The Latin American Leadership Network is hosting the Buenos Aires networks meeting in addition to an International Seminar on nuclear challenges for government officials, opinion leaders, students and academics. The Seminar will be held Nov. 19, also in Buenos Aires.

The regional networks participating in the Nov. 20-21 meeting are: 

Asia Pacific Leadership Network (APLN):  A network of more than 40 current and former political, military, and diplomatic leaders in the Asia Pacific region—including from nuclear weapons-possessing states of China, India and Pakistan—working to improve public understanding, shape public opinion, and influence political decision-making and diplomatic activity on issues concerning nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament.  The APLN is convened by former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans.

European Leadership Network (ELN):  A network of more than 130 senior European political, military and diplomatic figures working to build a more coordinated European policy community, define strategic objectives and feed analysis and viewpoints into the policy-making process for nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament issues.  Former UK Defense Secretary and NTI Vice Chairman Des Browne is Chair of the Executive Board of ELN.

Latin American Leadership Network (LALN):  A network of 14 senior political, military, and diplomatic leaders across Latin America and the Caribbean working to promote constructive engagement on nuclear issues and to create an enhanced security environment to help reduce global nuclear risks.  The LALN is led by Irma Arguello, founder and chair of Argentina-based NPSGlobal.

The Nuclear Security Leadership Council:  A newly formed Council, based in the United States, brings together approximately 20 influential leaders with diverse backgrounds from North America.  The Council is led by interim chair Admiral Gary Roughead (USN-Ret).

The Nuclear Threat Initiative is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to reduce threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. NTI is governed by a prestigious, international board of directors and is co-chaired by founders Sam Nunn and Ted Turner. NTI’s activities are directed by Nunn and President Joan Rohlfing.  For more information, visit www.nti.org. For more information about the Nuclear Security Project, visit www.NuclearSecurityProject.org.

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For more information, please contact:

Cathy Gwin
Nuclear Threat Initiative
Tel: +1-202-454-7706
Email: gwin@nti.org

November 17, 2014
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High-profile global leaders and experts from five continents will gather in Buenos Aires on November 20-21 to address today’s nuclear security concerns, engage policy makers and raise awareness about nuclear risks.