More than 30 high-profile global leaders and experts from 20 countries on five continents will gather in Singapore on November 19 and 20 to address urgent global nuclear threats and outline key steps to reduce nuclear dangers around the world.
The meeting will be the first time that members of four regional leadership networks—from the Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the United States—will convene as part of a major effort to galvanize global action and build support for reducing reliance on nuclear weapons around the world. The Nuclear Security Project, coordinated by the Nuclear Threat Initiative in partnership with the Hoover Institution, is sponsoring the gathering.
“This meeting is historic—demonstrating in thought and action how nuclear weapons and proliferation issues must be tackled seriously and cooperatively by countries around the world,” said former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, a convener of the gathering.
“We have a short window of time to pull back from a nuclear precipice. Asia is an important backdrop for this discussion, as a nuclear-armed North Korea threatens regional stability and could spark a new wave of proliferation,” said former U.S. Secretary of Defense Bill Perry, also a host of the meeting.
The Singapore meeting signals the broad global momentum of the vision of working toward a world without nuclear weapons and steps to achieve it, advanced by Shultz, Perry, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, the principals of the Nuclear Security Project.
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 President Obama’s Berlin and Prague speeches and was embraced by the UN Security Council in a resolution at a head of government meeting in 2009.
The work of the four principals also inspired the creation of regional networks, led by Des Browne, Gareth Evans, Irma Arguello, Brooke Anderson and Gary Roughead, that bring together high-level former political, military, and diplomatic leaders committed to engaging wide-reaching audiences in an ongoing discussion about today’s nuclear threats and increased public awareness and understanding of the consequences of inaction.
“When a large and growing number of nuclear-armed adversaries confront multiple perceived threats, the risk that deterrence will fail and that nuclear weapons will be used increases dramatically,” said Kissinger.
“These regional networks, working together, can bring needed urgency and focus to nuclear issues in their regions and globally,” said Nunn. “They also can play a key role in developing and proposing to governments new approaches to regional conflicts that fuel threats in Asia and around the world.”
Shultz, Perry, Nunn, Browne, Evans, Arguello, Roughead and Anderson are participating in the meeting. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore, the Honorable K Shanmugam, will open the meeting with remarks on November 19 at 9:30 a.m. A press availability with key participants will be held on November 20 at 11:30 a.m. at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
The regional networks participating in the meeting are:
Asia Pacific Leadership Network (APLN): A network of more than 30 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 100 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 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 co-chairs Ambassador Brooke Anderson and 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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Nuclear Threat Initiative