NTI and more than twenty countries are gathered this week for the fourth Plenary meeting of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV). This innovative public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State and NTI is designed to advance understanding and capacity around the complex technical challenges involved in nuclear verification. This week’s Abu Dhabi Plenary, from November 1-3, is being hosted by the government of the United Arab Emirates.
In opening remarks, Frank Rose, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance for the U.S. Department of State said the IPNDV dialogue “has already increased technical understanding among participating states…and it has begun to build confidence among the partners. It has served as a kind of ‘science diplomacy,’ which is not surprising as both diplomats and scientists have played key roles in the progress achieved to date.”
In her statement, NTI President Joan Rohlfing reiterated that “there is enormous value in the process of sharing knowledge, challenging assumptions, and building capacity between states with nuclear weapons and those without them." Rohlfing also expressed NTI’s continuing commitment to laying technical and policy groundwork for progress on arms reduction and verification efforts.
This week will focus on the progress of IPNDV’s three main Working Groups, since the third Plenary in June 2016 in Japan. The three groups are:
- Working Group One: “Monitoring and
Verification Objectives,” chaired by the UK and the Netherlands
- Working Group Two: “On-Site Inspections,” chaired
by Australia and Poland
- Working Group Three: “Technical Challenges and
Solutions,” chaired by Sweden and the United States
From the outset of the partnership, participating members wanted to ensure that this was a results-driven initiative to develop tools to advance nuclear disarmament verification. In this first phase of the initiative, since the inaugural meeting in March 2015, the IPNDV has:
- Hosted four Plenary meetings to bring partners
together to discuss working papers and reports,
- Initiated a mapping exercise on verification
capacity in all member states (to be completed in 2017), and
- Published a Monitoring and Verification Resource Collection hosted on NTI’s website.
The Monitoring and Verification Resource Collection is a first-of-its-kind online and publicly-available library of studies and reports on key aspects of disarmament verification by governments, national laboratories, international organizations and independent institutions.
- Opening remarks from Frank Rose, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance for the U.S. Department of State (U.S. Department of State website)
- Opening remarks from Joan Rohlfing, NTI President
- Opening presentation from Andrew Bieniawski, NTI Vice President
- IPNDV project page
- Monitoring and Verification Resource Collection
The International Partnership is designed to build capacity among states both with and without nuclear weapons, and develop technical solutions for monitoring and verification challenges across the nuclear weapons lifecycle. This initiative sets into motion the key recommendation from NTI's Innovating Verification: New Tools & New Actors to Reduce Nuclear Risks series, released in July 2014: States should come together now to begin an international process to assess verification gaps, develop collaborative technical work streams and contribute to overall global nuclear threat reduction.