More than 30 high-profile global leaders and experts from 18 countries on five continents will gather in Singapore on June 25 and 26 to address urgent global nuclear threats and outline key steps to reduce dangers around the world.
The meeting brings together members of five regional leadership networks—from the Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the United States—that are part of a major effort to galvanize global action and build support for reducing reliance on nuclear weapons, ultimately ending them as a threat. 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 in President Obama’s 2009 Prague speech and embraced by the UN Security Council in a resolution at a head of government meeting later that year.
The work of the four principals also inspired the creation of regional networks
, led by Des Browne, Gareth Evans, and Irma Arguello, 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. 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,” said Nunn.
Shultz, Perry, Nunn, Browne, Evans and Arguello are participating in the meeting. The Foreign Minister of Singapore, the Honorable K Shanmugam, will open the meeting with remarks on June 25 at 9:30 a.m. A press availability with key participants will be held on June 26 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 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.
UK Top Level Group (TLG)
: A cross-party group of senior British parliamentarians who share the belief that multilateral nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation and nuclear security are critical global issues; the group includes almost all of the former British Foreign and Defense Secretaries over the last two decades, former Chiefs of the Defense Staff and prominent British diplomats who also served during the same period. TLG is convened by Des Browne.
Latin American Leadership Network (LALN)
: A network of 14 senior political, military, and diplomatic leaders in 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 currently 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 21 influential leaders from North America from diverse backgrounds. 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.