Remarks Delivered by Ambassador Bruce Turner at a Panel Discussion on Education and Research in the Field of Disarmament
Thank you, Madame President.
And thanks again to your team for organizing this panel, and to all of the panelists for contributing their perspectives on this critical issue.
When the G7 leaders, including President Biden, met in Hiroshima two weeks ago, they issued the “G7 Leaders’ Hiroshima Vision on Nuclear Disarmament,” which underscores the importance of disarmament and nonproliferation education and outreach, and welcomes a number of specific initiatives supported by G7 members.
The United States also supports the annual resolution on this topic at the UN First Committee, sponsored by Mexico. We greatly appreciate Mexico’s leadership on that effort.
I’d like to take a moment to highlight several areas of U.S. support that are relevant to today’s discussion:
With the objective of fostering new ideas and bringing new voices into the disarmament discussion, we sponsor the annual James Timbie Forum on Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. We are working now to organize the next iteration of this event, which aims to increase awareness of disarmament issues among the next generation.
There is also the important effort mentioned by others by UNODA’s Disarmament Fellowship to provide an opportunity for young practitioners to learn about the substance of this field and build an international network that serves as a backbone for future diplomacy. Since the program’s establishment in 1978, fourteen American representatives have had the opportunity to benefit from the fellowship, and I know that many U.S. and other participants have gone on to represent their countries in important roles relevant to this field. We thank UNODA for maintaining this key effort.
Since 2021 as has already been discussed, the United States has also been an active participant in the P5 Young Professionals’ Network. This is a new forum for dialogue that encourages new thinking on nuclear risk reduction, among other issues, by representatives of the five NPT nuclear weapon states.
Additionally, the United States recognizes the important contribution of technical and non-governmental expertise. The U.S. Department of State promotes nuclear disarmament verification research through the Key Verification Assets Fund, commonly known as the V-Fund, which broadly supports research inside and outside of government, both policy and technical in nature, with the objective of developing new technologies in support of verification of existing and future arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament requirements. UNIDIR, which also benefits from U.S. support, is another example of the benefit we all gain when expertise outside of governments is brought to bear.
The common theme of these and other similar efforts is that they recognize that on an issue as difficult as disarmament, governments – and existing government experts – do not alone have all the answers.
The challenges are significant, and they require creativity and innovation from upcoming generations to resolve.
We must continue our support for activities that cultivate the talent and creativity of experts outside of governments, and to recruit and train the next generation of experts to drive the work forward.
I want to again thank France for convening this discussion, and recognize the efforts and experience of all of our panelists. Thank you all, and please continue the work you have shared with us today.