Peace and Disarmament
International Nuclear Experts Discuss Nuclear Abolition in Tokyo
From March 10-11, the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research and the National Center for Peace & Conflict Studies (NCPACS) at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, sponsored a two-day conference in Tokyo, focusing on the fragile state of the global nuclear order and how to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
Participants were experts on peace issues, arms control and nuclear issues from six countries, including Professor Kevin Clements, secretary-general of the Toda Institute and director of NCPACS; Sverre Lodgaard, senior research fellow of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI); Steven Miller, director of International Security Program at Harvard University; Rajiv Nayan, senior research associate of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA); Tilman Ruff, associate professor of Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne, Australia; Ramesh Thakur, director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (CNND) at the Australian National University; and Satoko Takahashi, research director of the Toda Institute.
Professor Clements led the discussion, focusing on three topics: 1) disarmament and renunciation of nuclear weapons 2) denuclearization in Northeast Asia and the Middle East 3) strengthening the connection between experts and civil society.
On the second day, participants concluded that the world is at a crossroads on all three dimensions of nuclear policy: the use of civil nuclear energy for electrical power, nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament. They also pointed out the importance of building mutual trust among nations in helping to remove tension and threats between them and in preventing further nuclear proliferation and nuclear weapons testing.
[Adapted from an article in the March 13, 2012, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of Toda Institute]