Third Edition

Public Conference
 
 
 

MIKHAIL GORBACHEV

Former President of the Soviet Union
and Founding President of Green Cross International
 
 

Resetting the Nuclear Disarmament Agenda

 
To read Mr. Gorbachev's speech, please click here
 
 

Introductory statement by

BAN KI-MOON

United Nations Secretary-General

 
Monday, 5 October 2009 | 4:30 p.m.
Palais des Nations; Assembly Hall
  
 
To watch the video archive of the Conference, click here
 
To watch the photo gallery of the Conference, click here

 

The 3d Edition of the Geneva Lecture Series addressED the following issue: Resetting the Nuclear Disarmament Agenda.

More than 20 years ago, Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev called for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. At the time, such a bold move generated real hope within the international community that it could finally be freed from the nuclear threat. Important breakthroughs were achieved in the following years, including the elimination of an entire class of ground-based intermediate and short-range nuclear ballistic missiles and the signature of the STARTI and STARTII treaties as well as the negotiation of a multilateral Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty.
 
However, progress in the field of nuclear disarmament has since ground to a halt, and the issue seemed for a while to lose some of its urgency among political leaders and the general public alike. Yet, the need for advancing the nuclear disarmament agenda is no less imperative today than it was at the end of the Cold War. During the Cold War, opponents of the mutual assured destruction and other nuclear doctrines were able to command broad public support by pointing to the immorality of weapons of mass destruction or the risks of an accidental launch. Nowadays, activists can rely on equally forceful arguments, as continued nuclear tests and proliferation of nuclear weapons among new states and non state actors make the abolition of nuclear arms more compelling even among former proponents of nuclear deterrence. The reiteration earlier this year at the Moscow Summit of the goal of a “world free of nuclear weapons” by the Presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation could be a first step in this direction.
 
The United Nations Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon has welcomed this new momentum towards nuclear disarmament. He has recently put forward a five-point plan for nuclear disarmament and launched a multimedia campaign entitled “WMD—WeMustDisarm!” which outlines 100 reasons to disarm. The Secretary-General has called for all States, nuclear and non-nuclear alike, to abide by their disarmament and non-proliferation commitments and nurture an international climate conducive to disarmament. He also pointed out to the importance of an early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and progress on the review process of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as well as negotiations on a new fissile material treaty. Finally, the Secretary-General has highlighted how a renewed focus on disarmament and non-proliferation would benefit international security and stability, and produce considerable dividends for peace and development as the world struggles to address the financial and economic crisis.
 
Within the framework of the 3d Edition of the Geneva Lecture Series, Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union and Founding President of Green Cross International,  and United Nations Secretary-General presented their views on resetting the nuclear disarmament agenda.
 

SPEAKER'S BIOGRAPHY

Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union, has largely contributed to launching a nuclear disarmament process in the 1980s and to putting an end to the Cold War. In 1990, he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize "for his leading role in the peace process.  

To read Mr. Gorbachev’s biography, please click here

To watch a video portrait from TSR, please click here

 

RESOURCES

 

 

Background documents

 

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, 1968

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

What the experts say

 

DISCLAIMER
The responsibility for opinions in the documents cited on this page rests solely with their authors. The citation of these documents does not constitute an endorsement by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research neither by the organizers or sponsors of the Geneva Lecture Series.

 

"Security by other means": existing multilateral arms control and disarmament mechanisms 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Relaunching Nuclear Disarmament
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What the media say

 

DISCLAIMER
The responsibility for opinions in the documents cited on this page rests solely with their authors. The citation of these documents does not constitute an endorsement by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research neither by the organizers or sponsors of the Geneva Lecture Series.

Coverage by media partners and other newspapers

Swiss Television Interview with Darius Rochebin (in French)

Swiss Television Programme - Geopolitis (in French)

Radio Suisse Romande

Swiss Radio - Disarmament Forum (in French)

Thematic press review
 
 
 
Post-Event Press Review
 

 

Useful links
 

 

DISCLAIMER
The responsibility for opinions in the documents cited on this page rests solely with their authors. The citation of these documents does not constitute an endorsement by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research neither by the organizers or sponsors of the Geneva Lecture Series.