The International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe has conducted a conference titled “The 30th anniversary of the Reykjavik Summit – lessons of the past and tasks for the future” in Amsterdam on June 7-8, 2016
In his opening statement Viatcheslav Kantor, President of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, has underscored that the current situation demands that political leaders take immediate actions.
The Conference of the International Luxembourg Forum has brought together both eyewitnesses of the historic 1986 meeting in the capital of Iceland and leading nuclear security experts of today.
In his address to the conference participants President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev has compared the current political situation with the events thirty years ago, pointing out that “the window to a nuclear-free world, first opened in Reykjavik, is being shut and locked before our eyes.”
Mikhail Gorbachev believes that movement toward a nuclear-free world is become increasingly more difficult: “New types of nuclear weapons are being created. Their qualitative specifications are expanding. Missile defense systems are being deployed. ‘Prompt conventional strike’ capabilities, which compare to weapons of mass destruction in terms of the risks they present, are being developed. The nuclear powers’ military doctrines have been changed for the worse. They expand the “acceptable bounds” of the use of nuclear weapons. The danger of nuclear weapons proliferation has grown to a large extent for this reason.”
In his presentation the President of the International Luxembourg Forum,Viatcheslav Kantor, has also identified resumption of US-Russian nuclear-policy relations as the highest priority. This will make it possible to commence efforts to resolve the disagreements over ballistic missile defense and precision-guided conventional strategic weapons, as well non-strategic nuclear arms control.
“Today we find ourselves in a race between cooperation and catastrophe. Consequently, leaders must begin this work immediately. Because of growing tensions across the globe, renewed and enhanced dialogue is essential. No security architecture, no set of rules, no efforts to negotiate or implement agreements can succeed without leaders who are committed to addressing core issues and who are willing to cooperate. It is their obligation as leaders to work together to build a safer world for all our citizens” – declared Viatcheslav Kantor.
Among the most pressing issues in nuclear security Viatcheslav Kantor listed the need to develop measures to avoid the risk of accidental or erroneous missile launches and to extend the timeframes for decisions to launch strategic missiles, cooperation on nuclear materials’ security in order to prevent terrorism with catastrophic consequences, resolution of the disagreements over ballistic missile defense and precision-guided conventional strategic weapons, as well strategic and non-strategic nuclear arms control.
In keeping with the Forum’s tradition, the Conference will produce a final document outlining its key conclusions and recommendations, which will be sent to heads of state, officials and heads of authoritative international organizations.