Special session of the online conference “Academician Sakharov Intellectual Heritage and Strategic Stability Issues”

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The International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe held a special session during the online conference billed as Academician Sakharov Intellectual Heritage and Strategic Stability Issues, which was attended by contemporaries of the great scientist, thinkers, and leading international experts, and scientists dealing with the problems of nuclear security, reduction, limitation and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. The event was timed to coincide with Sakharov’s upcoming 100th birthday in May 2021 and was included in the general plan of preparation for his anniversary.

The Luxembourg Forum’s experts and guests discussed how to preserve Andrey Sakharov’s legacy and his contribution to the fight for peace and arms control system.

The Forum’s President, Dr. Viatcheslav Kantor, pointed out that Academician Sakharov’s ideas formed the foundation for the theory and principles of strategic stability.

He recalled the academician’s words, which sound especially relevant today: “Most important for me was the inner certainty that this work was indispensable. The monstrous destructive power, the enormous effort required for development, the resources taken away from an impoverished, hungry country ravaged by war, the human casualties at harmful manufacturing plants and in forced hard labor camps – all these intensified our sense of tragedy, forcing us to think and work so that all these sacrifices would not be futile. My most passionate dream was for thermonuclear weapons to deter the war, but never be used”.

Conference participants also expressed their views regarding today’s key international security issues, including nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The unraveling of arms control regimes, the accelerated development of new types of nuclear and conventional weapons and military technology, the collapse of the INF Treaty, the uncertain future of the START Treaty, and the lack of stability around the JCPOA and Iran’s nuclear program make this discussion ever more important.

The online conference was attended by President of the Luxembourg Forum Dr. Viatcheslav Kantor; President of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Director of the Institute of Applied Physics, RAS Academician Alexander Sergeev; Professor at Stanford University, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense William Perry; Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Vladimir Lukin; Co-chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive Director of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (former Chairman of the Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the U.S. Senate) Sam Nunn; Co-chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative Ernest Moniz; RAS Academician Roald Sagdeev; Senior Physicist, Professor Emeritus at Princeton University and Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Ph.D. Frank N. von Hippel; Special Representative of the Russian President on International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy; former Governor of California Edmund Gerald Brown Jr.; author of the first hydrogen bomb design, Member of the US National Academy of Sciences Richard Garwin; Director of the RAS National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) Feodor Voitolovsky; former NATO Deputy Secretary General, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Rose Gottemoeller; President of the RAS IMEMO, Member of the RAS Presidium, Academician Alexander Dynkin; Doctor Honoris Causa and Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham, former UK Ambassador to the USSR and Russia, former Chairman of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee Sir Rodric Braithwaite; Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Professor at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey William Potter; David Holloway, Ph.D. (USA); RAS Academician Rady Ilkaev; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation Mikhail Fedotov; Senior Fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University Siegfried S. Hecker; Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University Angela Stent; Department Head at the Russian Federal Nuclear Center All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics in Sarov, RAS Correspondent Viktor Selemir; Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the International Luxembourg Forum, Principal Researcher at the Center for International Security of the RAS IMEMO, former Director of the 4th Central Scientific Research Institute at the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Professor Vladimir Dvorkin; Head of the Center for International Security at the RAS IMEMO, RAS Academician Alexey Arbatov; Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the International Luxembourg Forum, Head of the Military and Political Analysis Division at the RAS IMEMO, professor Sergey Oznobishchev; Deputy Research Director, Head of the Research (Theoretical) Department at the Russian Federal Nuclear Center All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics in Sarov Alexander Chernyshev; Dean of the Department of Management in Medicine and Healthcare, Institute of Industry Management at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Leonid Pechatnikov.

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The International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe was established pursuant to a resolution of the International Conference on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe held in Luxembourg on May 24 and 25, 2007. It is one of the major non-governmental organizations bringing together leading international experts on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, arms reduction and limitation.

The Forum’s priorities are:

  • To facilitate the process of arms limitation and reduction and to counteract growing threats to the nuclear non-proliferation regime and erosion of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), including the escalating danger of nuclear terrorism and attempts by certain states to gain access to nuclear materials and technologies
  • To promote international peace and security through new approaches and to provide decision-makers with practical solutions to critical issues of non-proliferation and arms control.

In 2017, the Luxembourg Forum celebrated its 10th anniversary. Over 10 years, the Luxembourg Forum has held nearly 30 conferences, seminars and workshops in Moscow, Washington D.C., Luxembourg, Berlin, Rome, Vienna, Paris, Prague, Geneva, Brussels, Warsaw, Stockholm, and other cities.

Based on the results of each conference, the Forum’s experts prepare declarations listing specific proposals and recommendations on ways to resolve critical situations. These declarations are circulated to heads of leading states, the UN, the IAEA, and other international organizations that show their interest in the Forum’s findings and provide regular feedback. The members of the Forum’s Supervisory Board provide an annual assessment of its performance and set urgent goals for further analysis.