On December 10-14, 2012, the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP) welcomed a group of diplomats and academics for the first nuclear disarmament course, the newest addition to the ongoing series of nuclear non-proliferation courses. Twenty-four course participants, selected on a competitive basis, represented twenty-four countries from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The majority of participants were officials from diplomatic missions and international organizations based in Vienna; others came from foreign affairs ministries in their respective capitals. The majority of participants represented developing and Non-Aligned countries.
The course covered key issues relating to nuclear disarmament, including the history and current status of disarmament initiatives, technology of nuclear weapons, delivery vehicles and systems, past and present nuclear weapons programs, nuclear weapon-free zones, bilateral and multilateral disarmament initiatives, disarmament verification, and the role of non-nuclear weapon states in the disarmament process.
CNS and VCDNP staff members delivered the lectures, along with several senior experts from international nonproliferation organizations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), and other well-known specialists in the field. The list of speakers included: Nikolai Sokov, VCDNP; Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova and Miles Pomper, CNS; Robert Kelley (ret.) and Tariq Rauf (ret.), IAEA; Jean DuPreez, CTBTO; Alexander Kmentt, Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs; Sverre Lodgaard, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs; and Larry MacFaul, the Verification Research, Training, and Information Centre, a nongovernmental organization based in London. The course featured a keynote presentation by Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary, Preparatory Commission, CTBTO.
View the Course Agenda
At the end of the course, participants completed an anonymous survey. The following are some of the assessments provided by participants:
“It gave me a better understanding of the process establishing treaties and agreements.”
“I found this course very useful as part of my diplomatic career.”
“I like the environment of intellectual freedom this course provided.”
“The course, I feel, is very relevant to emerging practitioners and experts in this field.”
“I would strongly recommend this course to my colleagues!”
“I enjoyed the opportunity to engage with other participants and lecturers and to have the opportunity to have lectures provided by experts in this field.”
Funding for the course was provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.