The U.S. Department of State and the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) hosted the kickoff meeting of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (“the Partnership”) on March 19-20, 2015 at the Ronald Reagan Building, in Washington, DC. Participants from 26 countries–including both nuclear weapon states (NWS) and non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS)–as well as the European Union (EU) attended the two-day event.
The Partnership’s kickoff meeting was a success as participants were engaged throughout and agreed on the need for the Partnership to be an enduring, sustained, multi-year effort. The first day focused on a series of presentations designed to review the landscape of past and ongoing cooperative efforts in the area of nuclear disarmament verification and monitoring. The second day was a facilitated discussion among states to settle on a potential work program for the Partnership. Participants agreed to reconvene a Plenary meeting, in Norway, this fall.
The first day provided participants with a sense of the scope of nuclear disarmament verification activities. Presentations were given on the U.S. nuclear warhead stockpile, on-site inspections under New START, as well as past cooperative nuclear monitoring and verification activities between the United States and Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom, and the United Kingdom and Norway.
The second day started with a brief presentation by NTI of the results of their Verification Pilot Project which explored innovative ways to approach future disarmament verification. This was followed by open discussion focused on identifying a possible work program for the Partnership to take forward through the creation of specific working groups.
At the conclusion of the second day’s discussion, Assistant Secretary of State, Frank Rose, and NTI Vice President for Material Security and Minimization, Andrew Bieniawski, provided a summary of the meeting, and outlined a proposed way forward for the Partnership. During this summary, Norway offered to host the next Plenary meeting, in Oslo, in the fall.