NTI and more than twenty countries are gathered this week for the fourth Plenary meeting of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV). This innovative public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State and NTI is designed to advance understanding and capacity around the complex technical challenges involved in nuclear verification. This week’s Abu Dhabi Plenary, from November 1-3, is being hosted by the government of the United Arab Emirates.
In opening remarks, Frank Rose, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance for the U.S. Department of State, said the IPNDV dialogue “has already increased technical understanding among participating states…and it has begun to build confidence among the partners. It has served as a kind of ‘science diplomacy,’ which is not surprising as both diplomats and scientists have played key roles in the progress achieved to date.”
In her statement, NTI President, Joan Rohlfing, reiterated that “there is enormous value in the process of sharing knowledge, challenging assumptions, and building capacity between states with nuclear weapons and those without them.” Rohlfing also expressed NTI’s continuing commitment to laying technical and policy groundwork for progress on arms reduction and verification efforts.
This week will focus on the progress of IPNDV’s three main Working Groups, since the third Plenary in June 2016 in Japan. The three groups are:
- Working Group One: “Monitoring and Verification Objectives,” chaired by the UK and the Netherlands
- Working Group Two: “On-Site Inspections,” chaired by Australia and Poland
- Working Group Three: “Technical Challenges and Solutions,” chaired by Sweden and the United States
From the outset of the partnership, participating members wanted to ensure that this was a results-driven initiative, to develop tools to advance nuclear disarmament verification. In this first phase of the initiative, since the inaugural meeting in March 2015, the IPNDV has:
- Hosted four Plenary meetings to bring partners together to discuss working papers and reports
- Initiated a mapping exercise on verification capacity in all member states (to be completed in 2017)
- Published a Monitoring and Verification Resource Collection hosted on NTI’s website
The Monitoring and Verification Resource Collection is a first-of-its-kind, online, and publicly-available library of studies and reports on key aspects of disarmament verification by governments, national laboratories, international organizations, and independent institutions.