September 28, 2021


Opening Remarks by Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins (T) at the Virtual Symposium of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV)

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you all for attending this Virtual Symposium of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV), and further thanks to my colleagues in the AVC Bureau and Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) for coordinating and hosting it for us. I am excited to speak to you today about the critical work done by the IPNDV and am looking forward to gaining further insights from our wonderful panelists and experts over the next two days. It is heartening to know that even during the difficult conditions we have all endured during the ongoing pandemic, the Partnership’s consummate professionals have continued its valuable work.

As many of you know, the U.S. Department of State, in collaboration with the Nuclear Threat Initiative, created the Partnership more than six years ago to foster collaborative engagement between states on the considerable technical challenges associated with verifying nuclear disarmament. The IPNDV’s ongoing work includes identifying these
challenges and potential technologies and procedures to address them. The Partnership has become a model for how to bring together states with divergent viewpoints to tackle some of the trickiest and most persistent challenges associated with future nuclear disarmament verification. This includes those with nuclear weapons and those without, NPT and nonNPT states, and several P5 states. Finding mutually understood solutions that ensure future nuclear disarmament can be credibly verified is essential to achieving any future reductions.

A previous description of the IPNDV as “blue collar diplomacy” remains quite apt. It is a practical tool that could be used to overcome obstacles to further progress on nuclear disarmament. The work being done within the Partnership requires us all to put away the talking points and prepared speeches and work together to develop real solutions to the challenges we all face. The United States and its partners have turned to initiatives like the IPNDV to try and identify ways to improve the international security environment. We should all be proud of the efforts we have made in furthering nuclear disarmament. These are not halfmeasures or empty gestures, but practical proposals.

By identifying avenues toward further progress on nuclear disarmament
verification, the IPNDV also provides valuable contributions to the NPT. Looking forward to the delayed 10th NPT RevCon early next year, and recalling the 50th anniversary of the treaty’s entry into force, we should positively reflect on the NPT’s contribution to international peace and security. The NPT has made the world safer and more prosperous. Having the rocksolid foundation of the NPT and the broader nuclear nonproliferation regime makes every country more secure, and that is one of the essential factors that enables progress on nuclear disarmament. We must reaffirm our commitments to the NPT and
rededicate ourselves to preserve and strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime for future generations.

The next two days of this Symposium will serve as an important platform for our esteemed panelists and experts to expand upon the substantial progress the Partnership has made its work over the last several years. Our, progress is all the more impressive in light of the challenges presented by the last eighteen months of continuing pandemic restrictions.

I thank you all very much for attending, and for the opportunity to speak here today. I am greatly looking forward to seeing firsthand the great work being done by the IPNDV, and to reviewing the reports and products resulting from your work.

Thank you and please enjoy the Symposium!