May 25, 2007
The Luxembourg International Conference on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe will be held on an annual basis. This announcement was made by Viatcheslav Kantor, the chairman of the conference Organizing Committee in an interview with ITAR-TASS today. The first two-day international Conference is set to close today. According to Kantor, the Luxembourg forum “is much more beneficial than similar conferences because it is the first top-tier representative forum to gather authoritative independent experts. Fifty-seven experts from 14 countries are present, including internationally recognized scientists and officials. The people here make a considerable contribution to the policy-making processes in their respective countries, as well as in international organizations.”
As Kantor pointed out, we need honest dialogue on fundamental issues in order to overcome the on-going stagnation in the disarmament and non-proliferation processes. The Luxembourg forum is a scientific and practical gathering, free from any political bias. The discussion is being held at the expert level behind closed doors to avoid quoting and ensure that participants can openly express their ideas. “What is important for us is to identify the ideas and mechanisms that are readily acceptable for the experts. If the experts manage to agree among themselves and to come up with a vision that is appealing to everyone and practically feasible, we have to articulate this vision and further disseminate it among policy-makers and decision-makers,” said Kantor.
Research and nuclear safety programs are carried out around the globe; intergovernmental talks are held on a regular basis. However, resolutions are often delayed due to lack of ideology, inconsistency in terminology and states’ internal problems and objectives. “Our Conference was designed to be an international intermediary in the nuclear disarmament process. Efforts that cannot be implemented on a state level due to a variety of factors should be undertaken by non-governmental institutions with the involvement of top experts,” Kantor concluded.
Among the participants of the International Conference on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe are IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Nikolay Laverov, Chairman of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission Hans Blix, Head of the Russian Federal Agency for Atomic Energy Sergey Kirienko, OSCE High Commissioner Rolf Ekeus, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and member of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission William J. Perry.