December 9, 2009
On December 8-9, 2009, the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe held a meeting of its Supervisory Council in Moscow. The Supervisory Council members, including former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense William Perry, former IAEA Director General Hans Blix, Chairman of the Governing Board, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Rolf Ekeus, Director of the East-West Center at the University of Maryland, Academician Roald Sagdeev, and co-chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia) Gareth Evans, discussed the Forum's 2009 results, as well as the 2010 work schedule and prospects. The meeting also touched upon nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament issues, analysed the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programmes, and addressed the problem of international terrorism. The outcome of the meeting has been drawn up as a draft Final Document.
The Moscow meeting of the Forum’s Supervisory Council was opened by its President and founder Viatcheslav Kantor. Addressing the meeting, Kantor summarised the Luxembourg Forum’s annual results and declared the work schedule for the coming year.
The Forum’s President emphasised that the world has not become more peaceful since the last meeting of the Forum’s Supervisory Council on December 9, 2008.
“Our life still coexists with global and regional problems and crises. Last year’s global economic and financial crisis has hit almost all continents and states. No effective solutions to ecological and demographic problems have been proposed, and no ways to stop terrorism or drug trafficking,” Kantor said.
He added, “The challenges facing the Luxembourg Forum are still tense, despite some progress made in certain approaches to nuclear non-proliferation.”
The experts are still very concerned with the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programmes. “We believe that coordinated employment of measures in full accordance with Article 41 of the UN Charter would produce more results,” Kantor said. “Otherwise, Iran’s steady progress in obtaining nuclear arms along with efforts to develop a new generation of long-range missiles shall certainly result in a military and political crisis with unpredictable consequences.”
Summarising the meeting’s results, Stanford University professor and former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense William Perry declared that the remaining U.S.-Russian differences in the START Treaty “…are in details rather than principal.”
Perry added that he expects all the differences to be reconciled by the end of December at the latest, and perhaps as early as December 18.
On December 9, 2009, members of the Forum’s Supervisory Council met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council Yury Baluyevsky. The meeting addressed a wide range of matters, including nuclear disarmament and U.S.-Russian cooperation on new START, the problem of nuclear non-proliferation, and prospects of cooperation between the U.S., NATO and Russia on strategic missile defence.
In recent years, the Luxembourg Forum has evolved into a powerful international organisation bringing together the world’s leading experts and engaging them in dialogue. The Forum’s activity is gaining power on the international scene. Its initiatives are supported by senior Russian and European officials.