The International Conference on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe held in Luxembourg on May 24-25, 2007 has been promoted to the status of a permanent forum. The level of its participants made the conference the largest and most authoritative event to address the issue of nuclear non-proliferation in the last decade.
Leading experts from 14 nations attended the conference, including Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Sergey Kirienko, Head of the Russian Federal Agency for Atomic Energy and former Prime Minister of the Russian Federation; Rolf Ekeus, High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and Board Chairman of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute; Nikolay Laverov, Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences; William Perry, Member of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMDC), Professor (Stanford University), former U.S. Secretary of Defense; and Hans Blix,Chairman of the WMDC and former IAEA Director General.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Deputy Prime Minister of the State of Israel Avigdor Liberman and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg Jean Asselborn all sent official greetings to Conference participants.
The conference was covered by leading media outlets around the world, including the AP, AFP, BBC, CNN, DPA, EuroNews, Reuters, Time, The Independent, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Russian news agencies ITAR-TASS, RIA Novosti, Interfax and RBC, and Russian newspapers, including Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Kommersant, Vedomosti, Izvestia, Moskovskie Novosti and Nezavisimaya Gazeta.
As a scientific and practical gathering, the conference discussed new challenges and threats to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and its regime, as well as the outlook for the treaty’s development as the regime's supporting framework, the threat of nuclear terrorism, the issue of control over nuclear technologies, possible means of international cooperation in this area, enhancement of IAEA safeguards and export control mechanisms, and the existing situation in rogue states and regions (the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula and South Asia).
The conference differed from many similar gatherings, in that it was aimed at formulating specific suggestions and recommendations on dealing with nuclear security issues. Scientists and experts prepared a final document of the conference, called its declaration. The declaration is a roadmap containing proposals to avoid the collapse of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, as well as a number of initiatives to resolve nuclear issues. One of the most important results of the conference was the decision to establish a permanent Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe with an executive body and expert council. Forty-three experts have joined the Forum and put their signatures on the declaration. The Forum will contribute to the declaration’s implementation by organizing conferences, workshops and working group meetings. Final documents of these meetings will be circulated to leaders of great powers, the UN Secretary General and the leadership of NATO, OSCE, CSTO, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other authoritative organizations.
The Luxembourg conference declaration was presented in Moscow on December 18, 2007 by a group of experts including Hans Blix, Rolf Ekeus, Viatcheslav Kantor, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Luxembourg conference, Uzi Arad, founding head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy and Adviser to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Vladimir Dvorkin, Principal Researcher of the Institute for World Economy and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor, retired Major General and Sergey Oznobishchev, Director of the Institute for Strategic Assessments and Professor of the Moscow State Institute for International Relations at the Russian Ministry of the Interior.
On the eve of the official presentation, the declaration was circulated to heads of state throughout the world, top-tier politicians and heads of major international organisations. Among its addressees were Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President George Bush, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer, President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Terry Davis.
Forum website - www.luxembourgforum.org