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Report Disarmament

Mr. Nikolai Rogosaroff, who works for the Department for Disarmament Affairs, gave the second briefing of the day. We were delighted to hear that Mr. Rogosaroff had finished his studies of Political Science at Freie Universität Berlin some years ago.

Mr. Rogosaroff started by giving us an overview of the many different sub-topics of disarmament and proliferation, namely: Weapons of Mass Destruction, Conventional Arms, Outer Space, Disarmament and Development, and Regional Disarmament and Emergency Issues. The term “Emergency Issues” refers to urgent conditions such as the connection between Weapons of Mass Destruction and terrorism. He explained the organs responsible for dealing with such matters, including the First Committee of the General Assembly, the Department for Disarmament Affairs (DDA), the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), and the Security Council Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters.

After focusing on the threat of weapons of mass destruction to today’s world, Mr. Rogosaroff talked about nuclear weapons, underlining the dilemma between preventing the use of nuclear technology to build nuclear weapons and at the same time allowing its use for peaceful purposes. Our speaker gave us comprehensive background information on nuclear weapons and called our attention to the complexity of the problem by providing us with a list of countries which had already carried out nuclear tests. The large number of nuclear warheads still in existence in 2006 is about 30,000 and emphasizes the enormous significance of further work in this field.

After mentioning other instruments to prevent nuclear proliferation such as the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks Agreement of 1991 (SALT I) or the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 (ABM), Mr. Rogosaroff gave us a detailed and very comprehensive explanation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which entered into force in 1970. The NPT aims to stop the transfer of nuclear weapons and has the ultimate goal of complete nuclear disarmament, while at the same time giving states the right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. He further explained that the NPT established a safeguards system under the responsibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). These safeguards had been used to check the compliance with the NPT by inspections conducted by the IAEA. He concentrated on the different nature and goals of the various inspections, as there were ad hoc inspections, routine inspections, special inspections and safeguards inspections. This led us to the Additional Protocol, a model which had been adopted by the IAEA in 1997. This Protocol had been signed by the individual members of the NPT, and, according to Mr. Rogosaroff, was extremely effective as it covered the entire nuclear fuel cycle from mining to enrichment and finally the bomb. Furthermore, the Protocol enables inspections of all buildings on the nuclear site and facilitates speedy inspections as the inspectors had multiple entry visas for one year. Mr. Rogosaroff underlined that the NPT was a very important mechanism towards nuclear non-proliferation but that it was still imperfect as not all the states had signed and ratified the Additional Protocol, which considerably decreased the efficiency of the controls. The aim was to get the remaining states to sign and join the NPT and the Additional Protocol.

After his very dynamic and comprehensive speech, Mr. Rogosaroff was at our disposal for questions. He explained how the United Nations could play a more active role in the fight against nuclear proliferation and analyzed the very current issues, elaborating on the nuclear agreement between the United States and India. Finally, the topic of Iran was object of the lively discussion, concerning a possible withdrawal of Iran from the NPT.

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