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Securing Our Common Future: Why Disarmament Matters Today as Much as Ever

February 19, 2020 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Date: February 19, 2020
Reception 3:30-4:00, talk begins at 4:00 pm
Location: FSS 4004, 120 University Private, Ottawa

Presented by: CIPS and the Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention

Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, the UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament, bluntly warns that the struggle for nuclear arms control and disarmament is “going backwards” and calls for “a new vision” to re-establish arms control dialogue and negotiations.

The year 2020 will be a crucial year for nuclear disarmament. The challenges facing the disarmament and non-proliferation architecture are well known and include regional dimensions, increasing hostility between the nuclear-weapon states and a break-down of the Cold War-era arms control regime.

However, there are opportunities as well. The 2020 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) comes at a critical moment. Fifty years after the treaty’s entry-into-force and twenty-five years after its indefinite extension, it remains as relevant as ever and continues to provide tangible security benefits to all states parties. The High Representative for Disarmament Affairs believes that this Review Conference is a key opportunity to return to a common vision and path leading to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. In line with the vision set out by the United Nations Secretary-General in his disarmament agenda Securing Our Common Future, she has advocated for a return to dialogue based on respect for one another’s legitimate security interest. The foundations for this path have already been laid at past NPT Review Conferences, including through the commitments made by all States Parties.

Historically, states like Canada have played an important bridge-building and facilitating role. They will once again have the opportunity to do so at the 2020 NPT Review Conference.

Izumi Nakamitsu is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament. Ms. Nakamitsu has extensive expertise and experience in global conflict management. A former professor of international relations and peacebuilding professional, her United Nations work, before heading up Disarmament Affairs, included crisis response operations in the UN Development Program, advising on large movements of refugees and migrants, and directing the Asia and Middle East Division of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.


Faculty of Social Science, Room 4004
120 University Private
Ottawa, Ottawa K1N 6N5 Canada
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