On February 12, 2018 the annual round table on the theme “Weapons Development and Disarmament: Challenges and Opportunities" has been held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The event has been organized by the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the United Nations Office in Geneva together with SOAS University of London. Students and representatives of the diplomatic missions participated in the round table.
In the opening of the event, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Ambassador Zhanar Aitzhanova underlined the importance of adoption of the international measures to counter new challenges related to the modernization of modern nuclear weapons systems, as well as the development of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity issues.
In particular, Ambassador Aitzhanova recalled the words of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.Nazarbayev from the Manifesto entitled “The World. XXI Century" that “current possibilities of progress in Science and Technology and realities of globalization make the task of WMD non-proliferation a matter of humanity's survival". In this regard, it is important to develop and adopt binding international documents on the prohibition of the use of scientific openings in creating new types of weapons of mass destruction. As it is noted in the Manifesto “The World. XXI Century", the UN should create a register of such scientific developments, which could be used for the creation and advancement of weapons of mass destruction.
Welcoming the participants of the event, the Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva, the Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament, Mr. Michael Møller noted the importance and timeliness of the study of new technologies, as well as their potential impact on the variation on types of future conflicts. He also noted that, despite the crisis in the Conference on Disarmament, it is possible to make impact on the process of disarmament in a broad context.
The well-known experts paid the attention of the participants on current trends in the field of the latest scientific developments, which are adopted by the military-industrial institutions of the leading countries of the world. The experts also assessed potential challenges of disarmament and non-proliferation regime.
Particularly, Ambassador of Brazil to the Conference on Disarmament (CD), Mr. Guilherme Patriota presented his country's initiatives on Disarmament and approaches on the development of new technologies. Moreover, the panellist proposed to postpone the discussion of the CD by transferring its issues to other platforms.
The Director of the Pugwash Office in Geneva, Mr. Sergey Batsanov expressed his ideas on threats that come from the modernization of nuclear weapons, especially in the present tense of international situation. He also stressed the words of the President of Kazakhstan N.Nazarbayev from the speech at the UN Security Council on the necessity to bring back the political trust and a systemic dialogue to the international affairs.
The Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany to the CD, Mr. Toralf Pilz and the Chief of Operations and Deputy Director of UN Institute for Disarmament Studies, Ms. Kerstin Vignard highlighted the issues on the development of autonomous lethal weapon and existing proposals on regulating that area. Moreover, Ms. Vignard outlined that new technologies may be vulnerable and it is unlikely to create fully protected systems.
In general, all participants expressed their gratitude to Kazakhstan for the opportunity to discuss such important issues on future progress on preservation of peace and security. All this will contribute to the proper development of regulatory mechanisms and the maintenance of strengthening the disarmament and non-proliferation regime.
About 120 students from the University of London, representatives of the UN member states and observers, including experts from research institutes and NGOs took part in the last discussions.