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Gareth Evans Pairs up with Christie Brinkley

Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on May 6, 2009

"Progressive Initiatives," an NGO presentation took place today in the main conference room, attracting a lot of attention and press. It was co-sponsored by the Government of Austria and organized by the Global Security Institute. It likely attracted a lot of press due to two of their four speakers; Gareth Evans of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, a famous disarmament expert, and Christie Brinkley, who is just plain famous. Brinkley is also a Board Member of the Global Security Institute.

"Nuclear weapons are more of a problem than any problem they seek to solve…they have no value against nuclear terrorist," said Brinkley. She continued with a moving speech on how nuclear weapons are completely against "mother nature."

Gareth Evans described the work of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament. He began with a discussion on how hard the disarmament task would be due to the "attachment" states have to nuclear weapons. As for his Commission, a major report can be expected to come out next year before the 2010 NPT Review Conference. Evans recognized the indispensable role that US leadership must play. However, he said this must be a global effort and the Commission will support that effort.

The Commission started by Japan and Australia, "knew what we needed to do was to create a genuinely worldwide enterprise, and a worldwide audience." "We are riding a wave now," he said, and we need to take advantage of this moment.

The Commission Gareth said, is an idealistic "group committed to a world free of nuclear weapons." "This is not wonks talking to wonks," everyone needs to understand the nuclear debate, "we need to find ways to engage at a different level," said Gareth. We need to find a way that everyone can be involved, that is from "the bottom up," he said.

Evans also said that in the near future we need to define a disarmament agenda, "so there is not the same kind of anxiety that exist over nuclear weapon use." The longer term objective is the period just after that, to actually get to zero." It is certainly possible to find out the conditions necessary to get to this nuclear weapon free world he said. Verification and technical obstacles will also have to be identified at this stage.

In conclusion Evans said, "We must harness our collective energy at all levels of society, to put together peer group pressure. Top down and bottom up pressure is what we need to reach this goal [a world free of nuclear weapons]."


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