“History teaches that history teaches nothing”. A group of Western and Russian experts decided to question this proverb by convening the international conference “Lessons Learned from Non-Proliferation Failures and Successes”. Obviously, there should be lessons from numerous “ups” and “downs” in developing the international non-proliferation regime. The problem is whether Western and Russian politicians (and experts) perceive these lessons in comparable terms, and whether their conclusions and recommendations regarding the non-proliferation regime coincide.
The International Conference was initiated by the Center for Political and International Studies (Russia) and researchers from the Hudson Institute (USA), and supported by the NATO Science Programme. Several other organizations, including the Federation for Peace and Conciliation, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs and the Russian Political Science Association, joined efforts in convening this conference in Moscow in June of 2007. The conference was co-directed by Ioannis Saratsis (Greece/USA) and Alexander Nikitin (Russia). On the basis of debates key participants prepared chapters for this book in 2007–2008.
The dialogue involved experts from 12 countries and 4 international organizations, including formal representation of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The U.S. Embassy in Moscow helped in assuring the participation in the dialogue of experts from the U.S. Department of State. From the Russian side key ministries dealing with non-proliferation issues, namely, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Federal Agency for Atomic Energy, were represented. Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, a well-known international network of scientists, assisted in selecting international experts and provided some key presentations, while the Federation for Peace and Conciliation and the Russian Political Science Association helped in selecting and involving Russian participants, as well as in organizational aspects of this international dialogue.
Major topics discussed in the forum and thus converted into thematic parts of this book, cover a wide range of issues, from both functional and regional points of view. The first part of the book extends from assessing “sticks” and “carrots” in the non-proliferation arsenal of the world community, to drawing more precise lines between non-proliferation and counter-proliferation measures, and further to comparing UN-based and national level sanctions and efforts aimed at reassuring non-proliferation. Special sections are devoted to Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones and “negative assurances” in their relations with non-proliferation, as well as to risks of WMD terrorism and further proliferation because of the abundance of not so well managed fissile materials in the hands of nuclear powers.
The second part of the book deals with lessons learned (or still to be learned) from the concrete regional cases of proliferation or its risks. This dialogue benefited from the participation of two high ranking Ambassadors of, respectively, India and Pakistan, who shared their approaches to the Indian sub-continent as a kind of “non-NPT zone” which needs to be interfaced with world scale efforts to prevent further proliferation. One of the chief officials of the League of Arab States provided an overview of the proliferation risks in the Middle East and the Arab world. Intensive dialogue on the Iranian nuclear dossier and on the lessons from the Six-Party Talks over the Korean nuclear issue completes the second part of the book.
It should be noted that the whole dialogue was organized on the basis of the “Chatham House” rules of non-attribution, and the same rules apply to published materials: views expressed in chapters and papers represent approaches of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of organizations or the countries they come from.
In conclusion, the editor of the book and conveners of the conference, Alexander Nikitin (Russia) and Ioannis Saratsis (Greece/USA), would like to recognize the important organizational input into the convening of the forum and preparation of the book by Victor Kamyshanov, Vladimir Petrovsky, Sergey Oznobishchev, Oksana Novikova, Eugenie Andryushina, Yulia Starilova, Adelina Akhmetzyanova, Zurab Bezhanishvili, Eva Kharitonova, Varvara Sinitsyna, Yulia Kudryashova and Oleg Zegonov.