Slovenia proved to be an excellent co-host, serving as a model for partnerships for nonproliferation. Led by its Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Slovenia contributed substantively to the conference agenda and logistics. Furthermore, Slovenia’s example of improving its national strategic trade management system in partnership with EXBS and BAFA, and its recent role as a mentor to Bosnia-Herzegovina to improve its strategic trade controls, highlighted the importance of not only strategic trade controls, but also the necessity of creating regional partnerships for nonproliferation.
The U.S. delegation was led by ISN A/S Tom Countryman, and included representatives from State, Commerce, Energy, Homeland Security, and Justice. U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia Joseph Mussomeli provided welcome remarks. The European Union’s delegation was led by Danish Ambassador to Slovenia, Karsten Vagn Nielsen, and BAFA President Dr. Arnold Wallraff. The Slovenian delegation was led by Ministry of Foreign Affairs State Secretary Bozo Cerar and Ministry of Economic Development and Technology Director General Marjan Hribar
Keynote and opening remarks were provided by Assistant Secretary Thomas Countryman, Dr. Arnold Walraff, and Slovenian State Secretary Bozo Cerar. In her welcoming remarks, ECC Director Elizabeth Rood encouraged conference participants to identify and strengthen one national and one international partnership before next year’s conference based on the following criteria for creating mutually beneficial relationships: clear jurisdiction, transparency, adaptability, communication, expertise, and engagement.
These elements of successful partnerships, as well as the theme, “Partnerships for Nonproliferation,” were evident during the conference. The principles were modeled not only by the hosts, but also in the presentations and break-out sessions. Both the presentations and breakout sessions demonstrated how creating cross-cutting partnerships with members of law enforcement, licensing authorities, and lawmakers is essential to successfully implementing strategic trade controls. Sessions discussed ways to strengthen international, regional, bilateral, and interagency partnerships that are essential for strategic trade control implementation and enforcement. Presenters from various countries discussed their experiences working with local and international partners to implement trade controls. In breakout sessions, members from the policy, law enforcement, and licensing communities worked together on a hypothetical problem, requiring the group to take a listed or unlisted item through the licensing application and enforcement phases. The diversity of group members’ professional backgrounds and competencies allowed participants to share expertise and best practices, as well as experiences in implementing strategic trade controls. The new format for breakout sessions was well-received by attendees and will likely be used again at next year’s conference.