The VTT Office is proud to announce the selection of our very own Andreea Paulopol for the 2011 United Nations Programme on Fellowships on Disarmament. Founded in 1978 by the UN General Assembly, the Disarmament Fellowship seeks to train and cultivate young government officials from various Member States to develop greater expertise in disarmament and a better understanding of the concerns of the international community in the field of disarmament and security, and to enable them to participate more effectively in international deliberating and negotiating fora. The Fellowship is implemented by the Geneva Branch of the Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA) and has trained over 600 public officials from about 150 Member States. Andreea will join 24 other Fellows representing Member States from all regions of the world for a ten week program beginning at UNODA in Geneva, travelling to Vienna, Berlin, The Hague, Beijing, and Tokyo, and concluding at the UN General Assembly in New York. For more information on the Fellowship, visit the United Nations Office at Geneva website.
The road to zero nuclear weapons requires both political will and the specialized expertise offered by the technical community. The VTT Office hosted interagency conferences on January 12, 2011 and April 26-27, 2011 on “Verification and Monitoring Challenges on the Road to Zero.” The first conference laid out the broad policy goals associated with vision articulated by President Obama when he signed the New START Treaty, that “the United States intends to pursue with Russia additional and broader reductions in our strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons, including non-deployed nuclear weapons.” The subsequent workshop held in April was titled “Advancing Technology Support to Verification and Monitoring Challenges on the Road to Zero,” and it laid the groundwork for concrete next steps to address these goals. The conference brought together around 60 experts from the arms control, technology, and intelligence communities to discuss key challenges, possible solutions, and ways forward.
Congratulations to Dr. Steve Breyman of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Dr. Gilbert Brown of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, and Dr. Yousaf Butt of the Harvard-Smithsonian Institute for Astrophysics on their selection as Foster Fellows for 2011-2012. The three scholars will each serve in different offices in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance and the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation.
The United States views greater openness and transparency under the BWC as a critical element to strengthen the Convention over the long-term. As such and in preparation for the upcoming December 2011 Seventh Review Conference, the Office of Verification and Transparency Technologies has been recruited to identify new approaches to help ensure the confidence in BWC compliance. It will be our goal to promote and demonstrate among State Parties greater national transparency, especially with respect to bio-defense programs. VTT is working on these efforts within the U.S. Government, as well as with foreign governments.