In 2017 and 2018, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and the Foreign Policy Association, in collaboration with the Norwegian Nobel Institute, are organizing a series of four high-level dialogue sessions on enhancing nuclear security and improving conflict early warning.  This work is funded by a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, with additional support from other philanthropic groups and foundations.

The work is being overseen by Noel Lateef (Executive Director of the Foreign Policy Association), Olav Njolstad (Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute), Joe Underhill (Program Director of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum), in consultation with Eric Schwartz (Dean of the Humphrey School of Public Policy), Kristian Harpviken (Executive Director of PRIO), and a number of other experts and policymakers.

The main goal of these dialogue sessions is to facilitate focused, timely, and policy-relevant discussions that will lead to concrete recommendations of direct use to the key decision-makers in the areas of nuclear weapons security and conflict early warning.  This fits well with the goals of both the Norwegian Nobel Institute and Carnegie Corporation to support work with direct impact on these pressing challenges in the international arena.

These four events will explore various dimensions of nuclear security and how most effectively to anticipate and prevent the worst forms of international crises–those that could involve the use of radiological materials and/or nuclear weapons.  Thus the sessions will engage high-level decision-makers at the intersection of nuclear security and conflict early warning.  The international community needs to be able to identify the areas of greatest danger and draw on best practices in how the community responds.  These discussions take place in a dramatically altered and unstable international context with new leadership and a resurgence of nationalism and isolationism, even as the economic and technological realities tie the world together ever more closely.

Specific focus for each session

Each of the four sessions will have a focus on dimension of nuclear security or on a case and/or country of particular relevance or urgency, such as the status of the Nuclear Security Summits, the UN negotiations on a ban on nuclear weapons, tensions with North Korea, and the status of the Nunn-Lugar program regarding safeguarding of nuclear materials in the former Soviet Republics.  This focus will increase the usefulness and policy-relevance of the material outcomes.  

Composition of the dialogue group

A five-person coordinating committee will participate in all four dialogue sessions and ensure continuity and clear oversight of the process.  Each of the four HLDS will have a different set of experts and policy-makers involved, depending on timing, availability, and the specific focus of the session.  Each session would bring 5 – 10 key decision-makers and experts together under Chatham House rules in focused, problem-solving working sessions over a period of several days.

We look forward to the results of these discussions and to sharing the insights and policy recommendations from these sessions at the 2017 and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Forums.