Universiteit Leiden

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Panel discussion: Nuclear Weapons in a New Geopolitical Reality

Tuesday 16 April 2019
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague

On Tuesday 16 April the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) of Leiden University and the AIV, the Advisory Council on International Affairs (Adviesraad Internationale Vraagstukken), will organise a panel discussion on the recommendations of the report: ‘Nuclear weapons in a new geopolitical reality'.

The purpose of the panel is to better inform students and policy makers on matters of nuclear security from the Netherlands’ and NATO perspective.

About the lecture

Since the end of the Cold War, knowledge of nuclear issues has diminished and debate on the issue has mainly focused on nuclear non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament. In its most recent Advisory Report, ‘Nuclear weapons in a new geopolitical reality. An urgent need for new arms control initiatives, the AIV recommends the Dutch government to take new initiatives in these areas, as well as to strengthen credible deterrence, maintain strategic stability and improve nuclear risk reduction.  

About the programme

  • Introduction by the chairman of the AIV Professor Jaap De Hoop Scheffer, Professor at Leiden University and former SG NATO,
  • Presentation of the report by Professor Joris Voorhoeve, chairman of the committee that prepared the AIV-report (and former Minister of Defence and former Professor at Leiden University),
  • Panel discussion with Sico van der Meer (Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute) and Marc Vogelaar (Pugwash).

History of the debate of nuclear weapons

Nuclear weapons are returning to the forefront of discussions on Euro-Atlantic security. The Russian Federation and the United States find themselves embroiled in strategic rivalry, and seem to attach greater interest to their nuclear arsenals. There is reason to fear a new arms race and instability due to new technological developments and the looming demise of nuclear arms control treaties such as the INF-treaty. As a result of China’s status as rising economic and (nuclear) military power the power balance is shifting. And, while European NATO-countries are still largely dependent on security guarantees by the United States (extended deterrence), President Trump has openly questioned U.S. commitment to NATO, reducing Allies’ confidence in the existing security arrangements with Washington.

Panel members

The panel members will be: Sico van der Meer and Marc Vogelaar. 

Sico van der Meer is a Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute. His research focusses on non-conventional weapons such as Weapons of Mass Destruction and cyber weapons from a strategic policy perspective. He also has a special interest in North Korea and relations between North and South Korea.

Marc Vogelaar is chairman of Pugwash Netherlands. In 2012 he retired as ambassador from the Dutch diplomatic service. During the last years of his diplomatic career, he assisted the Director General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as special adviser on universality of the Chemical Weapons Convention.


Would you like to join the lecture? Register now.

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