EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Conference 2016 Special Session 8
Chair: Judit Körömi, Chair of the Working Party for Non-Proliferation (CONOP), EEAS 
Rafael Grossi, Former Chairman, Nuclear Suppliers Group; Ambassador of Argentina to Austria and International Organizations in Vienna 
Mark Hibbs, Senior Associate, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 
Christos Charatsis, Independent Expert, European Studies Unit, University of Liége

Provisional Transcript:

Judit Körömi, Chair of the Working Party for Non-Proliferation (CONOP), EEAS

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and I welcome you to the second sitting and the panel which is dedicated to the NSG and current issues in the NSG. I have to start by publicly readmitting that I also have a long career in sitting through many multilateral and disarmament non-proliferation and even export controls fora, since ‘92 when I was transferred in the Hungarian Foreign Ministry from the Czech desk to the Security Policy Department. However, NSG is the single one meeting I had never been to. I know many in the group, in this room, I am sure would be much better fit chairing this session than myself. I try to be humble and you will hear probably for me many, many questions, I mean, all the questions that I ever had about the NSG but never dared to ask, I am going to use the opportunity this afternoon.

However, I think it is much more interesting to hear from our panellists first. You have the names on the screens and – but then, nevertheless, I will introduce them briefly, Ambassador Grossi, on my right, Mr Mark Hibbs and then Mr Christos Charatsis to my left, both of them.

We will start – I will give the microphone first to Ambassador Grossi, and then Mark Hibbs, and then Christos is going to inform you about what they have on their minds about the NSG.

Let me say a few words about the panellist and about Ambassador Grossi, who is currently the Chairman of the NSG from 2014 to 2016. He has got a long diplomatic career and experience. I am just naming a few from his very rich CV. It is a diplomatic conference of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Chief of Cabinet of the Office of the Director General of IAEA and Assistant Director General for Policy of IAEA, just to name the most recent ones. However, he was a representative of Argentina, to NATO and [inaudible]. He was also the Chairman of the group of governmental experts on the UN Register of Conventional Arms and the Special Advisor to the Undersecretary General for Disarmament at the UN, and so on and so forth.

Let me welcome you and give you the floor straightaway. I encourage the speakers to take the five minutes limits not too strictly. I encourage them to go a little more into detail to trigger the discussion and – but then, I think we will have ample time for questions and answers. With that, please, the floor is yours now, Ambassador.

Rafael Grossi, Former Chairman, Nuclear Suppliers Group; Ambassador of Argentina to Austria and International Organizations in Vienna

Thank you very. In the tradition of these meetings, I should start by saying, ‘I will be brief,’ which is a guarantee that I will not, but I will be brief. I would not abuse your generosity, thank you very much.

It is a pleasure to be here with you, with this audience, all experts, colleagues who know as much as I do about this or even more, and this panel of good friends, old and new. Let me then try to say – try to tell you where the NSG stands at the moment and what would be the issues that could shape its future in view of the title of this session, which are not reduced to the issue of membership, which I am sure is on everybody’s or at least to those who follow the NSG as mine is at the moment, whether county A, B, or C is going to make it or not. Because I truly believe that the Nuclear Suppliers Group and export control regimes, in general, play a crucial role in the complex of issues and institutions that form the non-proliferation regime as we know it, this in and by itself, a very important element that we should never forget.

When we put these things into perspective, we are reminded that the Nuclear Suppliers Group came to be precisely because certain provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty were not self-executing and thus require some explanation of what was meant by prohibiting or restricting certain transfers or actions developments that required to be put into clear terms that would be understandable for countries to know what they could do or not in this area, hence, the Zangger Committee, first, for those historians of non-proliferation. It is well-known as the Zangger Committee first and then the NSG proper.

However, the NSG as that cigarette brand has come a long, long way from what it was the days where it was known as the London Club and the shroud mystery and opacity surrounded what it was doing in those years. Now, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, through its guidelines, its control lists, has become the indispensable reference point whenever export control regimes at national level are being considered or when multilateral international action is needed; when you have things coming in front of the UN sanctions committees, when you have to think about something nuclear that needs to be restricted or controlled, or overlooked and seen is through the NSG lists. This is the reference. It is the reference that the EU lists have adopted. One can say it is the universal reference that is out there. It could be better things or it could perfected, I am sure, or improved. However, what we have there is clearly the point of reference we all follow.

The NSG then, as a reference, has also grown in its membership. As I have said, it started as a relatively very, very small group of nuclear nations to its present status with 48 countries. With 48 countries, quite clearly, you are in front of a grouping that is representing almost all regions and different degrees of technological advancement.

This is really important since one of the traditional debates we have had in the non-proliferation community and in the non-proliferation scene, in general, has been the issue of the validity, the legitimacy of export controls as such. The NSG used to be one of the, I would say, targets of choice for those deciding or those characterising it as a cartel, as something that was there instituted perhaps as an instrument, I would say, even of technological domination from the haves towards the have-nots.

Quite clearly, if that was ever truth, and I doubt it, it is no longer the case. This day and age, I would say, to put it in very simple terms, it is not cool to be outside the NSG. People want to come in the NSG. People want to join it, and not because of any restrictive approach to these things. It is because when you are seriously into certain technological developments, when you are building a serious nuclear infrastructure, when you aspire to have a civilian nuclear programme, when you even want to have an export profile for your nuclear industry, it is obvious that this is something that requires a lot of international interaction or trade. Without the label of quality, without the levels of assurance that being a party to NSG brings, that becomes very, very difficult, if not, impossible. There are maybe other considerations and that is a subjective dialogue that we can have or not. However, objectively speaking, you need to be part of this group to get the assurances and give the assurance to the international community that whatever you are you are going to be transferring to others will be – will not be conducive to the proliferation of nuclear weapons elsewhere.

This is crucial. This is why I say that moving to another point that in today’s world, the export controls are, and in particular the NSG, is an essential, I would say, instrument in the mechanism of non-proliferation. The macro level of treaties is there. We have the NPT, we have other conventions, we have the CWC, we have the BWC, and other instruments, perhaps ban if this succeeds. However, it is clear that that level is more or less fixed. What happens on the ground is the realm of export control regimes, in terms of trade, of course; safeguards are another matter. However, what happens when countries want to get things or want to export things, the only way to have guarantees is through export control regimes.

This has been a tendency, a trend that has, I would say, consolidated itself through the past few years. In fact nowadays, the issue of export controls is rarely discussed when you take even the hotly-debated and highly-controversial deliberations of the NPT review conferences, this issue is more or less not discussed, I would say. It is taken for granted that export control regimes are there and that language exists there cover their utility and countries to as they want and are judged those decisions, by the way. Export control is increasingly important, consolidated and being the instrument that countries that are really into nuclear activities want to be a part. That is very important.

In the–in terms of the current political environment, I would say, nothing has changed. On the contrary, the backdrop of the nuclear activities in the world are only conducive to more relevance of NSG. If you take the world – the post-Fukushima or post-JCPOA or post-Iran deal, you only see an increased curve in nuclear activities and trade. Maybe in decline in Western Europe, but that is certainly not the case in Asia or even Latin America and other parts of the world where more nuclear is considered to come in the next few decades or so. There is going to be considerable activity in the nuclear market, hence, attributing or giving the NSG even more importance than it has today.

This is very important. Revealingly, you may have seen or noted that even the JCPOA established a procurement channel that has a contact with the work of the NSG. We in the NSG, under my chairmanship, opened a dialogue with the procurement working group established by the JCPOA, which has been functioning very, very well, whereby we are receiving information from this procurement channel since it establishes an exception in terms of trade and in terms of how countries which are parties to the JCPOA and to the NSG, as well, function vis-à-vis those, like my own for example, and other countries, which being in the NSG are not parties to the JCPOA but still may or may not be trading. There are all sorts of intricacies that must be looked into because they are very relevant to the way in which we are going to be operating. All of these things are there and merit your analysis and the follow-up that we need to give to them.

Very briefly, I would like to touch up on the issue of how the group operates and how it tries to catch up with technological developments. Some have argued, and with reason, that when you have an instrument like this, which has discrete lists of technology’s material equipment, the risk of obsolescence is big and this is correct. This is correct. The NSG has reacted to these in a reasonable, I would say, in a reasonably efficient manner. The lists have been changed more than 20 times by now, especially we had what we called a fundamental review, which took place between 2011 and 2013, and there we adopted a number of very important changes. Not only, I must say, in the sense of listing things but also on delisting things. We know that nuclear technology in some aspects is quite old technology, not in everything but in many things. There are many components and part that become so common and so used that they are irrelevant in terms on non-proliferation and control. Also, there is a problem of controllability because their widespread use in the industry.

The rules and the lists and the guidelines are evolving. We felt that it was very important that the group would not remain a group of political, diplomatic, legal nature. We equipped ourselves with a permanent technical body, which did not exist before. The need for this was felt when we were undergoing this fundamental review, I just mentioned. We had a dedicated meeting of technical experts, the so-called DMT. It was felt that the work of this group have been so useful that we should make it permanent. This is what we did. Of course, there were some discussion because of this perennial issue of the technical versus the political, and the technical getting a life on its own and becoming some sort of unguided instance, which has not happened yet. We have and established, what we called, predictably, a technical expert group, which is meeting regularly, and which provides an opportunity for countries to come and propose to list new pieces of equipment or technologies, even software. For example, we have added a specialised software through the work of the technical expert group, which then, I think, is very interesting, and also to delist. Some counties come and they have to make the case for delisting, this is quite interesting. They have to explain why they feel that some things should be delisted. We have analysis of commercial nature and other ways so we can establish this.

There is also – through this, the analysis of new and so-called disruptive technologies. This is in vogue and when I speak about the NSG there are many questions about this. I have in mind, in particular, 3D printing and these sorts of developments where people believe that could be disruptive in the sense that through technologies that are apparently benevolent, one could be printing itself a bomb. This is, of course, not the case, but we are looking in these. There has been a proposal, there is an active proposal on 3D printing in front of the NSG. We are trying to look into all these things.

Lastly, since, I have exceeded the time, even with your generosity, of course you are aware that there is an issue of the aspiration of some countries, in particular countries which are not parties to the NPT to join the NSG. This is, in a way, a confirmation of what I said first. Countries that are seriously in nuclear matters feel the need to be a party to this system, to this, I would say, grouping of consultation and harmonisation of policies.

It goes without saying that this has triggered a fascinating and politically complex debate since one could even argue that having countries that are not parties to the NPT in the NSG could be a contradiction in terms, talking from a logical point of view. However, of course, we are in the world of politics and not in the world of logic.

What we are trying to do is to deal with these realities, see how best to come with a solution which would be non-discriminatory and ensure the continued relevance of the group. I stop here and I would be more than happy to take any questions that you may have. Thank you very much.

Judit Körömi, Chair of the Working Party for Non-Proliferation (CONOP), EEAS

I am sure that we have many. Thank you very much. Let me turn to our second speaker. He is Mr Mark Hibbs who is a Senior Associate in Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Program based in and Berlin and Bonn. How can you be based in two places at the same time? You will explain that to us as well.

Before joining Carnegie in 2010, he was an editor and correspondent in the field of nuclear energy, nuclear trade, and non-proliferation. His work appeared in a number of publications. I am sure most of you have read most of them. His research was focused broadly on international nuclear trade and non-proliferation government in four main areas. These are international nuclear trade regime, decision-making at the International Atomic Energy Agency, nuclear safeguards and verification, and bilateral nuclear corporative arrangements.

We have heard a few words about why the NSG is often viewed as an unjust in having the tendency towards technology denial to non-nuclear weapon states. We also heard that all from Rafael that others argued that the NSG actually managed to productively transform, responding to the verification challenges in the early ’90s, to developing the list of duties, materials and working to curb illicit networks and it is indeed working in these two parallel lines.

Now, what can you add to us on the NSG, Mark, from your perspective, especially from the main four areas that I have just mentioned that we have researched?

Mark Hibbs, Senior Associate, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Thank you, Judit, for your introduction. I want to thank that you, the Consortium, for inviting me to this meeting this afternoon.

The NSG faces challenges that concern its decision-making. These challenges, I would argue, are indeed logical. They do not come from nowhere. They develop logically from the history of the NSG and from its mission.

The last, let’s say, six years, seven years I have been working with participating governments of the NSG on the future of the group and issues that have come up. In the last three of those years, I have spent most of the time working on the pressure and issue of membership. I am going to focus most of my comments in this initial statement on the issue of membership in this short timeline. We can get into the questions you raised during the Q&A and I would be more than willing to contribute to that discussion.

In the area of membership there are two primary issues facing the group. One of them is more near term and the other one is more a longer term issue. The longer term issue is the challenge of finding consensus in a mechanism where, increasingly in time, it may become more and more difficult to identify like-mindedness of the membership. The second issue – the more near-term issue that is on people’s minds right now – concerns membership of non-NPT states in the group. First and foremost, recently India, and then Pakistan and there upon, Israel.

This issue, the issue of non-NPT state membership, has been looming over the group ever since about a decade ago in 2005 and 2006, when the United States and India announced to the world that they were going to embark upon peaceful nuclear cooperation. For that to happen, it would have require the India is fitted into a nuclear trade regime, including the NSG, which has been aimed at preventing India from getting nuclear items from suppliers nearly all of which are members of the NSG. That’s the challenge.

I think if you follow the day-to-day, blow-by-blow accounts of what is happening in the NSG and around it, surrounding the issue of membership, you will be confused because there is a certain amount of contradiction in a way this issue has been framed by the international media. In fact, in contrary to some of the statements that have been made by people, including in this meeting, there are strong reasons why countries that are outside the NPT should be considered to be members.

We should not forget that right from the beginning, as Ambassador Grossi has hinted at in his presentation, the NSG was established on the premise that the NPT would not suffice to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. That happened ironically because India tested a nuclear explosive device in 1974 on the basis of progress made by India, aided by peaceful nuclear cooperation agreements with a number of countries. That’s the origin of the group. It has continued to percolate through in all of its decision-making since.

The idea that the NPT would not suffice to stem the spread of nuclear weapons in the NSG context, when it was formed after the Indian explosion, ultimately, in my mind, implies that multilateral export control rules will be deficient unless there are a number of countries that are outside the NPT, for historical reasons, and have sensitive nuclear technology, including reprocessing uranium enrichment and nuclear weapons, if they do not adhere to the guidelines. You can have an export control regime that includes 150 plus countries that are already committed to not having nuclear weapons. However, you have a serious problem if your regime does not include, for any number of reason, a small number countries that have these capabilities and are not adhering to the guidelines. That’s the fundamental challenge, and the real reason, in my mind, why the NSG’s participating governments are considering strongly including India and Pakistan and Israel into the group as members; that’s the reason.

Just to illustrate this, I mean, I think it should be fairly clear to people, it certainly is to people here today that what we experienced with the Khan network, for example, in the 1980s and 1990s, made clear to everybody the dangers that could result if certain states are excluded from the NSG or the states are not encouraged in an effective way to adhere to the guidelines of the group.

That said, at the same time, over the last four decades the NSG has come to understand that the NPT, as deficient as it was in the early days, since its inception has gained in status as a norm-setting treaty with a 180 plus parties supported by IAEA Safeguard System that is now well-established as the yardstick for nuclear verification in the world. That was not really the case I would argue in the early 1970s. However, it is the case today.

Right now, all NSG members are members of the NPT, and as you know, over time, that the NSG has formally linked itself with the NPT through the requirement of full scope IAEA Safeguards as a condition for supply. This is a situation that we face today.

In this situation, it is done, in my view, very fitting that the members of the NSG are going to ask themselves whether non-NPT parties would share the aspirations of the others in the group that are adhering to the guidelines and if and when these countries outside the NPT express their desire to become members. In theory, these questions would be superfluous if it were the case that non-NPT states agreed to adhere to the guidelines without becoming members, then the problem would be obviated. Unfortunately, that is not the history of the group. The history of the NSG shows that as a state becomes a nuclear supplier, it attracts the attention of other countries that are members of the group, it establishes its credentials as a country that can supply nuclear equipment and it engages with the NSG, as Ambassador Grossi said, the desire to enter the confines of the NSG in acts of outreach programme with the group. Then the history of the group is that, eventually, that country will become a member

That is the reason why the issue of like-mindedness enters the picture. As soon as a state is a member of the NSG, any state, the possibility exists theoretically that that country could paralyse the group and even defeat its purpose if it does not share the aspirations of the other members. In the case of a state which is not a party to the NPT, it is in a sense, kind of a red flag because the NPT expresses a number of aspirations that the members share. If the country is not in that treaty, then the question has to be raised whether a country is like-minded at certain level. It is as simple as that. It could be the case, for example, for a country outside of the NPT, that it seeks membership in the NPT to essentially validate its non-NPT nuclear weapons. This is an issue that has come up again and again. These things would have to be discussed internally in the group. The members would come up with an answer to that question.

Most of you probably are aware that following up from the interest of India and the United States to have nuclear cooperation, in 2008 it was agreed that the NSG would afford nuclear trade privileges to India by exempting India from the full scope safeguard’s rule. That was a fairly simple solution to specific problem at that time. However, with membership on the table, that is just not possible.

Basically, the group has, in this regard, two sets of issues and questions that it has to address. The first, as I said, is the question is to whether or not these states are like-minded. The second is about how the membership of NSG states, non-NPT states coming into the group, would affect the NSG’s normal operation and its guidelines.

Ambassador Grossi and his colleagues have been, for several years, into a discussion about what like-mindedness would imply. Because that’s a very tricky and slippery discussion with a lot of different views, quite a large number of member states in the NSG would welcome steps that non-NPT states would take to demonstrate through like-mindedness. These steps, there has been a number of proposals, a number of things talked through, I have on the Carnegie Endowment, a long analysis of this that I did for the PGs a few months ago and posted it on our website, goes through a whole list of these things. They include condition such as no nuclear weapons testing. One that I am quite interested, which is an agreement by states to make legally binding commitments that will essentially match NPT Article I and VI, for example, bringing the states closer to the NPT in essential areas in a legally binding way. To do it this way would essentially allow the NSG to make a decision on these matters as a matter of general policy and not as a few member states would like as a singular exception for one state or another state. That’s the like-mindedness issue.

The other thing that I have mentioned, the second point here is a group of questions about what the impact of membership by non-NPT states would imply for the guidelines and on the NSG’s internal procedures and operations. I will just give you a short list of these. I think there is probably a list that we have worked on and accumulated of about 30 to 40 questions that we believe that Carnegie Endowment are things that the group would have to address in any event in the case of a non-NPT state becoming a member. A few of them would questions as to whether, as has been the case since the inception of the NSG, where the NSG would continue to focus on denying transfers of nuclear items to these states to inhibit their nuclear weapons programmes; would that remain the case were these states to become members. There are questions about how safeguards would be applied to verify the transfers to these countries would not involve diversions. There is the basic question about what would be the future of the rule for that links nuclear trade privileges to full scope safeguards that would to be addressed.

There is a basic principle in the guidelines that basically says that no transfer of dual use goods can take place or should take place to an unsafeguarded nuclear fuel activity in the country if there is a risk of a diversion or if there is a risk of nuclear terrorism. In a case like India or Pakistan or Israel, how would that be applied? The NGS is moving forward and dealing with this and the members that it has. However, there are certain constraints operating here that may not obtain for a country which is not in the NPT.

One way of looking at this would be to look at, in the case of India, a separation plan that was agreed to between India and the United States as of condition for nuclear trade. It is not clear that the separation plan, as we know it, would suffice to address the requirements that come from the guidelines. This is another matter that the membership is going to have to deal with.

In the course of negotiating the exception in 2008, a number of things were included in the record to that exception of the document called INFCIRC 734, which details a number of things that are part of that exception agreement. Some of those things may be relevant, for example, the question as to whether India may be defined as a nuclear weapon state. My understanding is that if you look at India’s export control legislation in the preamble of this document, it defines India as a nuclear weapon state. If that’s the case, it is not at all clear that that can be carried over into the parlance of the NSG.

So, there are a number of these things that have to be discussed. To my knowledge, as of the last plenary meeting of the NSG in the middle of this year, these questions were not resolve at that time. My concern is if these issues are not resolved then the PGs, the participating governments, they could decide Indian membership without knowing what that would imply for the operations or the mechanism. Also, they run the risk that a new member would be essential to deciding what the rules of the game would be before essentially the country becomes a member.

These are important. However, there’s also another aspect I just briefly mentioned, and that’s the fact that there is, as Ambassador Grossi suggested, an attempt by the group and strong effort to address the requirements of the International Community for greater transparency in the International Export Control Mechanisms. I am quite confident that there will probably be a 100-plus members of the NPT, that upon a decision to include a non-NPT member into the membership with the NSG, that those countries would want to know what is the general policy that is guiding this process and what are the rules. Doing it as a policy measure and not as a singular exception for one country would be a good opportunity for the NSG to make a statement about the NPT means to the group.

I will just leave it at that, and the other questions that Judit mentioned are important ones, and we can talk about those during the Q&A.

Judit Körömi, Chair of the Working Party for Non-Proliferation (CONOP), EEAS

Thank you very much, Mark. Let me turn to Christos Charatsis. He is going to tell us more about the norm-setting function and the role that NSG has played under National Trade Controls and the interrelationship between these norms.

Let me introduce Christos briefly. He has been working in the area of dual-use trades controls and non-proliferation for several years. His principal area of expertise concerns the EU trade control system, export compliance and dual-use research. He holds a doctorate diploma on the implications of trade controls for research activities undertaken by academia and industry organisations. His research was funded and developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. He currently works as an independent expert associated with the University of Liège. You can continue with the more sort of a licence and export controls related leg of these introductory presentations. Please, Christos.

Christos Charatsis, Independent Expert, European Studies Unit, University of Liège

Thank you, Mrs Chairlady. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Before I start with this presentation, I would like to clarify that, currently, I work on different projects with the European Studies Unit of the University of Liège and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. However, I am here today in my own capacity, not representing European Commission.

Well, as we are today in the Creativity and Exploration room, I thought that the creative idea would be to discuss the main areas where the NSG should continue to work or step up its effort so as to benefit the implementation of trade controls at national level.

In order to do this, I will focus on the five elements that, in my opinion, every trade control system may need to have in place. The first is the basic legal act. The second, the control list. The third, an information exchange system. The fourth, assistance for enforcement. The fifth, an outreach programme. In additional, I will provide some hints on the role and possible contribution of the NSG with regards to each of these areas. I am also very keen to offer you more specific examples of how this can be done in practice during the Q&A session. At the end of my talk, I will suggest the launch of an initiative that could advance the energy contribution in relation to these five areas, responding, at the same time, to known areas of concern and challenges that lie ahead.

Before I start, let me clarify these observations apply also to other – to the other major multilateral export control regimes, namely the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and Missile Technology Control Regime.

To begin with, every trade control system requires a basic legal act, setting main objectives and provisions. In this regard, the basic guidelines that the NSG has established lead the way for implementing and showing measures at national level. Of course, participating states may implement additional measures and define in greater detail trade control rules. However, the robustness, legal clarity and functionality of norms generated by the NSG is very important, especially since participating governments will quite frequently copy and paste such provisions when building their national legislation.

The second element concerns the controls. The operation of trade controls is lastly list-based. Again, participating governments may establish additional controls for national security purposes. Yet their national control list and related terminology deriving the first place by the lists established in the framework of the NSG. What is important here is an effort to keep pace with the technological advancements and, most interestingly, to establish international control list with clear terms and well-defined thresholds.

I move on to the third necessary element for trade control system, that is consultation mechanism for information exchange through secure and trusted channels. Reinforcing information exchange within the NSG can do both: promote the harmonised application of controls and set the example for further initiatives at national and international level. Enhanced cooperation is necessary as much among states as between the competent authorities within a given state.

This brings me to the fourth aspect, concerning the need for an effective system for enforcement of penalties. Especially the collaboration between licensing and enforcement authorities is of utmost importance. I think a good idea could be to bring together more often customs and licensing authorities at both multilateral and national level.

The fifth element that in my opinion is quite important concerns the conduct of outreach activities. Such outreach activities should target both state and non-state actors. An interesting remark here is that the risk of misuse of dual-used materials, equipment, software and related technology concerns industry as well research institutions, therefore, promoting adherence to the non-proliferation cause by all stakeholders requires doing at least two things. The first is better and open communication of the threat control objectives. This can be done, for instance, by written current academia, industry and non-member states with a view to diluting misconceptions and communicating the objectives of threat controls. Of particular importance, would be also to bring together representatives from academia, industry and security communities to discuss the challenges relating to the implementation of controls. The second thing to do is to improve the overall credibility of threat controls. In order to do this, we may need to adapt a pragmatic and weighted approach in implementing such controls.

In addition to these five aspects, there are some specific areas, such as risk assessment procedures, controls of non-listed items and controls of intangible transfers of technology that are of high importance to the implementation of strategic threat controls. In that regard, the adoption by the NSG of best practices and guidance could create the necessary conditions for moving closer to the attainment of a global level playing field for experts of nuclear related dual-used items.

I would like to congratulate the European Consortium and particularly the IISS for organising the session and the whole conference. So today’s excellent initiative is geared towards the future of the NSG. The NSG has taken steps in order to address most of the aspects I referred to earlier. I would mention, for instance, the NSG commitment to keep its guidelines abreast with evolutions concerning more sensitive technologies such as those relating to enrichment and to reprocessing. Also the continual review and update of its control list or the conduct of outreach activities and the organisation of regular information exchange meetings and technical working groups meetings on whenever it is needed.

However, there are further initiatives that could be taken in the future for enhancing all the different areas mentioned earlier and for dealing with open questions and problems. I think that being reactive to new trends and issues raised occasionally is not enough. Instead, anticipating potential challenges and problems and taking the necessary measures in a timely manner could be very important. Properly establishing a roadmap towards the adoption of a strategy for the NSG could be to the benefit of the participating governments and the non-proliferation regime, in general. The definition of such a strategy could be the outcome of deliberations relying on inputs and expertise from academic community, consultations with main stakeholders as well as previous experience.

The objective of such an effort should be to address major questions and decide on the main lines for the future course of the NSG. For instance, do we possess the necessary means for effectively reinforcing existing guidelines and control lists? Do we need to stretch the scope of controls including also new possibilities and controlled entries? What kind of states is it important to welcome on board? What shall be the main NSG priority areas to focus efforts and resources for the coming years? For example, is there a need to improve cooperation and capacity building among the participating governments or to focus on outreach to non-member states?

I will conclude by saying that so far, most of the time, the multilateral expert control regimes have been involved mainly due to external factors and events. This is quite logical but maybe the time has come to adopt a more proactive stance. Thank you very much for your attention.

Judit Körömi, Chair of the Working Party for Non-Proliferation (CONOP), EEAS

Thank you very much, Christos, and to you all, panellists. I have not even opened the floor and I was just going to say that I have a few questions myself to the panellist in case there are no questions from the floor, but there are many.

But, yet let me just propose one thing and that is I would wonder whether at some point either colleagues in the floor or the experts in the panel could say a few words about whether they see a chance or prospect for a global expert control regime or whether they see chances for a treaty on controlling the supplies, actually, which would be some sort of a complement to the NPT.

Dr Layla Dawood, Professor, Department of International Relations, Rio de Janeiro State University

Thank you very much. I would like to ask Professor Hibbs and Mr Grossi, especially, I am very interested in Brazil’s foreign policy and Argentina’s foreign policy. As you all know, they have been pressured to sign additional protocol as soon as they were admitted to the NSG. So I was wondering, what would be their take, Brazil’s and Argentina’s position, if India and Pakistan were admitted to the NSG? Thank you very much.

Sehar Kamran, Senator, Parliament of Pakistan

Since I am not an expert, neither am an academician, so my question is based on the concern that any member of the parliament should have. First of all, I would like to compliment the panel for a very enlightening debate and very, very good presentations. I wanted to ask whether the non-NPT regime has been influenced or governed by the commercial and the political objective. Because, if I look at the 2005 India-US nuclear cooperation and then 2008, they were granted to India, then MTCR membership granted to India, where Pakistan and India both are applicant to NSG. This is a very important and interesting subject for us. If I look towards the commercial interest and I would say that Pakistan is a very attractive market because we are a country which is facing the energy crisis and we have an experience of operating our nuclear power plants very successfully for more than 40 years. If we do overcome the energy crisis and to have our industries run and to create opportunities and the prosperity in the country, we definitely would like to benefit from NSG. If there is no criteria-based approach…

Judit Körömi, Chair of the Working Party for Non-Proliferation (CONOP), EEAS

What’s the question?

Sehar Kamran, Senator, Parliament of Pakistan

Actually, it’s a comment and a question. If there is no criteria-based approach then what are we not comprising the non-proliferation regime? The US push. I am warning also. My concern was on the regional stability. I asked Mr Countryman and he took my question totally non-seriously. That exactly, by pushing or giving favouritism to one country, are we not compromising not only the NPT regime, its credibility but also the strategic stability in the region. So this is a concern that if there is a criteria then it should be for every country. If the criteria is compromised then it will have a lot of concerns within our region, and not only the concern but the implication will go a long way.

Dr Tarja Cronberg, Distinguished Associate Fellow, SIPRI

I am from SIPRI and a former member of European Parliament and Chair of Iran Delegation. Therefore my question is, first, to Rafael about alternative procurement channel that was established for Iran. Why was this necessary and what are sort of the differences in relation to normal NSG criteria?

And the second question to Mark. You talk about like-minded states and argued that it is important that the countries are within the NSG in order for the export to be controlled and legal. I think it is a good argument but would you ever see North Korea becoming a like-minded state?

Ali Sarwar Naqvi, Executive Director, Centre for International Strategic Studies; Former Ambassador of Pakistan to Austria

Ambassador Grossi, your presentation was very interesting and sort of clarified many points. What I would like to know is what is the status of your consultations as a special envoy and what kind of steps do you envisage in regard to the question of membership of non-NPT members. Thank you, sir.

Tariq Rauf, Director, Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Programme, SIPRI

First of all, to respond to your point Judit, about a multilateral regime, some years ago, the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs published a book edited by Sverre Lodgaard. I have a chapter in there that makes the case that since every country except four are parties to the NPT, they are already obligated to have export controls. I do not have time to get into the details. In addition to my article, there are others who have also written on the subject.

I wanted to challenge the panel by making the argument that, in my view, now, the NSG has become a threat to the international system because by some recent decisions of 2005 and 2008, and the current discussions of non-NPT membership, the group is going against the consensus in 1995 and 2000 that new nuclear supply agreements must be require full scope safeguards as a condition of supply. It is also a violation of commitments of nuclear weapon free zone states who might be considering supply of nuclear items to non-NPT states, and why is not this NSG making the CTBT signature and ratification a precondition for non-NPT states if one were to go that way. Thank you.

Tariq Osman Hyder, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, National Defence University (NDU); Former Ambassador of Pakistan to Ashgabat and Seoul

Thank you very much. I would be very brief. First of all, I just wanted to say that Ambassador Grossi and Mark Hibbs have given very good broad outline as does Christos. But as far as South Asia is concerned, it is the other end of the telescope. It is a membership issue which is, for both countries, it is very crucial. I will not go into big details of that. However, I have it in a small paper, yesterday or today, I think, which I have left on the table there. Anybody does not get it can ask me for an email for it.

However, the point is, very simply, that the actual reality is that there was a big push from the supporters of India or America, whatever, to make it a member by itself. I think once you keep in mind that if that were to go through, apart from the attack on the principles of the equity and other things and of the NSG, then we’ll have grave consequences in our regime, which have been spelt out.

I think Mark Hibbs had talked about like-mindedness. I think it is for the NSG members to put forward what is their criteria that they want. I mean, I have suggested in my writing that any country which wants to become a member should put all its civilian activities under safeguards. In other words, that if India wants to graduate to them, we have no exception if it does, so along with us, they have to do that. It is not that that is sealed and stoned, that 2008 agreement in that case. I think these are just a couple of issues which I think are relevant.

Judit Körömi, Chair of the Working Party for Non-Proliferation (CONOP), EEAS

Thank you very much. For those who are interested, I think copies of Ambassador Hyder’s paper on the future of the NSG are in the back of the room. On your way leaving the room, you can pick up a copy.

I would like to draw a line here and ask our panellist to reply to some of the questions and comments, and then we have a second round of questions. I suggest that, Mark, you begin now and then Rafael continues.

Mark Hibbs, Senior Associate, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

I think I took notes on all the questions that were addressed to me here. If not, then, I beg your indulgence and just repeat your questions.

The issue was raised about Brazil and Argentina. We were fortunate to have Rafael with us who comes from the region and he is imminently aware of all of these things. I will leave him to some more detailed explanation about this.

However, in a nutshell, I think the more general explanation or general answer to your question is, I think, for Brazil, as for many other states that are members of the group, that there is a – that the people who are the decision-makers in this are not of one mind. We have seen frequently in the deliberation of our membership, including in the United States, including in Western European countries, countries in Latin America and countries in Asia. A situation where to, perhaps over simplify at the political level, frequently, heads of state and foreign affairs ministers are inclined to be in favour of enlarging their membership to include India or Pakistan on the basis that their bilateral relations with these countries would benefit. These are decision makers who are not focused on the minutiae and the details of the non-proliferation regime as those of us here in the room are.

You will find that more frequently at the working level; it’s more often the case that in many of these countries the people who are working on this issue on a daily basis are asking more critical questions and are less inclined to make a blanket decision or be in favour of including India or another country in the group on this basis, especially, Ambassador, to get to your point, on the basis of a singular exception. That is something which I think for people who are interested in international governance that raises issues and people in many walks of international life are uncomfortable about.

That is a general answer to that question. I also want to underscore that, to my knowledge, there is no relationship between efforts by individual state parties to get Brazil and Argentina to conclude an additional protocol with the agency would be relevant in this particular context. I’m sorry the industry has considered informally the question is to whether or not the additional protocol should be considered in the future a condition for nuclear supply but this has not been a consensus positon in part, as you say, because Brazil and Argentina have not agreed to that.

There was a question about Pakistan regarding criteria versus exception. That is exactly the point that there has been a debate about this. It goes back to the period of time I mentioned, originally, 2005 and 2006, when the United States and India wanted what they called a clean exception for India, which meant that India would be exempted from the full scope safeguard’s rules matter of an exception. Even at that point, that there were many of us in the NGO community or on the outside of this decision-making process who encouraged the United States government to think about a criteria-based approach to the problem, even for the exceptions let alone for memberships. This is a decision that has been under the discussion by the group for quite a long period of time and remains to be the case.

I think it would be fair to say, as an observer only, that following the discussion that has taken place this year among member states that a considerable number would like to see a more general approach to this. It does not have to call it criteria. In one paper I think I called it something else but it is, you could say, benchmarks for non-proliferation behaviour, things of this nature. The bottom line is, again, you get back to this issue of like-mindedness is that the effort is to assure the NSG PGs that countries coming into the group are going to share their values. That is really what it is about. To do it on a basis of a criteria, sort of criteria, which would be generalized would make it more equitable and it would make it easier for the NSG to explain to the outside world that they are doing things as a matter of systematic policy and not as a matter of arm twisting or political machinations that happened someplace else that are not transparent. This criteria is on the agenda for these reasons.

The question about the DPRK, I think in practical terms we talk about non-NPT states becoming candidates or joining the group as members. In the beginning, this was provoked by, as I mentioned the US-Indian aspirations for nuclear commerce beginning in 2005 and 2006, and it is expanded to India for a whole lot of reasons, including, of course, the fact that India and Pakistan are in a situation of strategic rivalries. Clearly, if India is favoured by an important country, like the United States, to have a singular exception, clearly, this is something which Pakistan will be very unhappy about and would want to broaden the discussion, and they have done that. So we have now India and Pakistan being discussed.

Israel, as some of you probably know for many years, has been the only country which, to my knowledge, has been understood by the NSG’s members to be adhering to the guidelines without becoming a member. On that basis, many people have suggested that once the NSG fights its way through the question about India and Pakistan that it would only be a matter of time before Israel would apply for membership, and with a certain amount of confidence, that its credibility or its credentials, from the point of view of its technical export controls capacity, would be welcomed.

That leaves the only other state in the group that really matters and that’s the DPRK and, frankly, no one no one in the group is talking about this. I am quite sure that in a much, much longer trajectory that the Republic of Korea, which is a member of the NSG, is thinking about that. However, the South Koreans are, by no means, under any allusion that getting them into the group, getting the DPRK in the group would be simple or would be near-term or even medium-term.

More interesting is the question about the status of Iran. A country which is in the NPT, a country which is making a strong effort, if you believe what the International Atomic Energy Agency tells us and the board of governors since the end of last year that they are making a strong effort to comply and to implement and perform according to what is expected in the JCPOA that, at some point, Iran may, should it choose to continue to cooperate extensively would demonstrate its bonafides on non-proliferation, and there may be a day in the future when Iran would apply for membership of the NSG, as far-fetched as that would have appeared to anyone over the last 10 years, particularly when you listen to the polemic about the NSG that was coming from Iran. Times change and it is perfectly possible that a number of years from now, perhaps once the JCPOA has run its course and we find ourselves in 2023 or 2025, that Iran would apply for membership.

Rafael Grossi, Former Chairman, Nuclear Suppliers Group; Ambassador of Argentina to Austria and International Organizations in Vienna

There were a number of points, from my distinguished Brazilian colleague there was a question on my country and hers. There are two things that you may think of or maybe you have researched on that already, the Brasilia plenary where the NSG discussed, for the first time, the issue of additional protocol as a condition of supply. In Brasilia, it was decided that that could be applied once all members of the NSG with all participating governments would have subscribed to one additional protocol. At each and every session of the consultative group, we check whether the conditions are decided at the Brasilia plenary have been met or not. This is the – as Mark also confirmed, this is the situation right now. This is continuously under review and until all PGs have subscribed an additional protocol, the AP is not a condition of supply. The condition of supply is a CSA, the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. This is something which is important.

Also, regarding the AP and interestingly from a point of view of other foreign policies of our two countries is that at the [inaudible] plenary in Holland in 2013, with regards to enrichment and reprocessing, it was decided that transfers would be restricted to countries with CSAs and APs and countries having a regional arrangement which was us. It is not mentioned. It is not mentioned as such, but it was the consensus that we could meet in recognition of that role at that place there. This is an evolving issue, naturally, and we will have to be following developments. However, this is the state of play on that.

On, the issue of influence, Mark has addressed that partially as well, but the commercial factors, of course, this is about trade. It is about safeguard. It is about politics. It is about everything and the commercial factors have also an influence there.

Regarding your very pertinent question about the procurement, this is a very interesting element that has not been sufficiently studied. Perhaps, Mark, you should illuminate us and write a paper about this at some point. However, it is very interesting because when you look at the JCPOA, the JCPOA is a very complex, very complex and very elaborated instrument that has a number of parts. You have restrictions. You have limitations. You have interdictions. You have technology adaptations. You have shipment. You have a number of things. Maybe all that arms control can offer is there in different ways.

One of those, and very important one, two of those had to do with shipment of nuclear material out of Iran, so marketing it and also transferring to Iran technologies needed to ensure the fulfilment of one of the most crucial aspects of the JCPOA, which is the modification of the core of the Arak reactor, which was a heavy water producing reactor. That had to be provided by someone. Of course, the negotiators, the six parties in that negotiation, decided that one of the parties in that – there is a division of labour there. I don’t want to get too much into detail because it’s a bit intricate. However, for example, one of the countries is providing this technology. In abstract terms, this is not something you would be able to do.

There was an exception created for that country to be able to do that in the context of the JCPOA and in the context of the standing commission that has been created following the provisions of the UN Security Council Resolution that made operational the JCPOA. It sounds a bit strange, but I think it’s rather clear. You needed a procurement channel to make legal the transfers that were going to take place because of the JCPOA. We in the NSG said, ‘Hey, we are here.’ Because some countries, mine and others, could also be interested potentially in selling some stuff. Why not? What we decided was that, for transparency sake, it would be good to have a dialogue because, for the time being, this is, of course, legal because it is under the UN Security Council Resolution. However, there are also timelines for this which will hopefully be met. We are getting information as the JCPOA parties see fit quite clearly. However, they are coming to us and they are informing how this is working because there is a mechanism to do that. That is for the procurement channel.

Ambassador Naqvi, you kindly asked me about the status of consultations. Of course, it is a very sensitive question and this is in public domain. We are having a meeting in a few days. It wouldn’t be correct on my part to indicate in all detail what we are doing. What I can say is that the consultation process that I am contacting is very active and what we have seen is a massive interest in all PGs.

In the beginning, when this was started after the plenary in Seoul, as Mark was reminding us, there was doubt about what to do. We have reached an impasse in Seoul whereby the group was not able to take a decision on one of the applications that were on table. The Chair, my successor, I am, in fact, an outgoing Chair, I am the ongoing facilitator but the outgoing Chair and a part of Troika. So he asked me, since I have been doing this for some time, to continue and try to facilitate this.

What I can say, and this has to do maybe with other comments, is that what we are looking for is something which is of general application. We are not working on the basis of Country A or Country B or Country C. We are working on something that, if successful, it is a big if because it is a big issue and the problems are big. If successful, this is not something which is going to be for the benefit of Country A or for the benefit of Country B or for the benefit of Country C. It is, if I may put it like this, an attempt to address the challenge or the question put to the group by the existence of three non-NPT countries which actively aspire to become members of the NSG. This is as much as I think I could say.

Dr Rauf was challenging the notion or putting a challenging notion that the NSG himself might be like those monsters that devour themselves or devour the regime that they are predicated or built upon. I love the question, and coming from such an expert, is a temptation to engage in a very long discussion. I would say, remember, in the NSG, we have the five Permanent Members of the Security Council and all the depositories of the NPT. I don’t think the idea is to challenge and destroy the regime. However, these countries are, for the first time, in front of an existential question of one that has an essential nature. Essential things demand definitions or redefinitions. Let’s never forget that the NSG is an arrangement. It is not a treaty. It was a way, a practical way to address a problem at a certain time in history. The non-proliferation regime – and it was established in the mid-70s. Look at the world in the mid-70s and look at the world where we are now. It is only logical, and I am not prejudging on what the results would be, that we come to these kinds of fundamental questions. I don’t know if the answer will be yes or no. However, I am not scandalised by the fact that we are in front of these questions. Hopefully, wisdom will prevail.

Judit Körömi, Chair of the Working Party for Non-Proliferation (CONOP), EEAS

Yes. Thank you very much. We have got five more minutes. With your indulgence, we can chip away five minutes of your own break. I have got many, many hands in here. Four questions, and really, please, just one question, one sentence and then very short answers.

Sitara Noor, Research Fellow, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP)

Thank you, Chair, for giving this opportunity. A quick question to Mr Rafael Grossi. I understand your inability to comment on the ongoing consultative process, but if you could just quickly comment, if you want to, on the news that your probable acceptance of a two-stage process of membership.

Dr Adil Sultan, Director, Research and Analysis, Strategic Plans Division

Thank you, Chair. Thank you, the panellists also. I’m Adil Sultan. I work for the government in Pakistan. Ambassador Grossi’s statement, concluding statement, we are in the world of politics and not logics. It explains everything. The future of Nuclear Suppliers Group probably is quite bleak because it is seen as such.

I just want to seek your expert comments, Mark, about there were certain obligations upon the United States under the Hyde Act that the United States’ President was supposed to make certain determination in case there is change in the operations status of safeguarded and un-safeguarded facilities within India.

Secondly, he was supposed to encourage India and inform the Congress by a certain date that India would freeze its fissile material production, encourage India to declare a date by this. Is there any progress on that?

Third and final, there was an application or a letter by Israel in 2008 to the NSG Chair. What happened?  We never heard anything. Thank you.

Julie George, Program Assistant, South Asia Center, Atlantic Council

Hi. Thank you to the panellists. It is nice to meet you guys. My question is mainly towards Mark Hibbs and Ambassador Grossi. I believe the questions you raised about like-mindedness of the group members is a valid one. How do you demonstrate it? What does it imply? However, to what level do you think this concept of like-mindedness of group members is a static one and do you think that this is turning into more of a divergent or more of it being a dynamic one for the future? Thank you.

Dr Rajiv Nayan, Senior Research Associate, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA)

Thank you very much. I have fast questions, three fast questions, two for Mark Hibbs. You talked about like-mindedness and non-discriminatory approach for the membership. At the same time, you were talking about CTBT, members. How do you reconcile it, even members do not have [inaudible]? 

The second is about nuclear weapon status. I mean, does NSG give nuclear weapon status to countries even if India had written in that document, does it matter? It is a participant country. So, this is second.

Third question is about Israel. Has Israel applied for the membership or it is actively aspiring so I am slightly puzzled.

Mark Hibbs, Senior Associate, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

My answer will be brief and it will be disappointing. I don’t know the details of what the US is considering in the implementation of Hyde Act under that. We can talk about that offline and it will be very complicated and probably very boring for most of the people in here, but we can talk about that.

The other matter, Israel, again, we know Israel has is interested in this, that they remain interested. My understanding is that Israel, for a number of reasons, did not force its application in a pushy way during this entire discussion. The personal impression I have is that Israel would prefer to wait until the NSG makes some decisions that look like a policy and then act accordingly. However, I do not think Israel is not in a hurry to join. I mean, they’re adhering to the guidelines and that will continue. It is not going to happen right away, but something that remain interested in.

The issue of like mindedness, the question you have is a very good question because things change over time and it is a dynamic issue. That is one of the reasons that defining it is so damn difficult. It is not easy to do it. I think, as I explained it, I think that is the reason why the concerned member states want to see something on the ground that looks as if a country is committed, bringing me to your issue about the CTBT.

All I can say about CTBT is stay tuned. There is a very lively discussion about nuclear testing and the NSGs. It is happening in real-time. Some of us have suggested that CTBT participation would be a very good signal to the group and the rest of the world that a country is serious about its non-proliferation bonafides.

With that being said, my understanding and you may correct me, Rajiv, but it’s a question I have in return. We have a discussion as to whether or not the PGs, the governments of the NSG would like to see or would be happy if a new applicant would sign the CTBT as opposed to ratify it, okay? Obviously, ratification, as you point out, is not on the table in the United States right now at the moment and that is a problem for anyone who is anticipating that ratification would be a yardstick of like-mindedness, clearly, that’s going to be a problem.

With that being said, I am also given to understand that the understanding in India is that, unlike in some other countries, that signature on the CTBT means more in India than it does in other jurisdictions, that, basically some people in India have told me they argue if India signs in the CTBT, it is almost concomitant to ratifying it because of the nature of the parliamentary governmental decision process in India which is different than it is in many other countries.

What I’m suggesting is that these are nuances that in the discussion between India, Pakistan, other countries and the NSG about a criterion that would have to do with testing, that these things would have to be discussed, would have to be satisfied by all parties. That is it.

Rafael Grossi, Former Chairman, Nuclear Suppliers Group; Ambassador of Argentina to Austria and International Organizations in Vienna

Brevity on the question on the so-called two-stage process, I didn’t call it that way, however, it has become known as such. That simply describes the fact that, I mean, you have two possibilities when dealing with these applications. One would be to say yes or no to decide on the merits of the applications, yes or no. Another would be to look into what is needed to be on the table on top of the application to make it possible. This is what’s going on.

I couldn’t say this has been approved or not, the approach. I would say this is the basis upon which I am working. In a way, it is like saying, yes, it is a two-stage process, but I think people are putting too much into that label, if you want. However, what we are discussing now is what is needed, and I’m not using the word criterion or factors or anything because even those words in the NSG has different meaning and status. I am simply talking in very general terms of what other elements are being considered, discussed, weighed by the PGs, by the participating governments. That is one.

I think the other question was answered by Mark. On the issue of like-mindedness and dynamism of the notion, I think, it is very interesting what you say? It has to do a little bit with – I hope what my last comment before. Like-mindedness is essential and this debate of the NSG, what I have seen is something very interesting is that, not only now, in general, is that people are saying what the NSG is for. The NSG is there to do this and, hence, let’s say, if you take this or that decision, you are doing good or bad to the NSG. I would propose that we apply that methodology to any other agreement in the world; that does not work. I mean, you enter an agreement, a treaty, or an arrangement according to your own interpretation of what that is and what that is going to give you in terms of security, in terms of whatever.

And this is part of the constructive ambiguities. Sometimes it is called, ‘I interpret the way I want it and I sign to it.’ There is nothing that says that the NSG is there to do something in relation to other things. It is what it is. It is what it is. PGs will have to decide what kind of NSG they want for the 21st century.

Judit Körömi, Chair of the Working Party for Non-Proliferation (CONOP), EEAS

On that note, I thank for all our panellists. I’m sorry, Christos. You did not really get your chance. Would you like to comment on any of these?

Christos Charatsis, Independent Expert, European Studies Unit, University of Liège

We have the opinions from the insiders and so probably I can discuss in the break.

Judit Körömi, Chair of the Working Party for Non-Proliferation (CONOP), EEAS

I thank for the very active participation of the audience. I’m sorry for those who didn’t get the microphone this time around. What I can offer is that our panellists are going to stay with us for the dinner and you can approach them bilaterally.

Again, thanks for the panellists and thanks for the excellent audience. I have the impression that we could go on on the NSG for another hour easily and we would still not exhaust the topic. However, this is the time limit that we have had for this afternoon. Thank you very much to all of you.

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Brussels, 3-4 November 2016

EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Conference 2016