Nuclear Risk Reduction: Myths and Realities?

Multilateral Dialogue KAS Vienna and Atomic Reporters


Wednesday, 14 June 2023 | 16:00 – 17:30 CET

Register on Zoom:

The Multilateral Dialogue of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation in Vienna, together with Atomic Reporters, invites you to an online discussion on Nuclear Risk Reduction: Myths and Realities? Over the past decade as the nuclear arms control architecture has slowly been crumbling under growing tensions between Washington and Moscow, and an increasingly conflictual relationship between Washington and Beijing; nuclear risk reduction has been promoted as a panacea and a possible alternative to nuclear disarmament by both diplomats and think tanks.

Several initiatives have been advanced by States elaborating measures posited to contribute to building confidence and reducing the risk of the use of nuclear weapons, whether intentionally, by miscalculation, miscommunication, misperception, or accident in the context of achieving the ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament. On the other hand, existing US-Russia/USSR bilateral risk reduction agreements and arrangements such as hotlines and military to military channels, ballistic missile launch notification agreements and arrangements, prevention of dangerous military activities, detargeting, etc., seem to be forgotten.

This discussion among experts aims to assess the merits and impact of strategic risk reduction proposals, as well as to evaluate whether risk reduction in fact contributes to achieving nuclear disarmament and addressing the catastrophic humanitarian impact of nuclear war which persists as long as nuclear weapons continue to exist.


Andrey Baklitskiy is Senior Researcher in the WMD Programme at UNIDIR; his current research focuses on nuclear risk reduction and nuclear arms control. He holds a specialist diploma (MA equivalent) from the Ural Federal University. He also is a consultant at PIR Centre and a member of the Deep Cuts Commission. Previously he was Programme Director at PIR Centre, a Research Fellow at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, a Visiting Research Fellow at CSIS, and a Senior Research Fellow at MGIMO University.

Francesca Giovannini is Executive Director of the Project on Managing the Atom at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs; in addition, she is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where she designs and teaches graduate courses on global nuclear policies and emerging technologies. Previously, she served as Strategy and Policy Officer to the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in Vienna.

Alexander Kmentt is Ambassador and Director of Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Austria; Head of Delegation Tenth NPT Review Conference; President of the First Meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and 2022 Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. Previously, he served as Austrian Permanent Representative to the Political and Security Committee of the European Union, responsible for developing the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CSFP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).


Tariq Rauf is on the Board of Directors of Atomic Reporters; Vice Chair of Canadian Pugwash Group; he is former Head of Verification & Security Policy Coordination, Alternate Head of the NPT Delegation, International Atomic Energy Agency; and was a member of the Eminent Persons Group for Substantive Progress on Nuclear Disarmament convened by the Foreign Minister of Japan.

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