Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS), Islamabad organized a roundtable with Dr. Tariq Rauf, former Director of IAEA and consultant of CTBTO, on 18th July 2019, which was attended by senior former officials, experts and scholars. The topic of the roundtable was ‘Current Challenges to Arms Control’. Executive Director CISS, Ambassador Ali Sarwar Naqvi, initiated the discussion by providing a historical background on global arms control initiatives. Dr. Tariq Rauf spoke about arms control challenges and the emerging shape of the geostrategic competition. He discussed in detail a range of very difficult and novel challenges in controlling the nuclear arms advancement of the states. While talking about new arms control measures, he suggested that there is a need of improving the security environment for successful arms control negotiations. He said the exclusion of Israeli nuclear arsenals in the discussion on the Middle East evokes skepticism about the intentions and efforts of major powers to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons. In this context, he said that the unilateral withdrawal of the US under Trump administration from JCPOA would further undermine efforts aimed at arms control and disarmament. Speaking on the issues, he also discussed the cyber threats to nuclear weapon deterrent. He said the United States and Israel have opened a new Pandora’s box by launching a cyber-attack against Iran. He drew attention towards the difficult state of security in the world. He said arms control and disarmament measures would only become possible when security conditions and environment are conducive and states do not face security threats, but on the other hand efforts should continue even when the security situation is not conducive. Mr. Rauf’s presentation was followed by a question & answer session. Executive Director Ambassador Ali Sarwar Naqvi concluded the Round Table by noting that Mr. Tariq’s views were noteworthy, and thanked the audience for their participation.
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