On May 14, 2012, the Atlantic Council hosted a roundtable with Richard Burt and Jan Lodal to discuss proposals put forward in their recent joint paper ‘The Next Step for Arms Control: A Nuclear Control Regime.’

In their presentations, Burt and Lodal argued that only a new, binding control regime for nuclear materials—one that is comprehensive, universal and enforceable—offers any real possibility of halting proliferation and effectively controlling the global threat from nuclear weapons. Such a regime must cover all nuclear materials worldwide, even those held by established nuclear-weapons states—whether or not they are currently members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. To ensure compliance, the international community should accept new powers of scrutiny for the IAEA and authority, delegated from the UN Security Council, for coalitions of member states to use any means necessary to enforce the new regime.  Burt and Lodal admitted that would not be easy to persuade all nuclear powers to accept such a system; but they argued that it would possible, and provided concrete recommendations for how agreement might be reached.

International Security Program director Barry Pavel moderated a lively discussion in which the participants offered constructive suggestions, drawing on their experience from government, military and diplomatic service, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Ambassador Richard Burt is US Chair of Global Zero and a member of the Board and Executive Committee of the Atlantic Council. He has served as chief American negotiator in the 1991 START weapons-reduction talks with the Soviet Union and as US Ambassador to Germany.

Jan Lodal is immediate past President of the Atlantic Council and also a member of the Council’s Board and Executive Committee. He has previously served as Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and in other senior roles at the White House, Pentagon and National Security Council.

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