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Joan Rohlfing on nuclear dangers

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4 March 2011 15:43

Recent achievements in nuclear arms control should not be a basis for complacency: this was one of the messages of Joan Rohlfing, President of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, when she spoke at the Lowy Institute in Sydney today.

According to Ms Rohlfing, the risk of terrorists acquiring a nuclear weapon is real, and in this regard an unstable Pakistan remained a key concern. She acknowledged also the challenges of bringing Asian powers, including China, on board with the recent US-led push to reduce the role of nuclear weapons and to move towards nuclear disarmament.

In her presentation, Ms Rohlfing noted the successes the Obama Administration had chalked up on the nuclear agenda: the US-Russia New START Treaty, the successful 2010 review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Nuclear Security Summit, and the policy of nuclear restraint presented in the Nuclear Posture Review.

But she also argued that it was important for the international community to maintain focus and momentum, including to stop the spread of nuclear arms to more countries and potentially to terrorist groups.

We will be posting audio and video of her full lecture on our website next week. In the meantime, here is a brief interview I held with Ms Rohlfing following her presentation, in which we covered some of its main themes:

The Nuclear Reactions column is supported by the Nuclear Security Project of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, as part of a wider partnership between the NSP and the Lowy Institute.

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