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Panel Discussions - Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Finnish Expert: “Regional Conflicts Are Closely Connected With Nuclear Arms Race”

Longtime nuclear-arms expert Raimo Väyrynen told an IPI audience that regional conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia are “closely connected with the nuclear arms race.”

“I think it's unrealistic to think that we can stop the risk of nuclear proliferation and accumulation of arsenals––say in the Middle East and South Asia––unless there are more durable solutions to the Kashmir conflict, to the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and so forth,” said Mr. Väyrynen, a former director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. “The continued reduction of nuclear weapons must be connected with the strong efforts to find more durable solutions to regional conflicts.”

The May 11th event also featured David Cortright, who co-wrote with Mr. Väyrynen the new book Towards Nuclear Zero, published as part of the Adelphi series by the International Institute For Strategic Studies.

“We all know that nuclear weapons are instruments of mass annihilation,” said Mr. Cortright, who is a director at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame. “They are not really instruments of war. They violate every ethical principle of proportionality and discrimination, and cannot be justified under any moral or political doctrine as just instruments of achieving political results.”

The discussion was chaired by Dr. Edward C. Luck, IPI Senior Vice President for Research and Programs.

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