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At the Forefront for Nearly 50 Years | Inside the Arms Control Association, June 2018

A behind the scenes look into our work.

At the Forefront for Nearly 50 Years

Fifty years ago, the cornerstone of the international nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament enterprise—the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)—was opened for signature.

For nearly that long, the Arms Control Association has been in the forefront of the ongoing effort to achieve the treaty’s lofty objectives: curbing the spread of nuclear weapons, catalyzing action on nuclear disarmament and a world without nuclear weapons, and ensuring that nuclear technology is not misused for military purposes.

Just three years after he signed the NPT, the chief U.S. negotiator and director of the Arms Control Disarmament Agency, William Foster, left government and became the first chair of the board of the Arms Control Association. Since we were established in 1972, we’ve been a go-to source for information and the NPT, and strategies to reduce and eliminate the nuclear threat.

William Foster, chief U.S. negotiator on the NPT, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and later chair of the Arms Control Association board, signs the NPT July 1, 1968 as Secretary of State Dean Rust and President Lyndon Johnson look on. 

Today, the NPT remains vital to international peace and security, but we cannot afford to—and will not—take the treaty for granted.

Key states have failed to meet key objectives agreed to at the 2010 NPT Review Conference, including achieving further nuclear weapons reduction and ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Nuclear-armed states are building up, not building down their nuclear capabilities. Relations between the United States and Russia are at an historic low. Even though the 1987 INF Treaty is in jeopardy, and the New START agreement is scheduled to expire in 2021, the two sides are not engaged regular nuclear risk reduction talks.

A vital nonproliferation breakthrough, the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, is under severe threat from the Trump administration. Tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program have recently eased but could quickly re-ignite if the promise made at the recent Trump-Kim summit do not materialize.

In the tradition of Bill Foster and the other founders of the organization, we continue to work hard to steer developments onto a safer path.

You can count on our experienced team, including our current Board of Directors chair Tom Countyman, to continue our long-running campaign for nuclear sanity.

Our work depends on your support. If you have not already done so, please join the effort.

Thank you,
Daryl G. Kimball,
Executive Director

Quick Reference Links

About the Arms Control Association Arms Control Association Fact Sheets
Blog: Arms Control Now Journal: Arms Control Today
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On-Call for the Singapore Summit: 
ACA Experts Help Inform the Coverage 

In the weeks before and after the June 12 Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, Arms Control Association staff and experts were in heavy demand by major U.S. and international press for reaction to the summit's outcome communiqué and expectations on next steps.

On June 12 and 13, we briefed more than sixty journalists from CNN, Al Jazeera, CBS News Radio, Kyodo News, Yonhap, Reuters, TASS, The Daily Beast, The Washington Post, and several other dominant outlets in a two-part telebriefing with reactions from former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, former Washington Governor Gary Locke, and ACA board chair Thomas Countryman, alongside our Director of Nonproliferation Policy Kelsey Davenport and Executive Director Daryl Kimball.

Daryl Kimball also spoke with CBS News' Elaine Quijano about the steps involved in a complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Watch the complete interview below.

Hours following the release of Trump and Kim's joint communiqué, Daryl was the opening guest on C-Span's Washington Journal, providing immediate reaction to the news from Singapore.

The following day, he and board chair Thomas Countryman coauthored an op-ed in USA Today on how the summit represented just the beginning: "Now, the hard diplomacy starts," they wrote.

Kelsey Davenport "made sense" of the summit in chatting with Mark Leon Goldberg on the widely followed UN Dispatch podcast, and penned an op-ed for TIME Magazine on "What Trump Needs to Do to Make North Korea Get Rid of Their Nukes."

Several of our recently updated fact sheets, particularly the "Chronology of Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea," were cited by Bloomberg, WIRED Magazine, and VOA, among others in providing historical and technical context to the summit's goals.

A full list of media appearances and citations by Arms Control Association staff and experts, updated daily, is available at Overall, our staff and experts were cited in more than 70 print/online stories (including three op-eds), were interviewed by five broadcast outlets, and interviewed on two national podcasts, links to which you can find on that page. We encourage you to make it part of your daily reading and share the most interesting stories with your social networks.


ACA-AAAS Forum on the Science and Diplomacy of Shutting Down North Korean Nuke Testing

The Arms Control Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science cosponsored an event on June 14, 2018 featuring CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo to discuss the role of technology in North Korean disarmament.

The speakers discussed how the science community can work together with the diplomatic community to advance individual and collective goals, particularly within the field of arms control. For more information on the event, please see the Project for the CTBT's event summary.

(Left to right) The Nuclear Crisis Group's Jon Wolfstahl, Council for A Livable World's Alex Bell, CTBTO Executive Secretary Dr. Lassina Zerbo, ACA Board Member Amb. Laura Kennedy, ACA Executive Director Daryl Kimball, and AAAS Deputy Director Dr. Mahlet Medfin. 

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty at 50

July 1 marks the 50th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the milestone agreement that defines the international nonproliferation regime. The Arms Control Association has been hard at work highlighting the immense significance of the treaty and the importance of advancing its goals in multiple ways.

The cover stories of this month’s Arms Control Today are by the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation’s senior policy analyst, Sara Z. Kutchesfahani, and Ireland's Director for Disarmament, Jackie O'Halloran Bernstein. “The NPT AT 50: A Staple of Global Nuclear Order,” celebrates the successes of the treaty over the years and explains why it still matters today. “Success, Challenges, and Steps Forward for Nonproliferation" looks at how the treaty has, to a good extent, achieved its objectives over the last 50 years. 

Director for Nonproliferation Policy Kelsey Davenport will travel to Berlin, Germany June 27 to speak at the annual Tiergarten Conference. This year’s conference, entitled “The Future of the Nuclear Order–Diplomatic Challenges,” will address how the NPT can be strengthened to better reflect a changing world order marked by increasing threats from nuclear weapons.

Policy and Programs Research Assistant Alicia Sanders-Zakre and Executive Director Daryl Kimball will attend a State Department event June 28 honoring the legacy of the NPT. Among the presenters at the event will be long-time Arms Control Association member, Larry Weiler, who is one of the original negotiators of the NPT.

In May, Alicia and Daryl traveled to Geneva for the 2018 Preparatory Committeee Meeting for the 2020 NPT Review Conference.

Last October, Kimball and ACT editor Terry Atlas conducted an in-depth interview with Weiler that was published in Arms Control Today. In the interview, the 98 year-old Weiler reflects on his time as a member of the U.S. NPT negotiating team, discussing what he and his colleagues sought to accomplish and the challenges they faced.

The number of nuclear-armed states has been limited and the overall number of nuclear weapons is down, but the threat of a nuclear conflict is still too high. 

In the words of Larry Weiler, “most can agree that progress [under the NPT] has been slower than we had hoped and that nuclear weapons still threaten our civilization,” yet, “progress has been made, though the goal is still in front of us. Keep your fingers crossed and never give up.”

Arms Control Tommorow: Our Internship Program

The Arms Control Association is committed to developing the awareness and skills of the next generation of arms control professionals through several internship opportunities each semester.

This summer, we are pleased to host Rowan Humphries (Dickinson College), Monica Montgomery (Notre Dame), and Trushaa Castelino (Middlebury Institute) as invaluable contributors to our research, communications, and policy efforts. You'll also see their names next month as contributors to the July/August issue of Arms Control Today.

"As a communications intern at a small nonpartisan organization, I get to learn through hands-on experience the ins-and-outs of public relations," noted Rowan, who assists with our journalist engagement, event planning, and membership development. "Through my internship here, I have had the opportunity to directly engage with members of the media, learn the best practices of professional social media, and see close-up how an NGO operates."

"I have had the unique opportunity to work on a little bit of everything," writes Trushaa, who supports the Forum on Arms Trade project through writing/editing, website maintenance, and event-planning. "I focus on conventional arms issues, especially as they intersect with human rights, politics, and technology, and I've already had multiple opportunities to interact with several important policy and advocacy professionals in this field."

"As a policy research intern, I gain professional skills in research and writing while learning more about arms control and defense policy on a daily basis," shared Monica, who provides research support to our directors on nonproliferation and disarmament policy. "I also get to attend events throughout D.C. that help me build on those skills, grow my personal network, and discover the ins-and-outs of the nonprofit world."

If you are a current student in a undergraduate or graduate program and seeking an opportunity to gain real-world experience with a leading policy NGO in the nation's capital, visit our Internships page for available opportunities and deadlines. Applications for our Fall 2018 term are due July 2, so don't delay!

We're Hiring! Research Assistant on Nuclear Weapons Policy 

We are looking to add a new member to the team. The new Research Assistant on Nuclear Weapons Policy will be responsible for assisting our senior policy staff with research, analysis, and updates to our online information and public education resources; reporting for the organization’s monthly journal Arms Control Today; and planning workshops and meetings on priority issues, including nuclear weapons policy and disarmament, and nuclear nonproliferation.

Successful candidates will have strong written and oral communication skills, the ability to execute multiple assignments under tight deadlines, excellent organizational skills, strong research skills, and at least two years of professional experience in the arms control or national security field. An advanced degree in a related field is not required but is a plus. 

The deadline by which to apply is July 2. 

For more information, and how to apply, visit While there, be sure to also sign up for our job announcement email list to be the first to learn of future career opportunities with the Arms Control Association and like-minded organizations. 

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