On May 8 and May 10, 2017, CISSM Research Scholar Nilsu Goren spoke on two expert panels that the Geneva Center for Security Policy and the Academic Peace Orchestra Middle East (APOME), a collaborative research group consisting of some 100 regional and international experts, co-organized as side events to the 2017 Preparatory Committee of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in Vienna, at the Vienna International Center (VIC).
For several years, APOME has been organizing Track II meetings among non-official representatives from all Middle Eastern countries, including Israel, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, to promote a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) free zone in the Middle East. The two expert panels in Vienna, chaired by Dr. Bernd W. Kubbig and Marc Finaud, discussed cooperative ideas to move forward with the process following the failure of the 2015 NPT Review Conference to convene an international conference on the Middle East WMD free zone.
The first expert panel on May 8th focused on "Paving the way for the Resumption of a Meaningful Communication and Conference Process" on the Middle East. Goren presented two cooperative ideas: establishing a comprehensive expert group on verification measures and creating a regional security center. She argued that taking practical steps towards the longstanding free zone goal is possible by focusing on such substantial issues instead of the political impasse.
The second expert panel on May 10th was on "Assessing the Transformative Potential of the JCPOA" for regional security. Goren presented the outlook for the next Prepcom in Geneva and the threat posed by a terrorist organization, such as ISIS, obtaining radiological weapons. She argued that a regional arrangement for securing radiological materials would enhance the security of all states in the Middle East/Gulf and could therefore serve as a trust-building device.
Goren will also serve as a moderator on a third panel for the 2018 Preparatory Committee of the NPT in Geneva on rallying the technical and disarmament and nonproliferation communities around the specter of a WMD-possessing non-state/hybrid actor such as ISIS.