Political Science Students attending the Nuclear Forum for NextGen Engagement on WMD Disarmament and Peaceful Nuclear Uses

SAM 3130SAM 3132Under the guidance of Dr. Mahmoud Karem, a number of BUE political science students were selected to participate on the Nuclear Forum- Cairo Session on October 3rd-4th, 2017. The Forum was organized by the Arab Institute for Security Studies, the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, Pugwash of Egypt, and the U.S. Nuclear Threat Institute under the auspices and participation of the Arab League at the Egyptian Diplomatic Club. The main agenda of the Forum was introduce and discuss the prospects “Towards a NextGen group of experts on security and WMD issues”.

The Forum was organised to familiarise students and participants on the Non-Proliferation Treaty, history of nuclear disarmament (technical, diplomatic and political efforts) and key organsations concerned with the process. The platform for knowledge-sharing and dialogue on the Forum was essentially an insightful experience as panelists were government advisors, diplomats, researchers and policymakers. This facilitated students’ capacity to learn on topics and issues from different perspectives and experiences. Students demonstrated their interest by asking questions to understand technical aspects of nuclear facilities’ construction and maintenance, nuclear waste management, and resources management and sustainability of nuclear energy projects. Moreover, they exhibited their engagement with the discussions by reflecting on the provided technical knowledge and relating it to policy issues e.g. urban planning, infrastructure and social services to workers on nuclear energy facilities.

Other policy issues raised by students developed based on their readings of current international events and in light of panel discussions such as the panel on ‘export restrictions’. Specifically, students were interested to know Arab League’s efforts disarmament and Non-Proliferation Treaty provisions to be accepted by non-signatory states.

Moreover, panelists stressed to students that peaceful uses of nuclear energy go beyond an alternative to electricity. Such uses brought to students attention re agricultural and medicinal.  Students were further introduced to critical concepts emerging in the present-time debate such as ‘nuclear security’ and ‘nuclear safety’. Illustrated by the questions raised on their behalf, panelists engaged in clarifying what these concepts stand for and their value to policy-making, and research considerations.
Panelists were keen on taking and addressing students’ questions. Most questions were particularly through the panels on: “Treaty on prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”, “Peaceful uses of nuclear energy”, and “Nuclear security and fuel cycle”.
Dr. Mahmoud Karem reiterated the centrality of NextGen forums and participation in giving youth the know-hows and avenues to shape and secure a peaceful nuclear age.