International Seminar on Nuclear Weapons


A few weeks before the negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, OPANAL organized the International Seminar "A world free of nuclear weapons: is it possible? is it desirable? how could it be achieved?"

The Seminar consisted of two panels. The first panel was focused on the international strategic context, which continues to be linked to nuclear weapons. The second panel was focused on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear disarmament in its different aspects.

Twelve experts, from twelve different countries, made presentations that were opened to debate and different views emerged: some in favor of nuclear weapons as means of achieving international security and others in favor of banning these weapons of mass destruction.

Panelists who attended included experts such as Dr. William J. Perry, former Secretary of Defense of the United States, and Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the civil society organization awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

See the photos of the Seminar.


Download the publication of the International Seminar which includes the presentations of panelists and debates.








Programme of the Seminar

Registration 9:30 –10:00 hrs


Panel I: Strategic Context
10:30 – 13:30 hrs




Dr. William J. Perry (United States)

Former Secretary of Defense of the United States


Ambassador Sergio González Gálvez (Mexico)

Former Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico


Mr. Kim Won-soo (Republic of Korea)

Former United Nations Under Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs


Lord Desmond Browne (United Kingdom)

Former Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom


Ms. Angela Kane (Germany)

Former United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs


Ambassador D. B. Venkatesh Varma (India)

Former Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament


Panel II: Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
 15:30 – 18:30 hrs



Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala (Sri Lanka)

Former President of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs




Ms. Beatrice Fihn (Sweden)

Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)




Ambassador José Luis Cancela (Uruguay)

Former Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Uruguay


Ambassador Alexander Kmentt (Austria)

Permanent Representative of Austria to the Political and Security Committee of the European Union, Chair of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons




Ambassador Thani Thongphakdi (Thailand)

Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva, Chair of the Open-ended Working Group Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations (2016)


Ms. Shorna-Kay Richards (Jamaica)

Director of the Bilateral Relations Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Former Deputy Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations