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The annual Critical Issues Forum conference culminates a year-long program designed to increase high school students’ awareness of nonproliferation and disarmament issues and enhance critical thinking skills by giving students from both the U.S. and Russia the opportunity to work with nonproliferation experts from the Monterey Institute of International Studies’ James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS).

More than 100 students and teachers from 12 United States high schools and 10 schools in Russia’s closed nuclear cities will gather to present their research on “Nuclear Nonproliferation: Global Opportunities and Regional Challenges” at an April 22-23 Critical Issues Forum (CIF) spring conference sponsored by CNS. Working under the guidance of teachers and researchers trained at the Institute and CNS, the students have studied how much progress the world has made and is likely to achieve toward the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.

Students will present their views on current developments and future prospects for nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, including the new START follow-on arms control treaty signed recently in Prague, the Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington earlier this week, and the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Review conference to be held next month at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

In addition to student research and cultural exchange, the conference will also feature a keynote speech by Dr. Patricia Lewis, deputy director and scientist-in-residence at CNS and advisor to the International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir