High-level diplomats from the United States and Russia—including U.S. Under Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov—met at the Middlebury Institute April 8 and 9 for a special workshop focused on tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The workshop on “Security and Nuclear Challenges on the Korean Peninsula” was hosted by the Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) and convened by CNS Founder/Director William Potter. Additional participants included Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo, former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry, and California Governor Jerry Brown. The workshop was co-organized by CNS and its Russian partner the Center for Energy and Security Studies.
“I believe this dialogue contributed to a better understanding of the nuclear and security challenges on the Korean Peninsula,” said Potter, who has long analyzed U.S.-Russian cooperation on nonproliferation. “It also demonstrated that nonproliferation is an area in which the United States and Russian share significant common interests.” The two-day workshop involved both government officials and academic experts.
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Institute Jeff Dayton-Johnson welcomed the workshop participants Friday morning, reading a letter from Middlebury President Laurie L. Patton, who noted that she would be “hard-pressed to think of an issue more vital or more congruent with the interests and expertise of the Middlebury Institute than collaborative international efforts to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons.”
At a dinner for workshop participants Friday evening, California State Senate Majority Leader and former Institute faculty member Bill Monning presented certificates of recognition to Zerbo and Potter. Governor Brown gave a short address before Executive Secretary Zerbo delivered the dinner’s keynote address.
Founded in 1989, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies is today the largest nongovernmental organization in the world that trains graduate students and conducts research on ways to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Faculty and staff are recognized as experts in nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and hundreds of graduates of the Institute’s Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies program have gone on to occupy positions of influence around the world, representing nations and international organizations in negotiations. In addition to its home in Monterey, CNS has offices in Washington, D.C. and Vienna, Austria.