Lord Des Browne briefs Young Nuclear Professionals Group

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On 4 December UNA-UK was delighted to welcome Former Secretary State for Defence, the Rt Hon Lord Browne of Ladyton, to address the Young Nuclear Professionals Group (YNPG). The Group, established by UNA-UK in 2011 as part of the Towards Zero programme, seeks to bring together young professionals and research students involved in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation policy and research, in a forum that encourages frank discussion and open debate.

Bringing together participants from think-tanks such as Chatham House and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), NGOs including Global Zero, students from universities including King’s College London, as well as staff from the Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the YNPG seeks to engage as diverse a group as possible on pertinent international nuclear-related matters.

The Group's third meeting took place in the Houses of Parliament, where Lord Browne discussed some of the main nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation challenges facing the world today, including tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, the renewal of the UK’s nuclear weaponry and the prospects for global nuclear disarmament. During a lively question and answer session, participants quizzed the former Defence Secretary on issues ranging from nuclear weapons and humanitarian law, to the question of what, if anything, UK unilateral nuclear disarmament would bring to global political efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.

Also in attendance at this meeting was 18 year old Ethan McLaughlin, winner of the Generation United Nations competition to attend this event and experience firsthand how such issues are discussed by experts in this field.

The group is due to meet again in spring 2013. If you would like to learn more or get involved, please contact the group’s coordinator, James Kearney, UNA-UK Peace and Security Programmes Manager, at kearney@una.org.uk or on 020 7766 3443.