Pugwash Peace & Disarmament Conference – SYP UK Annual Conference

Pic from SYP UK 2018 conference

Image: A session at SYP UK Conf 2018

Student/Young Pugwash UK is collaborating with British Pugwash to host a major, one-day conference exploring the prospects for arms control and disarmament over the coming years.

The conference will be on 23rd February 2019 at SOAS, London. Register here.

Registration and refreshments are at 10am. Opening panel starts at 10.30am sharp.

Pugwash Peace & Disarmament Conference will consider cutting-edge issues in nuclear weapons policy and emerging technologies, as well as the underlying political dynamics that influence them.


Opening Panel: Global context

Our opening panel will include Peter Jenkins (former UK Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency), Dr Heather Williams (Lecturer in Defence Studies at KCL) and Dr Tim Street (Oxford Research Group), covering trends in international relations and technology.


Afternoon workshops: Nukes and emerging technologies

The afternoon will include workshops on nuclear weapons and emerging technologies, led by young researchers and others in the Student/Young Pugwash (SYP) UK network.

Workshop A: Nuclear arms control and disarmament

  • Ideas about nuclear disarmament – Jana Wattenberg – PhD Candidate – Aberystwyth University
  • The Nuclear Ban Treaty – Taniel Yusef – Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom
  • The JCPOA’s ‘Other’ Issues: Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program & Regional Activity” – Ezra Friedman, International SYP
  • Strategies for Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Universalization and Entry-Into-Force: Notes from the Field Sahil Shah – CTBTO Youth Group and ELN – VIDEO MESSAGE
  • Hypersonic missiles vs strategic stability – Matteo Frigoli – Independent researcher

Workshop B: Nuclear weapons policies – Countries and regions

  • Arms Control and Nuclear Confidence Building Measures: Analysing the Pragmatism of Nuclear Risk Reduction Measures between Pakistan and India – Mastoor Qurat-ul-ain – Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad
  • Politics of Nuclear Arms Race in South Asia – Syed Adnan Athar Bukhari – University of Leicester
  • Nuclear Command and Control norms – Dr Salma Shaheen, KCL
  • Emergent problems in the UK’s nuclear weapon upgrade programmes – David Cullen – Nuclear Information Service
  • A Nuclear-Armed North Korea: Lessons From The Past – Louis Reitmann – LSE

Workshop C: Emerging technologies

  • Malware Proliferation and Challenges to International Security: Understanding the Impact on Critical Infrastructure – Muhammed Ali, Plymouth University
  • The Earth observation boom – Tom Syndercombe – University of Warwick Aerospace Society
  • Dark web trade in illicit nuclear materials and knowledge – Stephan Blancke – Independent researcher
  • Social Media: Weapon of Mass confusion – David Almassi – Warwick Pugwash
  • Speaker on autonomous weapons (‘killer robots’) – tbc


Late afternoon – Technology 101 sessions: 

The day will end with short, intensive sessions introducing participants to the technical side of key issues, including how nuclear weapons work and autonomous weapons (‘killer robots’)

Late afternoon – Future research and campaigns:

There will also be a discussion led by Dr Tim Street about how NGOs, researchers and campaigners can work together over the coming year to advance arms control and disarmament. Bring your ideas!


More info

  • The conference will close with a drinks reception.
  • It is organised by SYP UK, in collaboration with British Pugwash Group.
  • It is multidisciplinary and open to people of all ages.
  • The above programme is a draft and subject to change.
  • NB. British Pugwash is offering free membership for 1 year to all conference attendees under 30 years old. For more on this, contact syp@britishpugwash.org 


Photos from our last Annual Conference