By the Arms Control Association Staff
The business of tracking and combating the dangers posed by the world’s most dangerous weapons is often filled with grim news and frustrating setbacks. Often lost in the mix are the good deeds that lead to arms control successes.
We believe it is important to recognize key individuals and institutions that best exemplify leadership and action in pursuing effective arms control solutions.
This year, we’ve identified ten worthy nominees. Each, in their own way, has provided the leadership necessary to help reduce the threats posed by some of the world’s most dangerous weapons.
Its up to you and our other online readers to your vote to decide who should be recognized as the “2011 Arms Control Person(s) of the Year.”
UPDATE (Jan. 5): And the winner is …. Kathi Lynn Austin. See our announcement here for further details.
The nominees are:
- Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and the Indonesian Parliament’s coordinator for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) ratification Hemly Fauzy for leading the effort to win their nation’s approval of the Treaty and reducing the number ratifications necessary for CTBT entry into force from 9 to 8.
- Ambassador Jennifer Macmillan of New Zealand, the chair of the Nuclear Suppliers Group during the negotiations leading up to the June NSG meeting at which the 46-nation group finally “agreed to strengthen its guidelines on the transfer of sensitive enrichment and reprocessing technologies,” which can be used to make fissile material for nuclear weapons.
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano for providing the IAEA Board of Governors with his detailed November 2011 report on Iran’s nuclear activities and repeated efforts to seek clarification from Iran about possible weapons-related activities identified by the Agency’s experts.
- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) for highlighting the significant cost savings to U.S. taxpayers that could be achieved by trimming and deferring programs to “modernize” U.S. strategic nuclear delivery systems over the coming decade.
- The Government of Nigeria for becoming the 17th state to successfully clear its territory of landmines as called for by the Mine Ban Treaty, which forbids the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of victim-activated anti-personnel mines.
- The Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, for their 10 nation “Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative.” At their April meeting in Berlin, they called for accelerated progress in eliminating nuclear weapons and outlined a plan of action.
- Reporter and activist Kathi Lynn Austin who, along with other nongovernmental and governmental investigators, has documented and tracked arms smugglers, including the notorious Viktor Bout, who was convicted in a New York court earlier this year, and for highlighting the need for a robust global Arms Trade Treaty.
- Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) for introducing legislation in the U.S. Congress to block the sale of $53 million in U.S. arms to Bahrain pending confirmation from the U.S. Secretary of State that Bahrain has taken a series of specific steps to improve human rights.
- The Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents more than 45,000 U.S. churches from over 40 different denominations, for approving a resolution that calls for further nuclear weapons cuts greater protection of fissile material, and ratification of the CTBT, among other actions.
- Lantheus Medical Imaging, NTP Radioisotopes Ltd. (a subsidiary of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation), and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization for their groundbreaking work to produce medical isotopes using LEU instead of HEU, which can help pave the way to phase out the use of weapons-usable HEU in the civilian sector.
Click here to vote and enter “aca2011” as the password.
Past winners of the “Arms Control Person of the Year” are: Kazakhstan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov and Thomas D’Agostino, U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator (2010); Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) (2009 ), Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and his ministry’s Director-General for Security Policy and the High North Steffen Kongstad (2008), and U.S. Congressmen Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) and David Hobson (R-Ohio) (2007).