… Kazakhstan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Tom D’Agostino, and their international partners “for securing material containing 10 metric tons of highly enriched uranium and three metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium, which is enough to make about 775 nuclear weapons. The operation is the largest of its kind and is an example of the international cooperation envisaged by the leaders attending the April 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C.”
The winners received the highest number votes in ACA’s online poll conducted earlier this month. Nine other individuals, institutions, and country groups were nominated by the staff of the Arms Control Association to highlight that there are many ways in which individual citizens, leaders, and institutions, all across the globe can and do strengthen international security by advancing practical arms control solutions.
The hard work of actually dismantling and securing nuclear facilities and materials is an often forgotten, but essential, part of arms control. The campaign to secure the nuclear material in Kazahkstan is a concrete example of the multilateral cooperation that is needed to control and eliminate the risks posed by world’s most dangerous weapons.
A number of other nominees deserve honorable mention, particularly for their work on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).
Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind), who won in 2009, received the second most votes in 2010 for his “his courageous and unflinching leadership for prompt Senate approval of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty despite months of partisan division in the Senate on the treaty.” For months, Lugar worked to push New START forward despite opposition from some prominent Republican Senators. Eventually 12 of Lugar’s Republican colleagues joined him in supporting the treaty.
Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev earned the third most votes for “their leadership efforts to negotiate and sign the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which would reduce each side’s strategic deployed nuclear arsenals by 30% below current limits and reestablish on-site monitoring of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals.”
The United States’ chief New START negotiator, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller received a significant number of write in votes, as did Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.), who patiently and expertly guided New START through the Senate to a 71-26 vote of approval earlier this month.
The online poll was open between Dec. 14 to 28, 2010, garnering nearly 800 votes from individuals around the globe. For the list of all 2010 nominees, see http://www.armscontrol.org/pressroom/2010POTY.
Past winners of the “Arms Control Person of the Year” are: 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).