Posted on October 27, 2013

Georgetown University Qatar (GU-Q) brought together a select group of participants from the United States, the European Union, and the Middle East, to discuss several critical issues under the theme of “Nuclear Technology, Nuclear Energy and a Middle East WMD-Free Zone,” at a high-calibre scientific and policy conference on their Education City campus.

The conference, which was organized in association with Princeton University’s Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) and the Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia (TRI), ran from October 27 through the 28th, 2013.

"Georgetown is proud to have hosted this conference, which brought academics, diplomats, and policymakers together in Doha to debate complex and often thorny issues at the intersection of nuclear energy, nuclear proliferation, and regional security,” said Dr. Kai-Henrik Barth, conference co-organizer and Senior Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs at GU-Q.

“We seek solutions to energy problems, and these solutions must take regional security concerns into account.  In fact, they should lessen such concerns, " added
 Dr. Frank von Hippel, professor of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, one of the co-sponsors of the event.

The major themes of the conference, such as regional energy trends, reactor technologies, and safety and regional regulatory cooperation, reflected strong predictions revolving around nuclear energy's role in the future energy supply of the region, and sparked debate and discussions related to the question of national versus regional or international governance of the fuel cycle.

The two-day event saw the 20 speakers and 10 participants and guests participating in sessions introduced by several short statements from a panel, followed by open debate that directly connected with the discussion about the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East. Georgetown University will prepare a summary of the conference for publication and dissemination of the discussion’s highlights.

GU-Q has previously tackled the issue of regional Gulf security, as well as the wider issue of nuclear proliferation at several events, such as at a two-day conference organized in association with the British American Security Information Council, a Q&A roundtable for NATO parliamentarians with GU-Q subject matter experts, and at a WMD Awareness Workshop for GU-Q Students.