Former US Defense Department Official and Former Holy See Advisor to Address Legal and Moral Aspects of Nuclear Weapon Use

For Immediate Release

April 28, 2015: (New York) Can nuclear possessor states reconcile their use of—and threat to use—nuclear weapons with the laws of war? If so, how?

Concurrently, can these states reconcile the use—and threat to use—nuclear weapons within frameworks of morality? If so, how?

To address these contentious debates, the Global Security Institute will host a special session titled “Nuclear Weapons, International Humanitarian Law and Morality,” at the United Nations on Thursday, April 30, at 1:15 pm in Conference Room C. The event will feature remarks by David Koplow, former deputy general counsel in the US Department of Defense, and Senator Douglas Roche, former Canadian ambassador who has also served on the delegation of the Holy See to the United Nations.

“Law is the articulation of values, and values must be based on moral foundations to have credibility,” says Jonathan Granoff, president of the Global Security Institute who will serve as a respondent at the April 30 event. “Our technological abilities must not outstrip our moral insights and render us less than fully human. For in this age, to act without the gifts of morality, law, and wisdom is lethal.”

Mr. Koplow is a member of the Washington-based Bipartisan Security Group (BSG), and Senator Roche is Chairman Emeritus of the Middle Powers Initiative (MPI). Both BSG and MPI are programs of the Global Security Institute.

Available for comment:

Jonathan Granoff: +1 (484) 620-4967;

David Koplow: + (202) 662-9567;

Douglas Roche: +(780) 984-8292 ;

David A. Koplow has been a professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. since 1981.  His primary fields for teaching and scholarship involve public international law and national security law, with a particular emphasis upon arms control, non-proliferation, and anti-terrorism.  He has published five books and numerous law review articles regarding treaty negotiation, verification, and implementation, and regarding the intersection between international legal standards and U.S. constitutional and statutory law.  He has served in government as Attorney-Advisor, and as Special Assistant to the Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from 1978 to 1981; as Deputy General Counsel for International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Defense from 1997 to 1999; and as Special Counsel for Arms Control to the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense from 2009 to 2011.   He is a graduate of Harvard College and the Yale Law School, and was a Rhodes Scholar.

Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., is an author, parliamentarian and diplomat, who has specialized throughout his 40-year public career in peace and human security issues.  He lectures widely on peace and nuclear disarmament themes.  Mr. Roche was a Senator, Member of Parliament, Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament at the United Nations and Visiting Professor at the University of Alberta.  He was elected Chairman of the United Nations Disarmament Committee at the 43rd General Assembly in 1988.  His newest book, The United Nations in the 21st Century, will be published in September, 2015.

Rhianna Tyson Kreger is Senior Officer at the Global Security Institute and Managing Editor for the Nonproliferation Review, a journal of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. From 2003-05, Ms. Kreger was the Project Manager of the Reaching Critical Will project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, United Nations Office, after first entering the field of arms control and nonproliferation as an intern with the Washington-based Arms Control Association. Her work has been published numerous times online at The Huffington Post and Common Dreams, as well as in niche publications such as Disarmament Forum, the quarterly publication of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), The IAEA Bulletin, the flagship publication of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and others. Ms. Kreger has a B.A. in Gender and International Relations from Hampshire College and an MSc in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. 

Jonathan Granoff is President of the Global Security Institute and Special Representative for the United Religions Initiative, as well as Chair of the Task Force on Nuclear Non-proliferation of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association, an Adjunct Professor of International Law at the Widener University School of Law, and Special Adviser to the Nobel Peace Laureate Summit Secretariat. 

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