July 4 reminds me that ‘miracles really do happen in the course of human events.’ Below are some positive reports, a bit short of the miraculous but valuable all the same.
- On June 9-10, in New Delhi, India, there was a small high-level conference in India, which had the full participation of the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Vice-President and many other senior officials and experts from the region and elsewhere. Senator Roche and myself delivered presentations, and there was a dynamic intervention of PNND member Mani Shankar Aiyar, a senior cabinet member in the Congress party. I would urge you to read the brief report, my presentation Beyond Deterrence, Minister Aiyar’s presentation and the presentation by Senator Roche, and peruse the many articles in the press that quoted me and/or Senator Roche.
- Several suggestions that I offered in my intervention in Iran (See the report of my visit to Tehran) have entered into the substantive negotiations that are taking place internationally now. This is a prime example of the unique efficacy of our work, efforts that are not planned for and for which no credit can be taken, but from which we can take heart that we are making a significant contribution to advancing global peace.
- Later this week, PNND will hold an extraordinary Council meeting in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, at the historic Thinkers’ Lodge. Our website has some preliminary details about the meeting, including draft agenda and a video report from PNND Japan. A full report will be published in a few weeks. Leading MPs will attend, including the Defense Minister of Norway and the Assistant Defence Minister in Australia, to develop a full strategic plan.
- As a global network of parliamentarians, PNND is active all over the world. Just last week, an impressive cross-party group of European Parliamentarians launched support for a total ban on nuclear weapons, at an event outside the European Parliament in Brussels. Our website has some photos and a press release of this important event, along with a listing of the 73+ EPs who signed the statement calling for multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament.
- Prominent members of the Bipartisan Security Group—Ambassador James Goodby and Ambassador Thomas Graham—are engaged in the Hoover Initiative process, which resulted in the oft-cited Wall Street Journal op/eds which have effectively broadened the parameters of acceptable debate on this issue. For a really great and succinct summary of the significance of these articles, look no further than a short piece by GSI Board Member Tyler Wigg Stevenson, who co-authored this fantastic article in Sojourners with our colleague and friend Jessica Wilbanks.
- Also from BSG, Member John Holum is serving as a primary Obama spokesperson on disarmament and non-proliferation issues. He spoke recently at an event organized and sponsored by the Arms Control Association, where he and a spokesman from the McCain campaign discussed their candidates’ views on nuclear arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. See the ACA website for transcripts and a video of the event.
- Last month, I had the opportunity to visit many offices on Capitol Hill with BSG Director Ambassador Robert Grey. I want to share that, in my opinion, he is one of the most extraordinarily effective advocates for nuclear disarmament unknown to the broader public. We are so fortunate to have the privilege of working with him. Remember that one of his first significant jobs was working with Senator Cranston. Synchronicity is amazing.
- I have been contacted by the organizers of a Nobel Laureate Forum in Norway to help create its agenda for their upcoming events in Stavanger. Additionally, I just finished meetings with members of the Secretariat of the Nobel Peace Laureate Summit in Rome which is going to take place in December this year.
- I’d like to also highlight that one of our Board Members, Fred Matser, has a book coming out titled “Rediscover Your Heart,” with a foreword by GSI Advisory Board Member Mikhail Gorbachev, an afterword from Deepak Chopra and contributions from other humanitarians like GSI Advisory Board Member Jane Goodall, Patch Adams, Ruud Lubbers and so many others.
- Additionally, another Board Member, Christina Sidoti, just opened a new restaurant in Camden, Maine. Paolina’s Way— named after Christina’s grandmother– is an organic, Italian restaurant equally committed to delectable meals as it is to supporting local farmers and protecting the environment.
Happily, our new office in New York is up and running. If anyone is in New York, please make sure you include a visit to our new home at the United Nations Plaza. In the meantime, I thank you for your continuing support of our organization, and I hope you had a joyous and safe holiday.
My very best,
Jonathan Granoff, President
Global Security Institute
One Belmont Avenue
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
Tel: +1 610 668 5470
Fax: +1 610 668 5489