Seminar 'The future of nuclear (dis)armament'


Lately, nuclear disarmament has figured prominently on the agenda at various policy levels. At the international level, the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was held from 27 April to 22 May 2015 at the UN in New York. Little progress was made by this conference on issues of nuclear disarmament. Yet, at the international level a more positive note was struck during the past months with the agreement in principle about a nuclear deal with Iran.

At the Belgian level, nuclear disarmament found its way on the political agenda in connection with the country’s position at the NPT Review Conference and as an important note in the discussions concerning the question of purchasing new combat aircraft for the Belgian army with the capacity to carry nuclear weapons. Moreover, on 22 April 2015, the regional Flemish Parliament voted on a resolution concerning ‘the ban on weapons of mass destruction’ which resulted in an all-party agreement that called for a nuclear arms-free world and for the removal of nuclear weapons from Flanders. 

Following the publication of the Dutch and French translations of the summary of the SIPRI Yearbook 2015, the Flemish Peace Institute and GRIP (Groupe de Recherche et d’Information sur la Paix et la Sécurité) – in collaboration with SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) – are organizing a seminar on the topic of nuclear disarmament. In its yearbook, SIPRI invariably draws up an annual state of affairs concerning nuclear disarmament. 

During their coming seminar, the Flemish Peace Institute and GRIP intend to draw up, in collaboration with SIPRI, a balance sheet of the current state of affairs concerning worldwide nuclear disarmament. In addition, the situation in, and the role of, Belgium within that broad context will be examined: what exactly is the role and purpose of the nuclear weapons stationed in Kleine Brogel (BE)?  What avenues and actions are open to the federal and/or regional authorities to play their part within the context of nuclear disarmament? What actions can be taken to follow up on the resolution of the Flemish Parliament? 


The seminar will be held at the Flemish Parliament in De Loketten, entrance and reception desk at IJzerenkruisstraat 99, 1000 Brussels.

Please register via the link below.

Working languages are English, French and Dutch (interpretation available) 




9h30 – 10h00: Reception with coffee


10h00 –10h15: Opening by Sigurd Schelstraete, Deputy Director Disarmament and Non-Proliferation - Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation


10h15 – 11h15: Panel: The International State of Affairs

  • Tariq Rauf, Director of the Disarmament, Arms and Non-Proliferation Programme of SIPRI
  • Jean-Marie Collin, associated researcher GRIP, Director of the French section of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament international network
  • Dr Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges (NATO)

Chair: Tomas Baum, Director Flemish Peace Institute


11h15 – 12h15: Panel: The Role of Belgium and its Regions

  • Prof. Tom Sauer,  Professor of International Politics at the UA (University of Antwerp)
  • Wouter Vanbesien, Member of the Flemish Parliament (Groen)
  • Prof. Alexander Mattelaer, Assistant Director and Acting Academic Director of the Institute for European Studies

Chair: Federico Santopinto, Head of Research at GRIP


12h15 – 12h30: Concluding remarks by Dan Smith, Director of SIPRI

12h30 – 14h00: Walking lunch