The event will also focus on the future of peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology in a post-pandemic world with specific focus on the future of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The event will also feature a discussion on why recent attacks on Ukraine’s nuclear power plants matter to the rest of the world.
Despite treaties such as the NPT, nuclear weapons states continue to expand or modernise their arsenals. Non-nuclear weapons states are showing their support for abolishing these weapons by joining the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the Ban Treaty), but is this enough to put pressure on nuclear weapons states to get rid of their arsenals? Might there be a more active role for civil society, especially the youth and women – who are most deeply impacted by the humanitarian consequences of such weapons – to play in ending nuclear proliferation and promoting the peaceful and developmental uses of nuclear science and technology? Recent events in Ukraine have shown that nuclear weapons remain an existential threat with global consequences. As the world’s largest nuclear-weapons-free zone, established by the Pelindaba Treaty, and familiar with the destructive consequences of nuclear weapons testing, Africa sets an example on commitment to the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology, albeit with its own set of challenges relating to institutional capacity, public education, and participation.
SAIIA’s ‘Atoms 4 Development Project’ focuses on the nexus between nuclear security in securing global peace and the peaceful use of nuclear technology in catalysing development towards Africa’s achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. For the past three years, the ‘Atoms 4 Development Project’, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has worked to focus attention on the need to strengthen African nuclear governance to support the peaceful application of nuclear technology for Africa’s development. It has contributed to enhancing the capacity of Africa’s nuclear governance institutions and official oversight bodies to ensure full compliance with relevant multilateral agreements; informed civil society engagement in nuclear governance and the development utility of nuclear science and technology; strengthened African agency on the use of nuclear science and technology for development; and widening African norm entrepreneurship and voice in global nuclear forums. With the project coming to an end in June 2022, this event aims to offer an overview of the current stance of nuclear science and technology in Africa, focusing on regional and international cooperation to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy; considering the role of civil society, especially the youth and women, in advocating for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy; and finally, looking to the future and discussing important topics such as the use of nuclear energy for civil electricity production in Africa, the future of the NPT, and asking why recent attacks on nuclear power plants in Ukraine matter for Africa and the rest of the world. The event will take place in a hybrid format with key speakers gathering in-person. Virtual participants will be allowed the opportunity to engage with panellists and ask questions during the event.
SAIIA is grateful to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its support for the ‘Atoms for Development’ Project.
Watch the webinar on YouTube:
- Watch the address by Rafael Mariano Grossi – Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA):
- Watch the address by Stian Nordengen Christensen – Acting Ambassador of Norway to Southern Africa: