Two Major Conferences on Nuclear Weapons: One in New Jersey; One in Basel, Switzerland

April 5th, 2019 - by The New Jersey Institute of Technology

NJIT Conference: “Steps to a Nuclear Weapons-Free World”

NEWARK, N.J. (March 14, 2019) — On April 14, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) will host “Steps to a Nuclear Weapons-Free World” — an all-day conference featuring nine of the country’s leading experts in nuclear weapons and policy, who will address the critical and complex nature of the nuclear weapons issue today.

The conference will be led by two internationally renowned keynote speakers — Daniel Ellsberg, former presidential adviser and chief figure in the release of the Pentagon Papers during the Nixon administration, as well as author of “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner”; and Robert Jay Lifton, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of psychiatry and psychology at The City University of New York, and author of The Apocalyptic Twins: Nuclear and Climate Threats and Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima, which was awarded the National Book Award in Science.

The conference will address strategies for nuclear disarmament and modern security threats related to the issue of nuclear weapons, such as false-positive alarms, accidents from aging stockpiles and cyber attacks. Conference speakers will also discuss topics such as the medical and environmental impact of modern nuclear weapons radiation, the modernizing of nuclear forces and recent policy decisions involving the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, as well as effective communication methods for educating the general public about nuclear weapons.

“There is an urgent need for new efforts to make the world safe from nuclear war and nuclear threats, to hold the nine nuclear-armed countries to account for the dangers they pose to humanity, and to move towards a world free of nuclear weapons. This conference aims to explore these issues and help chart a path forward for the United States on redirecting nuclear weapons policy towards reducing nuclear weapons dangers, nuclear weapons budgets, and ultimately, towards disarmament.” — Zia Mian, co-director, Princeton’s Program on Science and Global Security

“Irresponsible policies have ignited a new arms race and increased the risk of a nuclear conflict. An engaged and empowered public is necessary to challenge the status quo and advance the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.” — Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy, Arms Control Association

“The nuclear weapons issue is as critical as ever, and it must be seen not as a single isolated technical issue, but as one connected with environmental, economic, social policy and foreign policy. NJIT has invited a select group of experts to evaluate current nuclear policies and suggest ways to reduce the level of nuclear threat on our planet. We also hope to inform younger students who will someday be in positions of leadership…it is imperative we provide them with a better scope of this issue.” — Jay Kappraff, conference chairman and Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at NJIT

Along with Ellsberg and Lifton — who will present via live-stream broadcast — the diverse list of distinguished speakers scheduled to present live at NJIT includes:
• Zia Mian, physicist and co-director at Princeton’s Program on Science and Global Security, and co-author of “Unmaking the Bomb”
• Bruce Blair, research scholar at Princeton’s Program on Science and Global Security, MacArthur Fellow and former U.S. Air Force Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile launch control officer
• Kelsey Davenport, director of nonproliferation policy, Arms Control Association, and expert in nuclear and missile programs of Iran, North Korea, India, and Pakistan
• Lisbeth Gronlund, physicist and co-director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and expert in U.S. nuclear weapons policy
• Laura Grego, senior scientist in the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and expert in outer space security
• Ray Acheson, director of Reaching Critical Will, and recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
• Elaine Scarry, Harvard University, Cabot Professor of aesthetics and the general theory of value, and author of “Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing between Democracy and Doom”

WHEN: SUNDAY, APRIL 14, 2019, 9 a.m.—5 p.m.
Registration includes a continental breakfast, lunch, coffee/tea break and a booklet of position papers by the speakers.
NJIT welcomes attendees from all area colleges and universities.
For registration and further event details, visit:
For more information, contact:

About the New Jersey Institute of Technology

One of only 32 polytechnic universities in the United States, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) prepares undergraduate and graduate students and professionals to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT’s multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. NJIT has a $2 billion annual economic impact on the State of New Jersey, conducts approximately $160 million in research activity each year, and is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cybersecurity, in addition to others. NJIT is ranked #1 nationally by Forbes for the upward economic mobility of its lowest-income students and is among the top 2 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to

International Conference: Move the Nuclear Weapons Money

The Basel Peace Office

BASEL, Switzerland (April 12-13, 2019) — An international conference on divestment and other actions by cities, universities, parliaments and religious institutions to reverse the nuclear arms race and protect the climate

We take this opportunity to remind you of Move the Nuclear Weapons Money: Investing in a sustainable future, an international conference on divestment and other actions by cities, universities, parliaments and religious institutions to reverse the nuclear arms race and protect the climate.

Nuclear weapons and climate change create existential threats to humanity and the environment. Federal governments have committed to eliminating both threats—nuclear weapons through the disarmament obligation in the Non-Proliferation Treaty and climate change through the Paris Agreement.

However, implementation of these obligations is being prevented by institutional inertia and vested financial interests in the status quo, especially from the fossil fuel and nuclear weapons industries. Corporations involved in the nuclear weapons industry, for example, actively lobby their parliaments and governments to allocate even more funds to nuclear weapons. And they support think tanks and other public relations initiatives to promote the ‘need’ for nuclear weapons to be maintained, modernized and deployed.

Basel Peace Office has joined with other partners in launching Move the Nuclear Weapons Money, a global initiative to cut nuclear weapons budgets and investments, and reinvest these in climate protection, peace and key areas of a sustainable economy, such as education, renewable energy, health, job creation and sustainable development.

One of the most effective tools for non-nuclear governments, cities, universities and civil society is nuclear weapons divestment. Such action puts economic and political pressure on corporations to abandon their involvement in the nuclear weapons industry or convert such production to civilian purposes. Similar divestment from the fossil fuel industry can assist in cutting carbon use and supporting renewable energy.

Already several governments, cities, religious institutions and universities in Europe, USA and globally have adopted nuclear weapons and or fossil fuel divestment policies. These include the Swiss War Materials Act of 2012, Berlin city policy on non-investment in armed warfare, Göttingen university policy of non-investment in fossil fuels or nuclear weapons, Cambridge MA city policy of divesting from nuclear weapons, and the UK Quaker meetings divestment from fossil fuels.

Additional impetus for nuclear weapons divestment comes from the 1996 International Court of Justice opinion on nuclear weapons, United Nations adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017 and the UN Human Rights Committeeaffirmation in October 2018 that nuclear weapons violate the Right to Life as codified in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

This conference will bring together legislators (mayors, city councilors and parliamentarians), financial managers, and experts in disarmament and climate change to examine successful divestment policies and support their expansion and replication. The conference will also address impact investment and build cooperation to advance related nuclear disarmament policies.

The conference will build upon previous Basel events including a European Regional Meeting of Mayors for Peace and PNND held in January 2019, the 2019 Basel Peace Forum which focused on impact investment, and an international conference in Basel in September 2017 on Human Rights, Future Generations and Crimes in the Nuclear Age.

The conference is hosted by the Basel Stadt Kanton (city of Basel), organised by Basel Peace Office and held during the 2019 Global Days of Action on Military Spending, a campaign launched by the International Peace Bureau.


  • General (ret) Bernard Norlain (France)Vice-President of Initiatives pour le désarmement nucléaire and Former Air Defense Commander;
  • Bärbel Höhn MP (Germany), Chair of the Global Renewables Congress;
  • Marit Nybakk (Norway), Former Vice-President of the Norwegian Parliament;
  • Fabian Hamilton MP (UK), UK Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament;
  • Elisabeth Ackermann (Switzerland), President of the Basel Stadt Kanton;
  • Cllr Audrey Doig (UK), Member of the Renfrewshire City Council and Vice Chair of Nuclear Free Local Authorities Scotland;
  • Serge Stroobants (Belgium)Director of European Operations for the Institute for Economics and Peace and the Global Peace Index;
  • Quique Sánchez (Spain), Coordination team member for the Global Campaign on Military Spending;
  • Rudolf Rechsteiner (Switzerland), President of the Ethos Foundation, Swiss Pension Fund Manager;
  • Nishant Malapatti (USA)Financial adviser for Blackrock USA;
  • Margret Kiener Nellen MP (Switzerland), Head of Swiss delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly;
  • Maaike Beenes (Netherlands), Program officer humanitarian disarmament at PAX Netherlands and researcher for Don’t Bank on the Bomb; 
  • Daniel Rietiker (Switzerland)President of the Association of Swiss Lawyers for Nuclear Disarmament; ,
  • Jurgen Grasslin, Spokesman of the campaign Crying out loud—Stop Weapons Exports!of the German Peace Society (DFG-VK);
  • Ute Finckh-Kraemer (Germany), former Vice-Chair, Bundestag Subcommittee on Disarmament and Arms Control;
  • Laurent Goeschel (Switzerland), Executive Director of Swisspeace;
  • Keith Suter (Australia), Member Club of Rome. Foreign Affairs Editor, TV Channel 7 “The Morning Show;
  • Chayley Collis (UK), Member of Huddersfield Quakers;
  • Andreas Nidecker MD (Switzerland), President of the Basel Peace Office. Board Member of Swiss Physicians for Social Responsibility;
  • Marzhan Nurzhan (Kazakhstan), Coordinator Abolition 2000 Youth Network.
  • Marc Finaud (France/Switzerland), Geneva Centre for Security Policy

Program Sessions:

  1. Policies to address the threats and impact of nuclear weapons & climate change
  2. Socially responsible and impact investment. Building a peace economy.
  3. Divestment at federal, regional and city levels
  4. Divestment by banks, universities, religious groups and other institutions
  5. Nuclear weapons impact, risk reduction and disarmament

Building the campaign—shifting economics towards peace

Conference Details and Registration

Conference languages:
Day 1: English, French and German Day 2. English and German
Day 1. Basel Rathaus (City Council Chambers). Day 2. University of Basel
Conference fees:
Day 1. Free Conference dinner: 70 CHF Day 2: 50 CHF.
Accomodation and Registration:
Click here to see accomodation possibilities and to register. For inquiries please contact
We look forward to welcoming you to Basel.
Yours sincerely, The Basel Peace Office Team