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Chicago Council on Global Affairs Convenes Task Force on Reducing Nuclear Weapons in Europe

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - March 06, 2014) - The Chicago Council on Global Affairs announced today it is partnering with Global Zero to convene a task force on NATO nuclear weapons policy to develop options for reducing nuclear weapons from Europe. The task force, which is composed of senior former ministers and officials from Europe and the United States, will develop recommendations on how to reduce the nuclear danger in Europe in time for the NATO Summit, which will convene in Wales this September.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former U.K. Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind are co-chairing the initiative. Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder, president of The Chicago Council and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, and Ambassador Richard Burt, U.S. chair of Global Zero and former U.S. ambassador to Germany, are co-directing the work of the task force. The Chicago Council has received generous support from Ploughshares Fund and the governments of Norway and Sweden for the project.

Budgetary pressures in the United States and Europe are compelling a fresh look at modernization decisions of nuclear weapons deployed in Europe. And significant decisions to bolster deterrence and defense capabilities and preparedness by NATO in recent years warrant a new look at how to reduce nuclear weapons in Europe.

"The time has come to re-examine the nuclear weapons postures in Europe and see how we can reduce the risks of deploying still large numbers of U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons at dispersed locations," said Daalder. The task force will provide recommendations on how to reduce these weapons stockpiles on a reciprocal basis.

Task force members include: Hikmet Çetin, former minister of foreign affairs for Turkey; Espen Barth Eide, former minister of foreign affairs and defense of Norway; Wolfgang Ischinger, former German ambassador to the United States and the United Kingdom; Artis Pabriks, former minister of foreign affairs and defense of Latvia; Giampaolo di Paola, former minister of defense for Italy and former chairman of the NATO military committee; John Sheehan, former U.S. Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic for NATO; and Maxime Verhagen, former deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs of the Netherlands.

An initial meeting of the task force took place on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in January. Its first formal meeting will be convened in London on March 10. The task force expects to issue its report by June 2014.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, founded in 1922, is an independent, non-partisan organization committed to educating the public -- and influencing the public discourse -- on global issues of the day. Long known for its public opinion surveys of American views on foreign policy, The Chicago Council also brings together stakeholders to examine issues and offer recommendations in areas such as global agriculture, the global economy, global security, global immigration, global cities, and global energy. Learn more at thechicagocouncil.org and follow @ChicagoCouncil for updates.

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