Tuesday 19 Oct 2021 | 16:44 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 19 Oct 2021 | 16:44 | SYDNEY

Who will sit on Rudd new disarmament panel?


Rory Medcalf


25 June 2008 17:02

Since The Interpreter’s eyes are already on Arms Control Wonk today, it is also worth noting that Wonk correspondent James Acton, a rising star among global arms control scholars, has his gaze on the Australian Government’s new nuclear disarmament commission. James is even inviting readers to suggest names for the new panel, and has provided a handy list of former Canberra Commissioners to give a sense of the talent pool.

Far be it for The Interpreter to second-guess Canberra’s selection of suitable luminaries for its new expert panel. But it will be vital that the composition of the new commission strikes multiple balances, including:

  • broad geographical and geopolitical representation, with individuals hailing from nuclear haves and haves-not, established and rising powers, and NPT and non-NPT states;
  • original thinkers with deep experience, eminence and expertise; and
  • a plurality of viewpoints, yet sufficient potential meeting of minds to make consensus possible. (A consensus report along the lines of the Canberra Commission would promise more impact than a caveated product like the Tokyo Forum action plan, from which the Indian and to some extent the Chinese commissioner ended up distancing themselves).

Trawling the lists of panellists from previous efforts – the Canberra Commission, Tokyo Forum, Blix Commission et al – will be as useful in identifying who to exclude as who to include. If the new commission is intended to produce new ideas, then it will benefit from fresh voices.