On 28 August 2015, the first Center for Nonproliferation was opened in Odessa. The official ceremony dedicated to this event was attended by Igor Koval, Rector of the Mechnikov Odessa National University, Lars van Dassen, Head of Secretariat for International Cooperation and Development of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, Polina Sinovets, Head of the Odessa Center for Nonproliferation, Viktor Glebov, Director of the Institute of Social Studies in the Mechnikov Odessa National University, as well as Ukrainian and international nonproliferation experts, junior researchers, students and mass media.
Opening of the Odessa Center for Nonproliferation
Opening of the Center for Nonproliferation is relevant and important because it is needed to find political and diplomatic ways to deal with challenges before the global security system and nuclear nonproliferation related to Russia’s military aggression in the east of Ukraine and threats of nuclear weapon use.
Polina Sinovets, Head of the Center for Nonproliferation, Associate Professor of the International Relations Department in the Mechnikov Odessa University, stated that the Center’s activities would focus on providing Ukrainian and international experts with a platform to exchange competent views and make joint decisions on current issues regarding international relations and global security. She also said: “the Center should become a source for development and training of junior experts, who would have the opportunity not only to obtain the basic knowledge on a wide range of issues regarding international security and nonproliferation, but also be involved directly in one of the scientific and research projects of the Center. In general, it is a unique structure not only for Ukraine, but also for Eastern Europe, and we hope it will be a good step in the development of national science”.
The Center for Nonproliferation has been established with support of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority and Mechnikov Odessa National University.
Lars van Dassen, Head of Secretariat for International Cooperation and Development of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, said: “With the Odessa Center for Nonproliferation it is our aim to strengthen the free and independent research in Ukraine on security political issues in general and issues related to proliferation and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction in particular. It is our hope that the Center will be able to partner with many actors and institutions and formulate projects and achieve funding in such a manner that the Center prospers and develops. It is also our hope that the Center will take on specific regional issues for which its location is particularly suited such as those pertaining to the Black Sea region and also the Middle East. Beyond being a place where experts and scholars read and write we also expect the Center to serve as a venue for round-table discussions, workshops and other exchanges between students, teachers, officials and journalists. We hope that the Center’s activity will contribute to initiating and development of new projects which would strengthen national security of Ukraine and other counties of the Black Sea region”.
He also noted: “In all discussions for the establishment of the Center we have had the benefit of working closely with Rector Koval and his staff. The trust and confidence between us have been indispensable and will be so also in the future”.
Igor Koval, Rector of the Mechnikov Odessa National University, in his welcoming speech pointed out the Center’s importance for development of the Ukrainian science in the nonproliferation area and underlined the following: “It is necessary to continue efforts in the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and confirm that the science and practice have no borders. It is not just the Center’s prerogative, but also the prerogative of the capital. Serious research can be carried out in other cities. It is also important that besides implementation of scientific and research tasks, the Center will also be engaged into educational activities”.
The Center was established through systematic cooperation between the Mechnikov Odessa National University and Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.
In 2006, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority funded the first internships in the nonproliferation area for teachers and postgraduate students of the Mechnikov Odessa National University in the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey, USA.
In 2009, the first International Summer School was held for students, young teachers and experts.
The Swedish Authority and Odessa National University held six Summer Schools on nonproliferation issues for students of Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Georgia and Moldova. These Summer Schools made it possible to train a new generation of nonproliferation experts.
The objective of the Odessa Center for Nonproliferation is to provide opportunities in training and research for a new generation of experts in nuclear safety and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine.
The Odessa Center for Nonproliferation shall become a scientific and educational platform for students and experts from Central and Eastern Europe, and the Black Sea region.
The task of the Odessa Center for Nonproliferation is to improve reviews in the nonproliferation area of Ukraine, Central and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region through the implementation of national and international dialogue, educational activities and research efforts.
More detailed information on the Odessa Center for Nonproliferation can be found at http://odcnp.com.ua.