[Online training programme] Disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction 2021

27 September - 01 October 2021
  • Starts at: 09:00h
  • Fee: €995
  • Venue: Online
  • Organiser: T.M.C. Asser Instituut & the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
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The challenges posed to international security by nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons are as urgent today as they were during the Cold War. There is an increasing demand for professionals in the field of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to tackle the challenges of today’s non-proliferation and disarmament agenda with a more integrated understanding of these issues.

From 27 September – 1 October 2021, T.M.C. Asser Instituut in The Hague will host the twelfth training programme on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, co-organised with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

During this intensive online training programme, participants should expect to receive a comprehensive overview of non-proliferation and disarmament efforts regarding WMD. They will learn from renowned experts and practitioners and engage in active discussions about relevant topics and debates. Participants will also be provided with opportunities to build their network and connect with experts in the field, as well as their fellow participants.

Weapons of Mass Destruction have re-entered the international political stage. After many years in which there was relatively little attention for these weapons and the agreements dealing with them, chemical weapons were used in Syria, Malaysia and the United Kingdom, and nuclear weapons returned in political rhetoric and arms races as if the Cold War has never ended. Due to increasing international tensions, arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament initiatives are under pressure. How should we understand and deal with these new dynamics?

The annual training programme on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction offers in-depth knowledge on this topic.

Key topics: Chemical weapons, nuclear weapons, biological weapons; arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament agreements; export controls and verification mechanisms; international law and diplomacy; geopolitical developments.

Target group: the training programme is designed for early- to mid-career professionals working for governments, for example, national export control bodies, national authorities for the implementation of WMD-related treaties and agreements and national nuclear agencies. Individuals working for non-governmental organisations, think tanks addressing WMD issues and research centres in related disciplines are also invited to apply. Newly arrived diplomats in The Hague are especially encouraged to sign up for the training programme.

Course aim: The WMD training programme offers participants the chance to discuss various aspects of the issue with renowned experts in an interactive and multi-disciplinary way. Participants will leave the programme with a greater understanding of disarmament and non-proliferation efforts and the international legal challenges faced by practitioners in the field.

Participants will gain:

  • In-depth knowledge of the diplomatic, legal and technical aspects of disarmament and non-proliferation;
  • Insight into the work of key professionals in the area of WMD, seasoned with their personal experiences; and
  • Unique networking opportunities with speakers and participants from diverse backgrounds.

We are currently working on the programme. Last year, prominent speakers joined us. To give you an idea, our 2020 programme included the following speakers: 

  • Deepti Choubey, Head, Public Affairs & OPCW Spokesperson, OPCW
  • Sico van der MeerResearch Fellow, Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’
  • Ionut Suseanu, Senior Legal Officer, International Atomic Energy Agency
  • Jenny Nielsen, Public Information Officer, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation
  • Dr Oliver MeierSenior Researcher, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, University of Hamburg
  • Marcel SchouwenburgSenior Lecturer Radiation Protection, Technical University Delft
  • Daniel FeakesChief, Implementation Support Unit (ISU) of the BWC, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs
  • Peter Hotchkiss , Senior Science Policy Officer, OPCW
  • Dr Ian StewartSenior Researcher, King’s College London
  • Gareth Williams, Head, Safety and Analytical Chemistry Cell, OPCW
  • Joseph Ballard, Senior Policy Officer, OPCW
  • Santiago Oñate, Head, Investigation and Identification Team, OPCW
  • Prof. Dr Remco BreukerLeiden University
  • Dr Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi, Senior Research Fellow, Royal United Services Institute
  • Ingeborg Denissen, Head Non-Proliferation & Disarmament, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Mr Anthony Henderson, Senior Public Affairs Officer, OPCW 
  • Susi Snyder, Project lead No Nukes project, PAX 
  • Marina Favaro, Policy Analyst, British American Security Information Council
  • Natalia Silkina, Legal Officer, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation


Civil Society Scholarships available
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, with funding support from the European Union, offers several competitive scholarships for civil society representatives (e.g., from non-governmental organisations, think tanks, research or academic institutions) working on issues related to the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The scholarships cover the full online tuition fee. Deadline: 15 August, 2021

For inquiries, please contact educationtraining@asser.nl.

Watch an impression of the 2019 edition of the training programme: