Programme theme: Defence and security

Our annual deterrence forum addressed the deteriorating relationship with Russia. Rethinking deterrence and assurance: Russia’s strategy relating to regional coercion and possible war and NATO’s response, looked at clearer and more comprehensive assurance and deterrence policies.

The 2014-15 Ebola outbreak: lessons for response to a deliberate event explored the implications for management if a similar outbreak were discovered to have been intentional. The dialogue produced recommendations for collaborative international action, which we will take forward and develop further at a follow-on meeting in 2017.

Our work in supporting the biological weapons treaty continued with the third in our series: Preparing for the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) Review Conference. The meeting included participation by the President-Designate of the Eighth Review Conference and enabled representatives from a selection of States Parties to convene in the run-up to the Review Conference (RevCon).

One of our flagship events, the week-long annual non-proliferation Review Conference, was this year entitled Nuclear non-proliferation: planning for 2020. This came 20 years since the first event we held on non-proliferation, with one of the final sessions devoted to an assessment of the impact of the conference series on the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Maintaining our longstanding commitment to peace, progress, and stability in the Caribbean, participants at Strengthening strategic trade controls in the Caribbean: preventing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferation and safeguarding borders, discussed technical assistance in order to develop regulatory infrastructure and enforcement capacity needed to effectively control strategic trade.

Diplomacy in the information age brought together data scientists and policy makers to discuss the applications of new processes and tools for the FCO as it finalises its new Data Strategy. We also ran our second event on space security, Governing space activity in the 21st century, which looked at the involvement of industry and emerging state actors.

Our Washington Hub convened Mitigating risk in cyberspace: improving international cyber norms and security. Cyber experts from a range of backgrounds within the public and private sectors addressed the practical, legal, and policy challenges to further reduce cyber risk, and discussed initiatives to further incentivise improved behaviour.