The Arms Control Negotiation Academy (ACONA),hosted by Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre in collaboration with five other renowned academic institutions from the United States, Russia and Europe, started today. The academy is a highly selective program that will run for one year and train 16 emerging international security leaders in arms control history, technology, and negotiations with the goal to identify new pathways that can reduce tensions between great powers. The Academy solicited applications worldwide to fill sixteen available spots. Two of the fellows participating are from Iceland, they are Álfrún Perla Baldursdóttir, Consular Service Officer at the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Brynja Huld Óskarsdóttir, a Strategic Communications Expert.
Scholars are gravely concerned over the continuing disintegration of the global arms control architecture, including the recent collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the U.S. withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty, and the uncertain future of the New START agreement. Now more than ever scientists and civil society must play a leading role in creating new spaces for open dialogue to overcome this crisis, otherwise we could soon face a world without a single strategic arms control agreement for the first time since the 1960s.
Over the course of one year, the ACONA Fellows will acquire advanced negotiation skills and collaborate on international research projects to generate new ideas about the future of arms control.
ACONA is a multi-institutional collaboration led by the Negotiation Task Force at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies (U.S.) and hosted by Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre at the University of Iceland, in collaboration with the Woodrow Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program (U.S.), the Higher School of Economics (Russia), Moscow State Institute of International Relations (Russia), and Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (Germany).
ACONA is funded by Fondation “Avec et pour autres,” the Negotiation Task Force, the Icelandic government, and the University of Iceland.