Four years ago, in the Czech capital of Prague, President Barack Obama addressed the future of nuclear weapons. Speaking to a crowd of thousands at Hradcany Square, he outlined his vision for the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. The Prague Agenda includes reducing arsenals, stopping proliferation, securing nuclear materials, and encouraging the development of safe nuclear energy. Because of the importance of these issues to the security and sustainability of our world, President Obama stated that "this generation -- our generation -- cannot stand still."
Future generations of scientists, diplomats, and citizens will have to carry the torch on these technical, complex, and global issues. Fortunately, young leaders in the United States and around the world are ready to embrace these discussions head-on and tackle these challenges now.
On July 16-17, 2013, the Department of State, in partnership with The George Washington University, proudly hosted its fourth annual Generation Prague Conference, with the theme of “Building a Strategy of Peace.” This theme celebrates the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s commencement address at American University calling on a generation to be “confident and unafraid” in seeking such a strategy -- and launching the diplomatic initiative that in just a few months would produce a Limited Test Ban Treaty.
This year’s conference featured a variety of speakers drawn from the federal government, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and international partners. The first day of the conference, hosted at the George C. Marshall Center of the Department of State, included addresses on the implementation of the Prague Agenda by senior officials of the Departments of State and Defense, the National Nuclear Security Administration, and the U.S. Institute of Peace. U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller delivered the keynote addresses at the conference.
The second day of the conference, hosted at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, included a variety of panels on nuclear security matters. Representatives from the Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and Argentina gave international perspectives on nonproliferation while panelists from the Departments of State and Energy, the National Security Council, the Federation of American Scientists, and the Partnership for a Secure America spoke on international law, energy, and counter-proliferation. This year's conference aimed to demystify the complex issues at the core of the Prague Agenda and engage young thinkers in the most cutting-edge policy discussions of the 21st Century.
The Department of State is proud to place this future “Generation Prague” at the forefront of understanding and action on the issues of nuclear arms control, security, energy, and nonproliferation. They are ready to discuss; they are ready to lead.