The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Like other international organizations the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) needs sustained funding to fulfill its mandate. But unlike most other multilateral organizations the IAEA’s tasks are vital to international security. Witness its role in verifying Iran’s compliance with its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA). Or its assistance to Japan in assessing and remediating the effects of the Fukushima disaster. Or its contribution to nuclear security, increasingly important as the end of the nuclear security summit process looms later this month.
In this MTA seminar, Trevor Findlay will present the findings of a two-year MTA study, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, of how the IAEA is funded and how it might be funded in the future. His report considers critical questions facing the IAEA’s budget and finance: whether funding is sufficient for the Agency to carry out its core functions; whether increasing reliance on voluntary funding is appropriate; whether the budgetary process is as effective as it might be; whether the current funding system is equitable and appropriate; whether the Gordian knot between technical cooperation and nuclear safeguards and security can and should be broken through a grand budgetary bargain; and whether alternative funding sources besides member states can be tapped.
Trevor Findlay is an MTA Associate. Formerly a Senior Research Fellow of MTA and the International Security Program, he is currently a Principal Fellow at the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia, and an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He is a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters and of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network.