Reykjavik event SnT 2013

The Event:

Click picture for more information on the Reykjavik event in New York, 2012


A screening of the play “Reykjavik” © by Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Rhodes, followed by a panel discussion and reception, was held on Tuesday 18 June 2013 at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria.

The play re-enacts the moment in October 1986 at the Reykjavik summit in Iceland when U.S. President Ronald Reagan (Richard Easton) and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev (Jay O. Sanders) came close to abolishing all nuclear weapons. More than 25 years later, the drama of the meeting and its potential to fundamentally change the course of history continues to ignite the imagination and inspire hopes for the future. The performance is directed by Tyler Marchant and produced by Primary Stages. Watch CTBTO Faces interview with author Richard Rhodes on his research and the making of the play.


The Panel Discussion:


'How can science help the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty enter into force?'

The panellists were:

Hans Blix

Hans Blix is a diplomat and politician who was the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1978 to 1979. He subsequently served as the Director General of the IAEA and guided the Agency through the Chernobyl disaster, revelations of a clandestine nuclear weapons programme in Iraq and North Korea’s safeguards violations. From 2000 to 2003, Dr Blix was Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, which investigated Iraq's compliance with its obligation to be rid of its weapons of mass destruction. 

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri is the Foreign Editor of the Hindustan Times. He specializes in India’s international security and economic policy.  From 1985 to 2000 he wrote for The Telegraph and The Statesman newspapers in Calcutta.  He has often written about India’s nuclear deterrent and has argued that there is a case for India to consider supporting the CTBT after the U.S. and China have ratified.  Mr Chaudhuri writes a regular blog, Foreign Hand, and a column for his newspaper. In 2011, he was appointed to the National Security Advisory Board to the Prime Minister of India for a two-year term. 

Patricia Lewis (Moderator)

Patricia Lewis is the Research Director for International Security at Chatham House. Previously, she was Deputy Director and Scientist-in-Residence at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in the United States. Dr Lewis was also the Director of the Verification Technology and Information Centre from 1989 to 1997 and subsequently Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. Watch CTBTO Faces interview with Patricia Lewis.

Roald Sagdeev

Roald Sagdeev is a scientist and an expert in plasma physics. He was a key science advisor to President Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s, counselling on matters of nuclear disarmament and advancing verification technology in order to promote the commitment to international arms control verification. He is also a Senior Advisor at the Albright Stonebridge Group, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland. Watch CTBTO Faces interview with Roald Sagdeev.

Ellen Tauscher

Ellen Tauscher who was U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security from 2009 to 2012 when she managed global U.S. security policy in the areas of non-proliferation and arms control. Subsequently, she was U.S. Special Envoy for Strategic Stability and Missile Defense. Prior to these appointments, she was a Democratic member of Congress for California’s 10th Congressional District.


The Sponsors:

This event has been made possible by the generous contributions of the governments of Mexico and Sweden, the coordinators of the process to promote the CTBT’s entry into force from 2011 to 2013. 


For More:

Watch an interview with former President Mikhail Gorbachev by the CTBTO about the Reykjavik summit and nuclear weapons today.  

See the New York Reykjavik in the Spotlight event which the CTBTO organized on 27 September 2012 at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, New York.

All images from the staged reading of the play are © Richard Rhodes.