By Mark Fitzpatrick, Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme
I’ve just come back from playing the uninhibited academic on Slovenia’s Adriatic Coast. I was at the latest International Export Control Conference, convened by the US State Department and partners. The conference, which runs until tomorrow, mostly discusses the nuts and bolts of export controls, trying to ensure, for example, that exports don’t end up assisting nuclear and missile programmes in countries such as Iran and North Korea, or similar.
Most speakers at gatherings such as this are from government departments or international organisations, and have to be careful about not causing offence among any of the 80 or so participating countries. But the organisers like to have at least one non-governmental speaker who is not so constrained. This year that was me.