12 - 14 May, 2014
Marriott Residence Inn, Kingston Waters Edge, 7 Earl Street, Kingston, Ontario
As events like the Boston Marathon bombings, the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and the nuclear weapons policies of North Korea demonstrate, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive events continue to pose a major challenge for contemporary international security policy. Whether the result of accidents or politically motivated acts, explosions or the uncontrolled release of chemicals, biological agents or radioactive contamination into the environment—CBRNe events—can potentially cause massive human and environmental damage.
While accidental CBRNe events continue to be of major concern to governments and first responders, it is the threat of politically motivated CBRNe events that is particularly challenging. Both governments and non-state actors have access to the means of triggering a CBRNe event, and thus the control and management of these challenges acquires an added level of complexity. For armed forces, CBRNe must involve a multidimensional and whole-of-government approach to international security. Diplomacy and intelligence are needed for dealing with governments and non-state actors seeking to use CBRNe threats for political purposes. Inter-departmental and inter-governmental cooperation is necessary to ensure co-ordinated responses, both internationally and nationally; including the involvement of first responders at the local level.
How can these multidimensional challenges to international security be best managed by Canada and her allies? That is the central question posed by the 2014 Kingston Conference on International Security. The conference will examine the evolution of the CBRNe threat in contemporary global politics, and how the threat is managed at three different levels: the global level, where the nuclear and chemical weapons programs of some states are deemed to threaten international security; the regional North American level, involving trans-border cooperation with the United States against politically-motivated CBRNe acts; and the local level, where coordination with first responders is crucial for the effective deterrence and management of CBRNe events.
KCIS will bring together scholars, practitioners from the military and first responder sectors, officials from governments, non-governmental organizations and international institutions to discuss these challenges. We invite you to join us in these discussions and to offer your own perspectives and ideas to guide the development of effective, collaborative strategies and policies needed to manage this challenge.