From April 27 – May 8, 2015, the Perry Center supported the “Seminar on Combatting Weapons of Mass Destruction and Illicit Trafficking across Regions,” organized by the Near East South Asia (NESA) Center, and supported as well by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the Africa Center.
The Seminar presented an outstanding example of cooperation among Regional Centers to study in depth a transnational security threat affecting multiple regions, and to bring together diverse regional and functional expertise to discuss strategies and solutions. While the majority of participants were from Africa or the Middle East, Colombia and Peru provided expert participants. From the Perry Center, Celina Realuyo lectured on “Proliferation Network Financing” and Luis Bitencourt, Pedro de la Fuente and Walter Earle presented a panel on Proliferation and Illicit Trafficking in the Western Hemisphere Region. Walter Earle also facilitated one of the cross-regional breakout groups.
The Seminar included lectures by policy leaders (Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman, Ambassador Thomas Pickering, Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins), technical experts (Dr. Paul Flesher from Los Alamos, and DHS and Commerce Special Agents), and academic experts (Dr. Susan Koch), as well as multiple discussion groups, and a full-day and several smaller exercises.
There was considerable interest both by DTRA and the Regional Centers in developing further cross-regional activities on this topic for the future.