Group of Eminent Persons [GEM]

Group of Eminent Persons [GEM]

To ensure an innovative and focused approach to advance the CTBT’s ratification by the remaining Annex 2 States, a group comprising eminent personalities and internationally recognized experts was launched on 26 September 2013 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Through their expertise, experience and political standing, this Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) supports and complements efforts to promote the Treaty’s entry into force, as well as reinvigorating international endeavours to achieve this goal. The Presidents of the Article XIV process serve as ex-officio members of the GEM. For the period 2018 to 2019, the Foreign Minister of Belgium, Didier Reynders, and the Foreign Minister of Iraq, Mohamed A. Alhakim, are the ex-officio members of the GEM.

Members of the GEM have their annual meetings each year. They last met on 29 of August 2018 in  Astana, Kazakhstan  on the occasion of International Day Against Nuclear Testing.  In this meeting they adopted the Astana Declaration.

Members of the GEM  also met on the margins of the CTBT Ministerial Meeting on 13-14 June 2016 in Vienna, Austria, where they adopted the group's Vienna declaration. At the Ministerial Meeting, Angela Kane delivered a statement on behalf of the GEM.

Before, the group gathered in Hiroshima, Japan in August 2015, where they discussed different approaches and modes of action to assist the Executive Secretary in securing the CTBT’s entry into force, in addition to focused discussions on the eight Annex 2 States that have not yet ratified the Treaty. In Japan, they adopted the Hiroshima Declaration.

The prior meeting took place in Seoul, Korea, in June 2015, where the group adopted the Seoul Declaration.


Nobuyasu Abe

Nobuyasu Abe served as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs from 2003 to 2006. He was the Ambassador of Japan to the IAEA, CTBTO and other international organizations in Vienna (1999-2001), Director-General for Arms Control and Science at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1997-99), and Vice-Chairman at the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (2014-17). Most recently, he was a Senior Fellow of the Project on Managing Atom at Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs of the Harvard Kennedy School (2018-19).


Abel Adelakun Ayoko

Abel Adelakun Ayoko is the Under-Secretary of the Directorate of Regions and International Organizations at the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During his 32-year career as a diplomat he served as Minister/Deputy Head of Mission of the Nigerian Embassy in Sweden (2006-2010) and Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations in Geneva (2012- 2013). In his tenure as Ambassador/Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Austria and the International Organizations in Vienna (2013-2016), he chaired the CTBTO PrepCom and Working Group B, and also served as a member of Board of Governors of the IAEA.


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 International Atomic Energy Agency from 1981 to 1997. From 2000 to 2003, Blix was Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, which investigated Iraq's compliance with its obligation to be rid of its weapons of mass destruction. He was also chairman of the international Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission that produced the report ‘Weapons of Terror’ (2006).


Grigory Berdennikov

Grigory Berdennikov served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation from 1992-1993 and from 1999-2001. He was the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva from 1993-1998 and headed the Russian delegation at the negotiations on the CTBT. Berdennikov has served in a number of high-level posts in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including as director of the Department for Security and Disarmament Affairs and  member of the MFA Board (1998-1999), Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the International Organizations in Vienna (2001-2007), and as Ambassador at large (2007-2015). From 2001–2015 Berdennikov was the Governor for the Russian Federation on the IAEA Board of Governors.


Alvin Botes

Alvin Botes is the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa. From 1999 to 2009 he worked for the African National Congress (Northern Cape) as Provincial Head of Policy, Research and Analysis. He served as ANC Youth League Provincial Treasurer, Provincial Chairperson and on the National Executive Committee from 2003-2009. He also served in the ANC Provincial Executive Committee and as the Deputy Provincial Secretary from 2003 to 2017. He was a Member of Northern Cape Provincial Legislature from 2009 to 2018, and served in the Northern Cape Provincial Cabinet as Member of the Executive Council for Social Development (2009-2013) and for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (2013-2018). In December 2017 he was elected to the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC), serving on several NEC Sub-Committees. In February 2018 he became a Member of the National Assembly and served as a Member of the Portfolio Committees on Basic Education, Water and Sanitation (alternate) and Sports and Recreation, before being appointed Deputy Minister in May 2019.


Des Browne

Des Browne, Lord Browne of Ladyton, is a British Labour Party politician and a former Member of Parliament. He served as the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Defence from 2006 to 2008 and as Secretary of State for Scotland from 2007 to 2008. A member of the House of Lords since 2010, he now serves as Vice-Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Convenor of the Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, and the Chair of the Executive Board of the European Leadership Network.


José Luis Cancela

José Luis Cancela currently serves as Permanent Representative of Uruguay to the World Trade Organization. Previously, he served as Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and, as a career diplomat, in the embassies of Uruguay to Bulgaria, Belgium, and Spain, as well as the Mission to the European Union, and as the Permanent Representative of Uruguay to the United Nations in New York. In that position, Ambassador Cancela was appointed as Chair  of the UN General Assembly’s First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) during its 64th Session, Chair of the Subsidiary Body 3  of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, and Vice-President of the General Assembly of the United Nations.  While at headquarters in the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Cancela served in the Directorate  General for Political Affairs, as Director of International Economic Organisms, as Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and as National Coordinator of Uruguay to the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).


Jayantha Dhanapala

Jayantha Dhanapala served as United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs from 1998 to 2003. He served as Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United States of America from 1995 to 1997 and to the UN Office at Geneva from 1984 to 1987. He is currently the 11th President of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Deputy Chairman of the Governing Board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and a member of several other advisory boards of international bodies.


Cristian Diaconescu

Cristian Diaconescu is currently professor in International Law and President of the Popular Movement Foundation. He served as Romania's Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2008 to 2009 and in 2012. Diaconescu sat in the Romanian Senate between 2004 to 2012 and held the position of Vice President of the Senate between 2011 to 2012. In 2004, he served as Minister of Justice. Prior to this, he was Secretary of State for Bilateral Affairs at the Foreign Affairs Ministry and deputy Head of Mission to the UN and the OSCE Mission in Vienna.


Sérgio de Queiroz Duarte

Sérgio de Queiroz Duarte was the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs from 2007 to 2012. In 2005, Duarte presided over the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. From 2003 to 2004, he served as Brazil's Roving Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs. Prior to this, from 1999 to 2002, he was the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN at Vienna and Chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors as well as the Representative of Brazil to the CTBTO. Duarte also served as Ambassador to Nicaragua, Canada and China. Earlier in his career, he was a member of the Brazilian delegations in different UN disarmament fora. Duarte is currently President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.


Michel Duclos

Michel Duclos is Senior Counsellor to the Policy Planning Department at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He served as French Ambassador to Switzerland from 2012 to 2014, as Diplomatic Counsellor to the Minister of the Interior from 2009 to 2012, as French Ambassador to Syria from 2006 to 2009, and as Deputy Permanent Representative of France at the United Nations in New York from 2002 to 2006. From 1994 to 1998 he was Head of Disarmament at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he was in charge of CTBT negotiations (1994-1996) and of CTBT affairs until 1998.


Thomas Hajnoczi

Thomas Hajnoczi is Director for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, a position that he held already from 1996 to 1999. In his diplomatic career spanning over four decades he held many posts, including Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva from 2013 to 2017 and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York from 1989 to 1994. He led the Austrian delegations to the negotiations resulting in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and earlier those that brought about the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, of which he was the President in 2017.


President Tarja Halonen

Tarja Halonen served two terms as President of Finland from 2000 to 2012. During her presidency, she was co-chair of the UN Millennium Summit, co-chair of the Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, and co-chair of the UN High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability. She served as Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Minister of Justice, and Minister for Foreign Affairs and over her political career, she has paid close attention to promotion of sustainable development, democracy, human rights, and the role of civil society. Strengthening social justice and gender equality have been central themes. She is also active in academic life, chairing the Board of the University of Helsinki. She continues to work closely with the UN, and is currently member of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Mediation. Among other duties, she is also alternate co-chair of the Every Woman Every Child Movement’s Steering Group, UN Global Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and UN Drylands Ambassador.


Wolfgang Hoffmann

Wolfgang Hoffmann served as the first Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization from March 1997 until August 2005. Prior to this he was the German Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva from 1993 to 1997, where negotiations for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty took place between 1994 and 1996. A lawyer by profession, Hoffmann entered the German Foreign Service in 1965 where he held different positions, especially in the multilateral field.


Igor S. Ivanov

Igor S. Ivanov is the President of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and a Professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Previously, he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation from 1998 to 2004 and Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation from 2004 to 2007. He holds the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and is a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


Angela Kane

Angela Kane, an expert in political relations and negotiations, peace operations and disarmament, is a Senior Fellow at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, and Vice President of the International Institute for Peace in Vienna. She is a Visiting Professor at the Paris School of International Affairs/SciencesPo, and teaches at Tsinghua University/Schwarzman Scholars in Beijing. She chairs the United Nations University Council in Tokyo. She is a Member of the Group of Eminent Persons, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, and of the Group of Eminent Persons for Substantive Advancement for Nuclear Disarmament (Japan). She is also Co-Chairman of the World Economic Forum Regional Council on the Korean Peninsula, and serves on NGO Boards in Europe, United States, and Asia. Until mid-2015, Ms. Kane served as the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, capping a long career at the highest levels of the Organization.


Dina Kawar

Dina Kawar has served as Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations in New York since August 2014. Previously, she served as Ambassador of Jordan to France (2001- 2013), Ambassador of Jordan to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2002-2013), Ambassador of Jordan to the Holy See (2002-2013), and Ambassador of Jordan to Portugal (2005-2013). Before that, she was Director of the Private Office of His Majesty King Abdullah II (2000-2001), and headed the Bureau of HRH Prince El Hassan (1991-2000), both in Paris, France.


Kim Won-soo

Ambassador Kim Won-soo is a Korean diplomat and Former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. Over the last decade, Ambassador Kim has served as Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, after he led the transition team for the eighth Secretary-General of the UN in late 2006. Over the previous three decades his diplomatic career has included many key positions, such as the Secretary to the President of the Republic of Korea for Foreign Affairs and International Security and the Director General for Policy Planning and Ambassador for Regional Security, as well as overseas postings in Washington, DC, New Delhi and the UN in New York.


Ho-Jin Lee

Ho-Jin Lee, formerly a career diplomat of the Republic of Korea (ROK) is currently Principal Vice President of the United Nations Association of the ROK. He specializes in East Asian security, arms control and non-proliferation, and nuclear energy. He was the ROK’s Ambassador to Finland from 2008 to 2010, to Hungary from 2003 to 2006, and Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2001 to 2003). He served as a member of the UN Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters from 2004 to 2008 and as its chairman in 2007.


Patricia M. Lewis

Patricia M. Lewis is the Research Director, International Security at Chatham House in London. Her former posts include: Deputy Director and Scientist-in-Residence at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute; Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR); and Director of VERTIC. Lewis served on the 2004-6 WMD Commission, chaired by Dr Hans Blix, the 2010-2011 Advisory Panel on Future Priorities of the OPCW, chaired by Ambassador Rolf Ekeus, and was an Advisor to the 2008-10 International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND) chaired by Gareth Evans and Yoriko Kawaguchi. She was a Commissioner on the 2014-2016 Global Commission on Internet Governance chaired by Carl Bildt and is on the EEAS Space Advisory Board (SAB) as a Senior Space Advisor to the EU Special Envoy for Space. She holds a BSc (Hons) in physics from Manchester University, a PhD in nuclear physics from Birmingham University and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Warwick. She is a dual national of the UK and Ireland.


Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque

Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque has served as UK Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna since September 2012. Prior to this, she served as Director of the Human Resources and Member of Board Foreign & Commonwealth Office (2007 - 2012), and Consul General and Counsellor of the Change Management Office at the British Embassy in Washington, United States (2005-2007). Her early experience also includes the Non-Proliferation Department, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, at the UK’s Permanent Representation to the European Community.


Federica Mogherini

Federica Mogherini has been the European Union’s (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy since November 2014. Prior to this, she served as Foreign Minister of Italy from February 2014. Before that, she served as President of the Italian delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and was a member of the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Defence in the Italian parliament. She was elected to the parliament’s Chamber of Deputies in 2008, where she served as Secretary of the Defence Committee and as a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.


Amina C. Mohamed

Amina C. Mohamed’s diplomatic career spans over thirty years and includes domestic and international leadership positions. Mohamed served as Kenya's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva between 2000 and 2006. In 2011, she was appointed Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).  She held leadership roles in i.a.  WTO, WIPO, ILO, WHO, UNCTAD, UNHCR, and UNAIDS. In Kenya, she served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs between 2008 and 2011. Mohamed was appointed to her current position as Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya in 2013.


Nursultan Nazarbayev

From December 1991 through March 2019 Nursultan Nazarbayev served as the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Сurrently has the status of the First President – Elbasy (Leader of the Nation). Сhairs the Security Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the ruling «Nur Otan» party, the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, the World Association of Kazakhs, the Management Board of the «Samruk-Kazyna» National Welfare Fund, the Supreme Board of Trustees of Nazarbayev University, Intellectual Schools and Fund. On August 29, 1991, the world's largest Semipalatinsk nuclear test site was closed by his Decree. The UN has declared August 29, the date of closure of the test site, as the International Day against Nuclear Tests. In 2017, Kazakhstan established the IAEA Low-Enriched Uranium Bank on its territory. During the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, Nursultan Nazarbayev, in his Manifesto “The World. The 21st century” announced an initiative to achieve a nuclear-weapons-free world by the 100th anniversary of the UN. Doctor of Economics. Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Honorary Professor and Honorary Doctor of a number of leading universities both at home and abroad. Author of numerous books and scholarly articles.


William Perry

William Perry served as the Secretary of Defense for the United States from 1994 to 1997. Prior to this he was the Deputy Secretary of Defense (1993-1994) and as Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (1977-1981). He is currently the Director of the Preventive Defense Project and serves on the Defense Policy Board, the International Security Advisory Board and the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board. Perry is also a Professor at Stanford University, USA, and a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and the Hoover Institution.


Bruno Tertrais

Deputy director of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS), Bruno Tertrais is an expert in international relations, geopolitics, crisis and conflict issues, transatlantic relations, security in the Middle East and in Asia and nuclear issues.  Between 1990 and 1993, he was Director of the Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly; from 1993 till 2001, he was Special Adviser to the Director for Strategic Affairs at the Ministry of Defense and visiting fellow at the Rand Corporation (1995-1996). In 2007-2008, he was appointed to the White paper commission on Defense and National Security and to the White paper commission on Foreign and European policy by President Sarkozy. In 2012-2013, he was appointed to the White paper commission on Defense and National Security by President Hollande.


Ahmet Üzümcü

Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü is a career diplomat with vast experience in multilateral diplomacy and disarmament and non-proliferation issues. Prior to his appointment as Director-General of the OPCW in December 2010 he was Turkey’s Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva(2006-2010). He completed his second term at the OPCW in July 2018. Ambassador Üzümcü has also served as Deputy Undersecretary of State for Bilateral Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkey’s Permanent Representative to NATO and Ambassador to Israel.  He holds a Bachelors Degree in International Relations from Ankara University and speaks English and French fluently.  He is married and has a daughter. Ambassador Üzümcü received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the OPCW in December 2013.


Sha Zukang

Sha Zukang served as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, from 2007 to 2012. In 2010, he was nominated as the Secretary-General of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. From 2001 to 2007 he served as Permanent Representative of China to the UN Office at Geneva. He established the Department of Arms Control in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which he headed from 1997 to 2001. As Ambassador of Disarmament Affairs from 1995 to 1997, Sha was China's chief negotiator of the CTBT.