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ISTC Supports CONDENsE Conference in Ieper, Belgium


ISTC supported the organization of the CONDENsE conference held in Ieper, Belgium, on 29th and 30th August 2019 in the framework of the implementation of the ISTC Targeted Initiative Export Control on Dual Use Materials and Technologies in Central Asia. It assembled 33 young scientists from 15 countries, participating in the programs of ISTC and in the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU). Curtis Bjelajac, STCU Executive Director, greeted the participants on behalf of the two organizations. The beginning of the event coincided with the UN International Day Against Nuclear Tests, which gave a reason to remind the constructive nonproliferation policies of Kazakhstan, the state that initiated the world wide campaign against the tests. 

The objective of this conference was to let the participants critically and intensively engage with issues they normally do not consider and profoundly raise awareness of dual use issues and the potential of sciences to be misused. Dual-use dilemmas arise when the same scientific work can be used for peaceful applications or for hostile purposes. Basic research, as well as more applied technologies, fall within the category of dual-use. The European Commission, which funds the ISTC/STCU Targeted Initiative phrased the dual-use concept the following way: “Dual Use in the context of science describes the potential of knowledge or technologies to be used by third parties with both benevolent and malevolent intention”.


During the conference a site visit took place to Chemical Destruction Facility Poelkapelle.  The participants also attended the presentation of a key note address “Innocence Slaughtered” by Dr Jean Pascal Zanders at the In the Flanders Fields Museum.

As a follow-up of the event participants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Mongolia announced their intention to build on the results of the conference with aim of raising awareness in their respective countries through concerted and joint efforts. In doing so they will consult the TI Team Leader for academic co-working Dr. Kai Ilchman, professor at Sussex University.