SANTA BARBARA, CA–Dr. Ivana N. Hughes, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), and a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry and Director of Frontiers of Science at Columbia University, has been appointed as a Member of the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The TPNW is a landmark international agreement among states that prohibits the possession, development, deployment, use, and threat of use of nuclear weapons and also contains a robust framework for assisting victims of nuclear weapons and remediating contaminated environments. The TPNW entered into force on January 22, 2021.

This group of respected scientists is tasked with studying key issues to advance nuclear disarmament and to better understand nuclear weapons risks and their consequences. Scientists from countries all over the world were nominated and chosen by the States Parties to the TPNW and include the following experts: Kouamé Rémi Adjoumani, Bashillah Bt. Baharuddin, Erlan Batyrbekov, André Johann Buys, Jans Fromow-Guerra, Ivana Nikolić Hughes, Bwarenaba Kautu, Moritz Kütt, Patricia Lewis, Zia Mian, Sébastien Philippe, Gerardo Suárez Reynoso, Petra Seibert, Noël Francis Stott, and A K M Raushan Kabir Zoardar.

The creation of SAG is considered a very significant step in forwarding the work of the TPNW.  When commenting upon the critical importance of this group of scientific experts, Juan Ramón de la Fuente, President of the Second Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW and the Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations since 2019, said, “This Scientific Advisory Group exemplifies the recognition of States Parties that further enriching knowledge of the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons and a shared understanding of the risks of nuclear weapons…will be important to ensure the effective implementation of the Treaty.”

Dr. Hughes has been President of NAPF since August 2022, bringing with her an extensive knowledge of the science of nuclear weapons, a deep understanding of the geopolitical complexity surrounding nuclear disarmament, and endless amounts of commitment, enthusiasm, and energy.

Said Hughes, upon hearing of her appointment, “My commitment to science and the scientific process is only matched by my commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons. Scientists – some perhaps unknowingly – contributed to the development of these ominous weapons and it is my strongest belief that scientists must be a part of the solution. That solution is the prohibition and total elimination of nuclear weapons. I am honored to contribute to the implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as part of its Scientific Advisory Group and to help ensure that this historic treaty can fulfill all of its promises. Those promises go beyond the lofty goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons to include providing assistance to victims of nuclear testing and use, and remediating affected environments. In this manner, the treaty reminds us that we must put human beings at the center of any and all discussions of international security.”

At its inaugural meeting, the Group elected Dr. Patricia Lewis and Dr. Zia Mian as Co-Chairs. Dr. Hughes was named Friend to the Co-Chairs. SAG will continue to meet this year and report on their progress at the Second Meeting of States Parties in New York later this year. The world eagerly awaits their findings.