Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP)


The Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation is an international non-governmental organization established in 2011. The VCDNP’s mission is to promote international peace and security by providing a platform for independent analysis and dialogue in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

In order to fulfill its mission, the VCDNP employs conferences, seminars, and other fora to foster result-oriented discussion among international organizations, national governments, non-governmental experts, scholars, and civil society. The Center partners with other academic and non-governmental institutions, as well as international organizations in conducting research, outreach, education, and training on non-proliferation and disarmament. The VCDNP operations are managed by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey.

The VCDNP staff pursues a broad and varied research agendas, including the nuclear non-proliferation regime, international organizations working in the field of non-proliferation and disarmament, the IAEA safeguards regime, accounting and safeguarding of nuclear materials (both for military and civilian purposes), peaceful uses of nuclear energy, nuclear security, arms control and disarmament.

The VCDNP has an extensive educational program. Its flagship activity is an intensive short course on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, which is held twice a year. This course is oriented toward diplomats and relevant officials of national governments as well as employees of international organizations; 18 courses have been conducted so far. In addition, the VCDNP holds more specialized courses, such as on IAEA safeguards, nuclear security, arms control and disarmament, introduction to non-proliferation for journalists, etc. In the spring of 2020, it held an inaugural non-proliferation introduction course for graduate and post-graduate IT and engineering students from European universities. The VCDNP actively contributes to educational courses run by various international organizations, including in particular the IAEA, the CTBTO, the UNODA, and others.

The VCDNP holds public seminars and panels on key issues on the international nonproliferation and disarmament agenda. Speakers at these events feature leading officials of international organizations and national governments as well as prominent non-governmental experts. It hosts or participates in Track 1.5 and Track 2 meetings to facilitate dialogue between various countries, including between the United States and Russia. It also serves as a platform, where NGOs from different countries have an opportunity to share their research and recommendations with the international community, including international organizations, Vienna-based national missions, and experts.

The VCDNP closely cooperates with the OSCE participating in events held under its aegis and holding its own events on topics falling under its mandate, including in particular on conventional arms control in Europe and verification.

In 2018, the VCDNP, with the support of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, conducted a workshop on “Arms Control Dialogue in the OSCE Area: Lessons from the Past, Prospects for the Future?” and published a report based on this discussion offering concrete recommendations on how to revitalize dialogue and arms control in the OSCE area.

In 2020, the VCDNP partnered with three other NGOs (IFSH, GCSP, and MGIMO) to support the Essay Competition on Conventional Arms Control and Confidence- and Security-Building Measures for students and young professionals announced by the OSCE.

Donau-City Strasse 6
Andromeda Tower, Floor 13/1
1220 Vienna, Austria

Dr Nikolai Sokov is senior fellow at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. He works in the field of international security with emphasis on nuclear arms control and disarmament. He holds a PhD from the University of Michigan (1996) and a Soviet equivalent of PhD from the Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Moscow (1986).

In 1987-92, Dr Sokov worked at the Ministry of Foreign Relations of USSR/Russian Federation. He participated in START I, START II and other arms control negotiations as well as numerous summit and ministerial meetings.
He worked for many years at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. In 2011-14 he worked at the VCDNP and returned to it in 2019.

He has published widely, including two dozen books and monographs as well as more than 200 articles. He is regularly invited to speak at various conferences and other public events and has consulted many international organizations (including the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization) as well as US governmental agencies (i.e. Departments of State, Defense, and Energy) and various committees of the US Congress.

He taught at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and contributed to educational programs at various international organizations, including the IAEA, the CTBTO, and the UNODA. He also taught short courses at Tomsk State University (Russia) and Odessa National University (Ukraine).