Quantum Technologies and Their Implications for International Peace and Security

Hybrid Event: Geneva and Online
30 November 2023
Quantum Technologies and Their Implications for International Peace and Security

The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) hosted a multi-stakeholder dialogue on quantum. Quantum mechanics has fundamentally transformed our understanding of the world. It deals with the behavior of matter and energy on the smallest scales, where classical physics no longer applies. From its origins as a purely theoretical framework, it has given rise to remarkable technological advancements that have reshaped our world over the past few decades.

These advancements have moved beyond the confines of laboratories and academic discussions, finding their place at the forefront of technological innovations such as quantum computing, quantum communication, and quantum sensors. The evolution of quantum mechanics from a theoretical concept into practical applications has profound implications for defense strategies and international security. As nations confront the multifaceted potential of quantum innovations, it is crucial to systematically investigate its implications for military applications and the ensuing geopolitical dynamics.

An increasing number of Member States have flagged in the OEWG the potential new threats emerging from quantum technologies. In his annual report on Current developments in science and technology and their potential impact on international security and disarmament efforts, the UN Secretary-General also highlights the potential risks emerging from quantum technologies. Despite this increased interest, little discussion exists on this topic, at least among States. To further unpack this complex issue and understand the possible effects and consequences of these advancements in quantum broadly, UNIDIR’s Security and Technology Programme organized this multi-stakeholder dialogue on quantum.


A recording of this event can be found on our YouTube Channel, and below.


Session 1: Overview of the Technology and Current Development

  • Géraldine Haack, Assistant Professor, University of Geneva  
  • Zhanna L. Malekos Smith, Non-resident Fellow, UNIDIR; Visiting Fellow, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

Session 2: Impact on International Peace and Security

  • Gaurav Keerthi, Head of Advisory and Emerging Business, Ensign InfoSecurity; Adjunct Senior Fellow, Nanyang Technological University
  • Emily Violi Benjamin, Program Manager of the Quantum and Critical Infrastructures Team, Microsoft
  • Andrea G. Rodríguez, Lead EU Digital Policy Analyst for the EU Digital Agenda, European Policy Centre

Closing Remarks: Introducing the Open Quantum Institute

  • Marieke Hood, Executive Director Impact Translator, Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator


30 November 2023, 10:00-12:30 CET. Please consult this website to find your local time.

Hybrid Format – In-person (Room III, Building A, Palais des Nations, [map], Geneva, Switzerland) and online.


We welcome delegations, experts as well as members of the multi-stakeholder community including industry, civil society, and intergovernmental organizations.


Registration is mandatory for both in-person and virtual participation. Please contact sectec-unidir@un.org if you have any questions.

To attend in person, please register here (via UN Indico System), by Wednesday 29 November 2023. Indico registration is mandatory for all participants, including those who already have the UNOG grounds pass. User guides on Indico registration can be found here.

To attend virtually, please register here (via Microsoft Forms), by Wednesday 29 November 2023. The link to access the event will be emailed to registered participants one day prior to the session.