World Affairs Luncheon on NGOs with Craig Barnes

Barnes photo croppedTopic:  The Impact of NGOs on International Relations

Speaker:  Craig Barnes

Location: Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort, 1297 Bishop’s Lodge Rd.

Cost: $26 CIR Members; $32 Non-members and Guests (includes lunch at Bishop’s Lodge)

Please note on your order if you would like a vegetarian meal.

Make reservations by Friday, October 11 online: or by calling the CIR office:  982-4931.

In the mid-1980s, while the US administration was publicly condemning the “evil empire” of the Soviet Union, an American NGO (Beyond War) was quietly negotiating at the highest levels of the Soviet Academy of Sciences to produce a volume of writings describing the dangers of nuclear weapons and the obsolescence of all war. Some of these negotiations required changes in fundamental Marxist-Leninist doctrine concerning the expansion of socialism. The substance of these negotiations was communicated to General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev preceding the autumn 1986 Gorbachev-Reagan summit in Reykjavik, a meeting at which Gorbachev then offered changes in the Soviet position on nuclear weapons. Thereafter, for the next year, the Beyond War-Soviet Academy negotiations continued, resulting in the 1987 publication of the book Breakthrough, Emerging New Thinking. This was the first such joint publication since the Russian revolution of 1917. The book subsequently sold 60,000 copies in the Soviet Union and 40,000 in the US and was endorsed by both Secretary General Gorbachev and US Secretary of State George Shultz.  In his historic December 7, 1988, address to the UN General Assembly, perhaps in part as a result of the changing climate that accompanied the work of this NGO and a great many others, Gorbachev gave the speech that declared his turning away from Cold War confrontation.

Craig Barnes was the chief negotiator in deliberations between the NGO Beyond War and the Soviet Academy of Sciences between 1985-1987 that resulted in the joint Soviet-American publication of Breakthrough, Emerging New Thinking in 1987.  He has also facilitated talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan as a result of ethnic cleansing between those two countries, 1993-97, and has served on behalf of USAID as a negotiator of water issues in Central Asia, 1996-98.  He is a published author, playwright, and Santa Fe radio host.