Exploration of the legal, technical and institutional measures to achieve the global prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.
An online, round-table, side event of the 10th NPT Review Conference.
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This event will draw upon proposals and analysis in Abolition 2000 NWC Reset: Frameworks for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World, a civil society working paper submitted to the 10th Review Conference of States Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This includes possibilities of a nuclear weapons convention (NWC), a framework agreement and/or protocols to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
In 2010, the States Parties ot the NPT agreed in the final adopted NPT Review Conference document that:
“All States need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons. The Conference notes the Five-Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, which proposes inter alia the consideration of negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention or a framework of separate mutually reinforcing instruments backed by a strong system of verification.”
The concept of a nuclear weapons convention, as a framework for nuclear-armed countries to fulfill their legal obligation to negotiate for the elimination of their arsenals, has been regularly endorsed by a majority states in UN General Assembly resolutions. In addition, civil society experts have drafted a Model Nuclear Weapons Convention, outlining the legal, technical and institutional measures that would most likely be required to achieve the global prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons under strict and effective verification and control.
However, negotations on a nuclear weapons convention have not yet commenced due to opposition by some of the nuclear armed states. Dissatisfied with this lack progress, a number of non-nuclear states negotiated the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017. This initiative has also failed to move the nuclear-armed states, all of whom have rejected the TPNW, asserting that it “ fails to address the key issues that must be overcome to achieve lasting global nuclear disarmament…”
With the danger of nuclear war on the rise, the status quo is unacceptable. A path forward to nuclear disarmament must be found. NWC Reset: Frameworks for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World suggests three possibilities: a reconsideration of the Model Nuclear Weapons convention, a framework agreement on nuclear disarmament, or protocols to the TPNW that might enable the nuclear armed (and allied) states to join.
Consideration of the elements that nuclear-armed states might need to negotiate helps to make concrete the “key issues that must be overcome to achieve lasting global nuclear disarmament” , or to reveal where those key issues lie elsewhere than in the legal and technical requisites for disarmament. Those elements are relevant whatever path is chosen to elimination, whether it be a nuclear weapons convention; a framework of instruments; or the TPNW, bolstered by protocols or related instruments.
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