global zero

What’s next for the nuclear ban treaty?

Ban coming

The official draft text of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons is likely to be published in the next two weeks (15-26 May). This timing has been determined by the intention to avoid distracting from the NPT PrepCom, drawing to a close on 11 May. Written by the Chair of the process, the draft will be considered by states at the next round of negotiations to be held at the UN headquarters in New York from 15 June-7 July. That leaves ban treaty proponents two weeks to lobby governments around the world and get their support.

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Monday's Trident Debate: What was mentioned, what was left out?

On Monday night, MPs voted 472 to 117 to replace UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system, following a five and half hour Parliamentary debate. The atmosphere was tense; the united SNP benches made an impassioned case against Trident from across the room, while the Conservatives all voted in favour, but for the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee who voted against the motion. Many arguments were aired both for and against Trident. But what kind of arguments did the MPs make?

Lessons learned from 70 years of nuclear weapons

70 years of nuclear weapons

Nuclear disarmament has been the most desirable objective of global arms control policies since nuclear weapons were invented, along with general and complete disarmament. But it is also one that has generated most contention and conflict. Scientists involved in developing military applications were quick to call for strict controls and the elimination of all nuclear weapons from states’ military arsenals.

Obama and the Bomb

The rhetoric in the arms control community has changed in the past 5 years. Working to achieve “Global Zero” or a “world free of nuclear weapons” have become common expressions, vocalized by governments and top level officials whom previously subscribed to a much different school of thought. It is unquestionable that U.S. President Barack Obama and his administration have made a massive impact on the strength and direction of the non-proliferation and disarmament regime and thus it is not surprising to have a compilation of essays by nuclear experts entitled “Obama and the Bomb.”

This Week: Reykjavik 25 years

It was cold, wet and windy but it was uniquely exhilarating. The Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Reykjavik, which I covered 25 years ago as a reporter, produced 24 hours of adrenalin-fuelled highs and lows as the Soviet and US leaders raised hopes of a historic agreement on a nuclear weapons free world only to spectacularly dash them.

Getting to Zero Update

The Obama Administration was hoping for the U.S. Senate to ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) now that the U.S. mid-term elections are over. If the treaty is not brought to the floor before the end of the year, then prospects for the treaty dim in a Senate where more members will be reluctant to hand the President a foreign policy achievement, and votes in favor of the treaty will be more difficult to muster.

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