Nuclear Weapon States

2016 OEWG: Polarisation in Perspective

Discussions about the feasibility and necessity of a legal ban on nuclear weapons took centre stage at the first session of the United Nation’s Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament. The states legally recognized under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as nuclear-weapon states (NWS) were nowhere to be seen, leaving their allies to argue the case for pragmatic caution; India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea were also absent.

Autonomous & nuclear weapons systems: the humanitarian dimensions

We are witnessing shifts in the global security debate as nations are beginning to emphasize human security in the face of far reaching advancements in military technology. The recent development of autonomous weapons systems or lethal autonomous robots (LAR) that are being manufactured without a “human in the loop” have triggered serious ethical concerns and as a result, civil society and NGOs began talks in Geneva last year on the humanitarian implications.

The OPCW and Syria: learning the lessons of verification

Verification remains a key challenge on the road to nuclear disarmament and the continued non-proliferation of WMD. It is complex, politically and technically, and ultimately can only be sustainable in the long run if it is freely entered into, non-discriminatory, universally applicable and credible. Does the OPCW hold lessons for confidence in multilateral nuclear disarmament?

Cold War thinking and nuclear deterrence in the 21st century

BASIC’s This Week released on Monday July 29th focuses on the prevailing Cold War mentality that pervades strategic thinking in many of the nuclear armed states. These are the same states that continue to slow progress on global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts. With 190 states (if one includes North Korea) signed up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), we need to get better at identifying and deconstructing the obstacles to progress.

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