Whilst the public debate over nuclear disarmament tends to deal in black and white, the reality is that the nuclear disarmament process to which every member of the international community is committed to inevitably involves a complex set of steps that can be taken unilaterally, bilaterally and multilaterally. And this process inevitably involves uncertainty and setback.
On Tuesday, 11 June, Foreign Ministers from 15 countries meet in Stockholm to discuss how to make progress on nuclear disarmament. The impetus for this meeting is the Swedish ‘Stepping Stones’ implementation approach, presented in April at the United Nations in order to revive the blocked disarmament pathway in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
BASIC co-developed the Stepping Stones framework with Sweden, and this year has a supporting project with roundtables and publications.
The Stepping Stones Approach seeks to engage all members of the international community in a cooperative and inclusive process that nudges the nuclear possessor states away from arms racing dynamics and in a more positive direction, with the intention of reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in postures, achieving incremental disarmament and progressively building up the capacity for further steps.
This is a roundtable report for the roundtable ‘Pragmatic Leadership to achieve progress on disarmament: Finding Stepping Stones in the Step-by-Step approach’, organised by BASIC in London on 22 November 2018.
The roundtable assessed the general health of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the state of nuclear disarmament and arms control, and what leadership means in creating a cooperative approach at the 2020 NPT Review Conference.