The Stockholm Initiative

The Stockholm Initiative

The Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament was launched in 2019 by a group of non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS) to advance disarmament. It focuses on building momentum towards disarmament through dialogue, cooperation, and advocacy. The initiative aims to complement existing disarmament efforts and encourage NWS to fulfil their disarmament obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

In 2020, this group of NNWS agreed to the ‘Stepping Stones Approach to Nuclear Disarmament’ which is a set of concrete actions designed to make gradual, yet incremental progress to reduce nuclear risks and advance disarmament.

The Stepping Stones

An implementation approach in order to make progress in nuclear disarmament.


The international community is facing significant challenges due to worsening strategic relations, increasing nuclear threats, and a resurgence of the arms race. The United States and Russia are moving away from arms control agreements, weakening global disarmament efforts. Despite recognition of these dangers by many states, little progress has been made, with key decisions often controlled by a few powerful capitals. Traditional advocacy and blame games have had limited impact.

In response, the Stepping Stones Approach to Nuclear Disarmament (SSA) offers a dynamic, inclusive, and adaptable strategy. It emphasises practical implementation over rigid strategy, aiming to build momentum towards disarmament while accommodating diverse perspectives. The approach is inclusive, seeking consensus on reducing nuclear dangers, but acknowledges differing views on the pace and methods of disarmament.

The SSA advocates for modest progress to maintain consensus and build trust, recognizing the need to engage cautious stakeholders, particularly powerful states. It aligns with initiatives like Creating the Environment for Nuclear Disarmament (CEND) but doesn’t rely on immediate strategic improvements. Instead, it aims to improve trust and the strategic context gradually, signalling intent towards further steps in the right direction.

A brief summary of the approach is available here.

Analysis and Publications for this Programme


Active Programmes

BASIC believes in making progress on nuclear disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation through multiple complementary approaches. We continuously develop our programmes – streams of research – through sustained engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, collectively searching for the art of the possible.

Our current programmes are listed below. View the current programmes page by clicking here.