On Tuesday, 11 June, Foreign Ministers from 16 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). London-based think tank BASIC has been the initiator and project partner with the Swedish government in developing the approach over the last nine months.
“The situation in the world is critical, and the risk of nuclear arms use is greater than it has been for many years. We are taking this initiative because we must make vigorous efforts for disarmament,” says Margot Wallström, Swedish Foreign Minister. “The NPT is the cornerstone of international action for disarmament and non-proliferation. The nuclear-weapon states have made important commitments in this regard, and this is why we are focusing on discussing the NPT in particular when we meet on Tuesday,” she adds.
Paul Ingram, Executive Director of BASIC said, “It’s critical that states act now to get back on track towards nuclear disarmament and containing the worst aspects of nuclear arms racing. This takes vision but it also takes cooperative and adaptive approaches that include a good dose of strategic empathy.”
The Foreign Ministers will discuss among other things how best to reduce the risk of nuclear weapons use and how to increase transparency around nuclear decision making. Engaging in these types of discussions builds trust among participants and ensures that further progress on disarmament can be made.
A ministerial outcome document can be found on the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.