Finding middle ground in UN and NPT debates over disarmament and non-proliferation

Simpson, John (2006) Finding middle ground in UN and NPT debates over disarmament and non-proliferation In, Lodgaard, Sverre (eds.) Policy Briefs: Is Anything Doable in the Field of Nuclear Disarmament? Oslo, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) pp. 71-83.


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Nuclear disarmament is at a standstill. Disarmament negotiations came to a halt in the mid-1990s and since then, the arms control architecture has been crumbling. The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty was terminated; the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) did not enter into force; negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty never began; the 2005 Review Conference of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) proved a total failure; and the UN Summit Declaration of September 2005 contained nothing on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The UN Secretary-General asked a group of seven countries to prepare a text on nuclear issues for inclusion in the Summit Declaration. The draft got wide support, but not wide enough to be adopted. However, the Secretary-General called on the group – commonly referred to as the Seven Nation Initiative – to continue its endeavours. The members are Norway (chair), Australia, Chile, Indonesia, Romania, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Can something be achieved to stop the erosion of existing restraints, buying time for more substantial progress when – hopefully – changing conditions so permit? This publication presents some possibilities that may be within reach. Whether they would suffice to save the NPT – the most important of existing nuclear arms control agreements – is another question. What is realistic in the sense of being doable may be too modest to realistically save the Treaty.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 8270021407 (print)
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ePrint ID: 43586
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Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2007
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 18:48
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