Monthly Archives: March 2015

The great NPT pillar fight: Round 2

High Stakes for the 2015 NPT Review Conference: Pillar One v. Pillar Two

By Tim Caughley

This is the second part of a posting on tensions in the NPT review process between pillar one (nuclear disarmament) and pillar two (non-proliferation). The previous posting on this issue concluded by noting that a prominent element in the political mix in next month’s NPT Review Conference will be the growth in profile during the current review cycle of the humanitarian approach to nuclear weapons.

The great NPT pillar fight: Round 1

High Stakes for the 2015 NPT Review Conference: Pillar One v. Pillar Two

By Tim Caughley

A perennial issue at NPT Review Conferences lies in political tensions stemming from the three pillars of the Treaty—nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. One dynamic in recent years has involved questions whether Iran’s incipient nuclear industry has peaceful purposes (third pillar) or military ones (second pillar). The focus of this post, however, is on a different and rather more engrained issue involving the first and second pillars.

No forums

Only evidence-based discussions can fill the legal gap in the international framework regulating nuclear weapons.

By Magnus Løvold

The Conference on Disarmament in Geneva received another nail in its coffin when its long-standing civil society rapporteur, the Reaching Critical Will project of WILPF, on Tuesday 10 March announced that they would “cease engagement” with the Conference until its 65 member states agree on a program of work.

Fill the legal gap—the latest endorsement

Renewing the call for prohibiting and eliminating nuclear weapons

By Tim Caughley

The build-up to next month’s five-yearly review of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) has already produced a number of headlines and statements of intent. From nations that do not possess nuclear weapons there has been a call to NPT state parties to ‘fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons’ (Austrian Pledge, 9 December 2014). The initiator of the call, Austria, has noted that while other categories of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are banned—chemical and biological weapons—nuclear arms are not. For their part, the five state parties to the treaty that still maintain nuclear arsenals (the NPT5) have said that they merely anticipate a ‘consensual, balanced outcome which would do much to enhance [their] continuing efforts to strengthen the NPT’ (NPT5 Joint Statement, 6 February 2015).