NPT paper 1: The humanitarian initiative in 2015

Humanitarian Initiative, NPT

Expectations are building for the need for nuclear disarmament progress

By Nick Ritchie
  • Decisive multilateral progress toward a nuclear-weapon-free world led by the nuclear-armed states has not been forthcoming since the end of the Cold War, as many once expected.
  • Some non-nuclear-armed states have responded by reframing nuclear disarmament debate in terms of the unacceptable humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, and this perspective has gathered broad political support.
  • The third international conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons held in Vienna in December 2014 added momentum to the need for diplomatic responses to the indiscriminate and catastrophic effects of nuclear violence.
  • The 2015 NPT Review Conference provides an opportunity to examine potential diplomatic responses and assess whether any qualitative and quantitative changes in the nuclear weapon policies of the NPT nuclear- weapon states demonstrate concrete progress toward their disarmament obligations.

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