Nuclear disarmament open-ended working group (1)

This blog and the following one contain comments made by UNIDIR (Tim Caughley) on introducing UNIDIR paper OEWG Brief No. 2 during the Open-ended Working Group meeting in Geneva on 22 February 2016.

By UNIDIR

I am not going to try to outline the features of OEWG Brief No. 2. Instead, and consistent with the Chair’s wish that the OEWG be as interactive as possible I will a try to identify [see next blog] what seem to me to be some pressure points deserving discussion in this forum. Before doing so, I have four general comments.

A prohibition on nuclear weapons

A guide to the issues

By ILPI and UNIDIR

This study surveys various views on how to promote and achieve nuclear disarmament in the current security environment. It draws on our institutes’ previous work on nuclear weapons-related issues, for instance, as part of analysing the so-called ‘humanitarian impacts initiative’, the work of the Conference on Disarmament, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The year ahead

As a new year gets underway, this ‘state of play’ report comments briefly on multilateral nuclear disarmament developments in 2015 and sets the scene for discussions in 2016.  It also reflects on possible trends and outcomes. 

By Tim Caughley

Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT): The five-yearly Review Conference in May 2015 ended after four weeks without any agreed result. The rate of progress on nuclear disarmament remains a hot issue in the NPT. A new five-year review cycle has begun, but its first meeting will not place until 2017. For the NPT, 2016 is thus a ‘gap’ year, leaving space for other forums such as the Open-ended Working Group (discussed below). Incidentally, the 2020 NPT Review Conference will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Treaty’s entry into force.

Royal Flush

Nuclear disarmament: Is it time to agree on the key parameters of the process ahead?

Tim Caughley

This year’s meeting of the United Nations General Assembly’s (first) committee on ‘disarmament and international security’ gave an extra spark to the UN’s 70th birthday. Enlivening the usually lack-lustre First Committee agenda this October were several new and contentious resolutions. They served to give an unparalleled profile to nuclear disarmament, for reasons that bear reflection.

Open-ended stalling tactics

The nuclear-armed states stand to benefit the most from a second open-ended working group on nuclear disarmament. 

By Magnus Løvold

As disarmament diplomats are scratching their heads trying to figure out what to make of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly in October, the Genevois rumour mill reports that certain states are planning to table a resolution establishing an open-ended working group (OEWG) on nuclear disarmament.

Back to the Future… again… on an OEWG?

Talk of an Open-Ended Working Group on nuclear disarmament in 2016 in the Geneva disarmament community has the ring of a disappointing sequel about it.

By John Borrie

Last weekend the authorities of the village commune I live in erected a large movie screen at its lakeside beach for free nightly showings on consecutive evenings of each of the Back to the Future films. For those unacquainted with these classic 1980s movies, the protagonist—a young man named Marty McFly—finds himself (amazingly, and of course coincidentally) in three situations in which he must travel backwards or forwards in time to take charge of events in order to keep the present the way it is. He receives assistance from a time-travelling DeLorean automobile and his eccentric friend and inventor of the contraption, Dr. Emmett ‘Doc’ Brown. (The DeLorean was, in the movie, powered by plutonium ‘Doc’ Brown stole from Libyan terrorists. Not only did this say quite a lot about the preoccupations of the decade, it may have been a fine example of vigilante counter-proliferation.)