Many proposals have been brought to the table at the open-ended working group on nuclear disarmament in Geneva. What are the main fault lines for discussions?
By Magnus Løvold
If success were to be measured by rate of document production, the open-ended working group (OEWG) on nuclear disarmament could already be considered a great triumph. As the second substantial segment of the OEWG gets going in Geneva, states and civil society have set forth an impressive 35 working papers—more than three times the number of working papers written for the previous OEWG in 2013.
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.
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.