Open-ended fault lines

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.

Not for nothing

The legal gap should not only concern the nuclear-weapon-states. There is also need for additional legal measures on the part of the non-nuclear-weapon states.

By Torbjørn Graff Hugo

In Working Paper 9 to the NPT Review Conference, the six-nation New Agenda Coalition (NAC—see our glossary for more detail) makes an interesting assertion regarding the legal gap on nuclear weapons. In an otherwise well structured argument for the need for a new legal instrument (of sorts), the six-member group ‘acknowledges that for those States parties to the Treaty that are non-nuclear-weapon States, the key obligation in any new legal instrument would effectively be a reiteration of their existing obligation under article II of the Treaty.’

Once more unto the breach

States need to reflect carefully on the impacts on the health of the NPT if current levels of dissatisfaction over the implementation of article VI are left to fester.

By Tim Caughley

The NPT Review Conference has moved into its final fortnight after two weeks devoted to set-piece national and group statements uttered largely as expressions of their formal, public position on key issues of nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. That phase has given way to one in which flexibility on those matters is being teased out in more intensive, interactive sessions mainly closed to the public. The objectives of the chairs of those meetings are to broker compromise and deliver consensus—i.e., unobjectionable—outcomes.