CTBT

Arms Control, Non-Proliferation & Disarmament Diplomacy

BASIC has followed developments around nuclear arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament treaties for almost thirty years. This page includes links to issue areas for recent coverage, factsheets and other resources for key treaties, initiatives and dialogues that BASIC has focused on as key steps in achieving progress towards our vision.

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Counting on Nuclear Non-Proliferation

Today is the 45th Anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and also this week, Wednesday marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Presidential announcement to extend the moratorium on nuclear explosive testing. These are admirable anniversaries, but what have they achieved?

The NPT has become the bedrock of the nuclear arms control regime, but back in 1968 when it was first signed, states had no clue how long it would last; and written into the Treaty was a 25-year lifespan.

What comes next for U.S. nuclear weapons policy?

Brandenburg Gate

This Wednesday, President Obama is slated to give his next big foreign policy speech at the historically significant Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. It was at this Gate – an enduring symbol of both the division and subsequent unity of East and West Berlin – that Ronald Reagan urged then-General Secretary of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, to “tear down this wall” in 1987, and President Clinton spoke of a free and unified Berlin in 1994, following the end of the Cold War.

Almaty and Prague

This week, talks over Iran’s nuclear program will resume on Friday and Saturday, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Friday will also mark four years since President Barack Obama delivered his landmark speech in Prague, Czech Republic, where he called for a world free of nuclear weapons and outlined the details of how his first administration would handle nuclear weapons issues.

Trinity nuclear test anniversary - U.S. first to test, but will it be the last to fully support a ban?

Today is the 67th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear explosion test, known as “Trinity”, which used a plutonium core. It was unnecessary for the first use of a nuclear warhead, on Hiroshima three weeks later, as designers were so confident about that form of HEU ‘gun-type’ warhead.

Getting to Zero Update

NATO completed its Deterrence and Defense Posture Review with mixed results. Diplomacy over Iran’s nuclear program picked up pace. A National Academies panel released its updated assessment on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty’s implications for U.S. security, with apparent positive conclusions for supporters.

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U.S. Report on the CTBT

20 years CTBT Ministerial Meeting

Although all eyes are currently on the second Nuclear Security Summit happening today and tomorrow in Seoul, South Korea, a significant development on nuclear issues will also happen this Friday, when the U.S. National Academy of Sciences releases it long-awaited report on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The report, while technical, will have far-reaching political implications for nuclear arms control.

Getting to Zero Update

BASIC recently wrapped up a series of events in Cairo, including a joint press workshop with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and an off-the-record seminar on the politics of regional nuclear proliferation.  BASIC staff met with senior officials and former officials to discuss the status of the 2012 conference on a WMD-Free Zone, as a piece in the complex jigsaw of regional politics currently unfolding.

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Getting to Zero Update

Although implementation of the New START nuclear arms control treaty between Russia and the United States was moving along, disagreement over missile defense continued to pose a serious blockage in the relationship. Diplomatic efforts around North Korea were at an uptick, and India and Pakistan have managed to revive stalled peace talks.

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