non-nuclear weapon states

Nuclear disarmament ambitions in 2014

Absent any major catastrophe involving a nuclear weapon (which isn’t out of the question but let’s all hope we don’t get to that point), established nuclear-weapons policies look unlikely to shift dramatically in 2014. Predictably, for an issue involving diverse interests, entrenched mistrust and engagement across the entire international community, the rate of change often feels glacial.

Nuclear Diplomacy in 2014

Looking ahead to this coming year, 2014 is full of opportunities for reducing the value of nuclear weapons and developing arms control in ways that could improve security relations. Enough time remains before policymakers and analysts start talking about how we must focus on “managing expectations” for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in the spring of 2015.

The Struggle Against Apartheid Continues

An extraordinary life, full of inspiration, the media today is wall-to-wall with accolades for Mandela as the world prepares for his funeral. People looking back on a life well lived, picking out his most extraordinary qualities – dignity, humility, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice and most notably (for it crosses a near-universal taboo) his acceptance of death throughout his life.

The OPCW and Syria: learning the lessons of verification

Verification remains a key challenge on the road to nuclear disarmament and the continued non-proliferation of WMD. It is complex, politically and technically, and ultimately can only be sustainable in the long run if it is freely entered into, non-discriminatory, universally applicable and credible. Does the OPCW hold lessons for confidence in multilateral nuclear disarmament?

Gambling with our security?

Our calculations about risk are not always rational. Many people are more afraid of a shark attack or plane crash than they are about driving a car or crossing the street. Statistically, the latter two are far more dangerous (worldwide, shark attacks account for around 4.4 fatalities each year; road accidents: 1.3 million) but, somehow, the familiarity of driving and a sense of control make the risks feel lower.

Repairing and refocusing a fractured nuclear discussion

UN General Assembly

Saying that nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament are interlinked may seem like a spectacular statement of the obvious. Non-proliferation - that is, preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons - relies heavily on our ability to simultaneously deliver results on disarmament - that is, getting rid of the nuclear weapons that currently exist around the world.

Strengthening Nonproliferation

In this report BASIC's senior fellow, Ward Wilson, argues that the perceived status of nuclear weapons as powerful political icons hinders nonproliferation efforts and encourages other states to retain or pursue nuclear weapons programs. Wilson also discusses specific steps states could take to tackle the increased symbolism of nuclear weapons and strengthen nonproliferation.

Strengthening Nonproliferation: Game-Changing Ideas

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 (All day)

United Nations First Committee Side Event
Ward Wilson and Barry Blechman discussed how to rethink the different value perceptions of nuclear weapons within an international security framework, in order to strengthen nonproliferation efforts. The event took place on October 16th, as a side event at the United Nations First Committee. Angela Kane moderated the event and Benno Laggner from the Swiss delegation made introductory remarks.

Why diversity matters to the nuclear debate

The public discourse around nuclear weapons policy can be deceptively binary: countries should retain nuclear capabilities or they shouldn’t; nuclear weapons provide security and strategic stability or they don’t. However, it is generally only the tip of the iceberg that makes its way into mainstream debate. In reality, a web of incredibly technical, expert discussion takes place below the surface which defines how substantive nuclear policy decisions are taken.

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