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GCSP Co-organises a Series of Discussions on the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons

A first meeting of a series of public discussions was held on 6 March 2017 at the Palais des Nations under the sponsorship of the Permanent Mission of Austria, co-organised by the Geneva Disarmament Platform and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP).

The provisions on cooperation and relations with nuclear-armed states outside the treaty will be of particular relevance for non-nuclear-weapon states that are in military alliances.  

The event began with initial welcoming remarks by Ambassador Thomas Hajnoczi, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations in Geneva, and Mr Richard Lennane, Executive Director of the Geneva Disarmament Platform.

Mr Kjølv Egeland, Advisor at the International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) and DPhil candidate in International Relations at Oxford University, introduced the issue of interoperability in arms control and disarmament treaties. Mr Egeland called for the new treaty to explicitly address the question of which acts would violate prohibitions on assisting, encouraging or inducing nuclear weapons. Read the full text of his presentation.

Ms Kathleen Lawand, Head of the Arms Unit at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) noted that the ICRC strongly supported the negotiation of a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. However, it is generally accepted that concerns are sufficiently covered by the prohibition to “assist, encourage or induce”, and Ms Lawand warned of the risk of diluting the prohibitions or opening loopholes. View her presentation slides.

The following open discussion touched on topics ranging from the lack of participation of 'nuclear umbrella states' in negotiations, the call to totally reject extended deterrence through nuclear weapons, and the pros and cons to phased implementation of a provision on assistance and hosting of nuclear weapons.

The event summary can be found here.

The second event, on Withdrawal Provisions, was hosted by the Permanent Mission of Ireland on 10 March. The third and last event will be hosted by the Permanent Mission of South Africa on 22 March, on Accession Provisions for Nuclear-Armed States.