<< view all Events

Negotiating the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons: Withdrawal Provisions

A three-part series of informal discussions

In this second session, sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Ireland, the GCSP and the Geneva Disarmament Platform (GDP) are pleased to invite you to discuss some fundamental concerns surrounding a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.

Given that a frequently stipulated condition of nuclear disarmament is that it should be irreversible, and given the underlying humanitarian rationale for prohibiting nuclear weapons (including the fundamental determination that nuclear weapons must never be used “under any circumstances”), this session will tackle how the ban treaty should deal with withdrawal. Should it include the traditional provision of allowing a state to withdraw if it decides that “extraordinary events” have “jeopardised the supreme interests of its country”? Or should it have more restrictive or onerous provisions, perhaps with a notice period of several years, an obligatory consultation or mediation process, or some kind of approval mechanism involving the other states parties? Or should there be no provision for withdrawal at all? Would having onerous or no withdrawal provisions help to strengthen non-proliferation as well as disarmament by remedying an often-criticized shortcoming of the NPT? Or would it tend to discourage states from joining the treaty?

The format for the meeting will be as follows:

  1. Welcome by the sponsoring state
  2. Introduction to the topic by invited experts
  3. Open discussion moderated by the GCSP and the GDP

A light lunch will be provided before the discussion, and a non-attributed summary will be circulated after the meeting. Participants will need to take care of their own access to the Palais.

Participants do not need to register, but they are encouraged to circulate draft working papers, textual proposals, or any other written contribution to the meetings. Papers for circulation, as well as any queries or suggestions, can be sent to Richard Lennane and Marc Finaud


This series of discussions will take place before the negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination” which will begin in New York on 27 March, following the adoption of General Assembly resolution 71/258.

show more


Room VIII, Palais des Nations

Any questions?

Contact our staff, we can advise you.

+41 22 730 96 00

<< view all Events