New edition of ‘Counting to zero’

A statistical guide to multilateral nuclear disarmament and arms control


This report is motivated by the need for an accurate and methodical mapping of how the members and observers of the United Nations approach nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament in the context of humanitarian disarmament.

HI and military expenditure2 kopi

Polarized diplomacy

There is a sense among many that the international community is more polarized than ever over the issue of nuclear disarmament. It is not. And even if it were, there would be no need to panic. 
UN General Assembly

By Kjølv Egeland
14 April 2016

Since the institutionalization of ‘modern’ diplomacy in the renaissance, the vocation of the diplomat has been to build (metaphorical) bridges, craft deals, and maintain ‘good relations’ with foreign powers. The core function of diplomacy—multilateral and bilateral—is to generate agreement. In everyday usage, the adjective ‘diplomatic’ describes the art of ‘dealing with people in a sensitive and tactful way’ or ‘acting in a way that does not cause offence’.

Just another president

Can the NSS save Obama’s nuclear legacy?

By Torbjørn Graff Hugo & Kjølv Egeland
31 March 2016

As world leaders descend on Washington DC for the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit this week (March 31­–April 1), the contours of President Obama’s nuclear weapons legacy are becoming clearer. For those who heard him speak in Prague in 2009, it is a story of great expectations and subsequent disappointment. For everyone else, it’s the story of just another US President.

A ‘legal gap’? Nuclear weapons under international law

In December 2014, the Austrian government called on states and other stakeholders to ‘fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.’ The ‘Humanitarian Pledge’ to fill the legal gap has now been endorsed by more than 120 UN member states.

By Gro Nystuen and Kjølv Egeland
21 March 2016

Is there really a ‘legal gap’ in the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime? And, if so, is it a gap in substantive law or is it ‘just’ a compliance gap? This is the question Dr Gro Nystuen and Kjølv Egeland tackle in their feature in the most recent number of Arms Control Today. Read the full article at Arms Control Association’s website here.

Should we fear North Korea?

On 15 March 2016 the WMD project of the International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) organized a panel debate on North Korea and its nuclear weapon programme.

Kulturhuset, Oslo — 15.03.2016

Question from the floor during the panel debate. Photo: Hanne Veel (ILPI).

The debate was moderated by journalist Stig Arild Pettersen. The panel consisted of Halvor Kippe (FFI), Sverre Lodgaard (NUPI), and Gro Nystuen (ILPI).

Regional roundtable meeting in Pretoria

On 17-18 February the WMD project of the International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) held its 11th regional roundtable meeting on nuclear weapons outside Pretoria, South Africa.

By Torbjørn Graff Hugo

The meeting was organized in collaboration with the South African-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The purpose of the roundtable was to bring together key government stakeholders from the African continent to discuss both substantive and process-related aspects of an international nuclear disarmament, with a particular focus on a planned Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) in Geneva. A key issue to be explored was the role of Africa and African states in this field.

Legal perspectives on effective measures, provisions and norms relating to nuclear disarmament

Remarks to the open-ended working group on taking forward multilateral disarmament negotiations, Geneva, 22.02.16.

By Dr. juris Gro Nystuen
  • I would like to thank the Chair, Ambassador Thani, for inviting me to participate in this panel. I am grateful for this opportunity to address the Open-Ended Working Group.
  • As the title suggests: my approach to this is that of international law – in 2014, we at ILPI produced a book entitled Nuclear Weapons under International Law, which maps existing international law relevant to nuclear weapons.

A prohibition on nuclear weapons

A guide to the issues


This study surveys various views on how to promote and achieve nuclear disarmament in the current security environment. It draws on our institutes’ previous work on nuclear weapons-related issues, for instance, as part of analysing the so-called ‘humanitarian impacts initiative’, the work of the Conference on Disarmament, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).