Trident renewed

On 18 July, the British Parliament voted to maintain the United Kingdom’s nuclear-weapons capability for the foreseeable future.

By Kjølv Egeland
19 July 2016

The debate in the House of Commons consisted, as Orwell once wrote of political language in general, ‘largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.’

Spelling Tlatelolco

An overview of the history and politics of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament in Latin America and the Caribbean

By ILPI
5 July 2016

This article provides an overview of the history and politics of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament in Latin America and the Caribbean. A particular emphasis is placed on the Latin American and Caribbean nuclear-weapon-free zone. We discuss the terms of the Treaty and how the zone came to include states that were initially reluctant to join it. With this as a backdrop, we also consider the role of Latin American and Caribbean states in ongoing efforts to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

1540 and the 2016 Comprehensive Review

A brief history of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 in light of the 2016 Comprehensive Review

By Hanne Veel
13 June 2016

On 28 April 2004, the UN Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted Resolution 1540,[i] the purpose of which is to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to non-state actors, in particular for terrorist purposes. The resolution obliges all UN member states to adopt and enforce appropriate legislation to this end, and to put in place domestic controls to prevent such proliferation. The resolution further establishes a committee to oversee its implementation. In accordance with a subsequent resolution from 2011 (UNSC Res 1977), the 1540 resolution will undergo a comprehensive review in 2016, with a view to improving implementation of the resolution. This article briefly outlines the history and implementation of the resolution to date, with the aim of providing a backdrop to the on-going review process.

100 years since Verdun

A century ago, chemical weapons were used to terrible effects in the fields of France.

Trenches

By Kjølv Egeland
27 May 2016

100 years ago, large parts of the globe were engulfed in one of the most devastating conflicts the world has ever seen. The Battle of Verdun, dragging on over most of the year 1916, was one of the First World War’s most devastating engagements. More than 300 000 French and German soldiers—possible a lot more—lost their lives in the hills of north-eastern France between February 21st and December 20th. As many other battles of the ‘Great War’, Verdun saw extensive use of chemical weapons—or ‘poison gas’—by both sides.

New edition of ‘Counting to zero’

A statistical guide to multilateral nuclear disarmament and arms control

By ILPI

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.