Tag: Ban Treaty

The Birth of a Treaty

A brief overview of mandates and models for negotiating multilateral agreements in the field of arms and disarmament

December 2016


In December 2016, a majority of the UN Member States voted to start a process of negotiation to prohibit nuclear weapons. By adopting resolution L.41, the United Nations General Assembly decided to “convene in 2017 a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.[1]

Rapport fra multilateralismens gravkammer

Hva skal man gjøre med et internasjonalt forhandlingsforum som ikke forhandler?

By Magnus Løvold

Dypt inne i det multilaterale diplomatiets mørke irrganger, fjernt fra offentlighetens oppmerksomhet, sitter representanter fra 65 land og snakker om internasjonal nedrustning av atomvåpen og andre masseødeleggelsesvåpen – nær tjue år på overtid.

Bad tactics

Attempts at intimidation are likely to reinforce rather than silence the call for a nuclear weapons prohibition

By Magnus Løvold
20 October 2015

If it is true that the potential of a political initiative is best measured by the level of pushback it provokes, the 2015 session of the UN General Assembly’s First Committee has so far been a major success for proponents of a nuclear weapons prohibition.

The fairness dimension

A treaty banning nuclear weapons would be worthwhile whether it leads to physical disarmament or not

By Kjølv Egeland
2 June 2015

The Non-Proliferation Treaty is an intrinsically unfair Treaty, which divides the world between “haves” and “have nots”’, the Brazilian delegation maintained in a statement to the NPT Review Conference in 2010. Five years later, at the 2015 Review Conference, the South African delegation asserted that ‘we can no longer afford to strike hollow agreements every five years which only seem to perpetuate the status quo. The time has come to bring a decisive end to what amounts to “nuclear apartheid”’. Over the last five years, a perception of nuclear colonialism, P5 arrogance, and a generally fraudulent nature of nuclear politics has proliferated. But such sentiments are hardly new. The ‘fairness dimension’ of nuclear disarmament has coexisted with the ‘humanitarian’ and ‘security dimensions’ all along. But with the ban-treaty option on the table, states are in a position to do something about it.

NATO’s tragedy

Despite almost 70 years of condemning resolutions and statements, nuclear weapons are still not explicitly prohibited by international law. NATO is one of the main obstacles for a ban.

By Kjølv Egeland and Torbjørn Graff Hugo
5 September 2014

Banning the bomb: do not wait for the nuclear-armed states to begin

On February 14, 2014, Mexico’s Vice-Minister for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights called upon all committed states to join in the negotiation of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons [1]. In the aftermath of the Mexican announcement, several observers have raised concerns about the merits of such an initiative, especially if the process does not include all the nuclear-armed states. What good would a ban treaty do if it only covers states that have already renounced nuclear weapons under the NPT and through nuclear-weapon-free zones? And, in the words of the UN’s High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, ‘on what basis can anyone conclude that a ban-the-bomb treaty would eventually achieve universal membership?’ [2].