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"I want to thank the Arms Control Association … for being such effective advocates for sensible policies to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and most importantly, reduce the risk of nuclear war."

– Joseph Biden, Jr.
Senator
January 28, 2004
ACA Press Releases

Resources on the 10th NPT Review Conference

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For Immediate Release: July 29, 2022

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, (202) 463-8270 ext. 107

Hundreds of diplomats representing the states-parties to the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), along with representatives from civil society, will convene in at UN headquarters in New York for talks that will shape the future of the international nuclear arms control regime at a time when the risks of nuclear proliferation and nuclear competition are growing.

The conference caps a five-year cycle of meetings in which states-parties review compliance with the NPT and seek agreement on steps to advance the treaty’s main goals: preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons and sensitive nuclear technology and halting and reversing the nuclear arms race and advancing nuclear disarmament. 

This review conference comes a quarter-century after state-parties agreed on the indefinite extension of the NPT at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference. As states-parties seek to reach agreement on ways to reaffirm their support for the treaty and its implementation, several issues could prove to be contentious including the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the nonproliferation system and the failure of the nuclear-armed states-parties to meet their NPT Article VI disarmament obligations and goals outlined in the action plan adopted at the 2010 Review Conference.


Official Schedule and Documents

The first week of the conference will feature high-level speeches by world leaders before the meeting turns to a review of thematic issues. The conference agenda, working papers from delegations, and plenary session speeches are available on the official UN NPT conference website.

If you are not able to attend in person, you can still follow the conference via UN WebTV. Tune in Friday, Aug. 5 at approximately 3:00 pm Eastern U.S. time for NGO statements.


ACA Updates and Resources and Side Events

As we have done since the first NPT Review Conference in 1975, the Arms Control Association team will be there to monitor and engage in the proceedings. Our research team will provide twice-weekly updates on key developments at the Review Conference. You can follow these updates at ArmsControl.org/blog/2022/updates-10th-NPT-RevCon.

Additional ACA resources on the 10th NPT Review Conference are highlighted below.

Many official and nonofficial side events are scheduled through the course of the month and are listed on the official conference side-events calendar and from our colleagues at Reaching Critical Will. Some events will be in-person only while some will also be webcast.


Events Before and During the Review Conference

  • July 29: ACA Executive Director Daryl Kimball will deliver the keynote address for an international symposium organized by the Asahi Shimbun, the Nagasaki city government, and the Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace titled: “The Road to Nuclear Weapons Abolition.” The event will start at 9:00 pm Eastern U.S. time July 29 (July 30 at 10:00 am, Japan Standard time) and will be live streamed in English here: https://youtu.be/k80HSwG8YCg. Kimball’s remarks as prepared for delivery will be available at https://www.armscontrol.org/events
  • Aug. 5: Nongovernmental organizations will address the NPT Review Conference. Among the presentations will be one on “The Necessity of a Meaningful Action Plan on Article VI,” organized by ACA and endorsed by other major nuclear disarmament NGOs. The session can be viewed live via UN WebTV beginning at 3:00 pm ET.
  • Aug. 10: The Deep Cuts in Nuclear Arsenals project will host a side event from 1:15 to 2:30 pm in conference room 5 on “Reducing nuclear risks and nuclear arsenals in times of tension in Europe.” Panelists include ACA’s Daryl Kimball, ACA Board Member Angela Kane, and Andrei Baklitskiy with UNIDIR. More details are online here.
  • Aug. 18: ACA executive director Daryl Kimball will speak at a side event on “Strengthening all three pillars of the NPT,” organized by the Mission of Kazakhstan from 1:15 pm to 2:30 pm at the Kazakh Mission.

News and Analysis


Interviews 


ACA Fact Sheets

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Official documents, side-events, and other useful resources related to the 10th nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York, Aug.1-26, 2022

Nuclear Ban States Solidify 2017 Treaty

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Strongly Condemn Recent Threats of Use of Nuclear Weapons As Violation of International Law

For Immediate Release: June 24, 2022

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, (202) 463-8270 ext. 107

(Washington/Vienna)— At their first formal meeting since entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), states parties meeting in Vienna this week formally agreed on a series of 50 action steps to implement the 2017 agreement and condemned recent threats of use of nuclear weapons as a violation of international law.

In the statement, dubbed the “Vienna Declaration,” the governments condemn all threats to use nuclear weapons as violations of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations,” citing "increasingly strident nuclear rhetoric.” The document also demanded, “that all nuclear-armed states never use or threaten to use nuclear weapons under any circumstances.”

The conference's condemnation of threats of nuclear weapons use is a direct response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's threats of nuclear use against any who might interfere in Russia's war against Ukraine.

"The Vienna Declaration is the strongest statement against the threat of nuclear weapons use since Russia's war against Ukraine began and Russian President Vladimir Putin issued threats of possible use of nuclear weapons against any who might interfere," noted Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. "It is a much stronger condemnation of these nuclear threats than any statements from the leaders of the United States, Britain, or France, by the UN General Assembly, and any consensus statement that is likely to emerge from the forthcoming 10th Review Conference of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).” 

In the document, the states parties condemned “unequivocally any and all nuclear threats, whether they be explicit or implicit and irrespective of the circumstances. Far from preserving peace and security, nuclear weapons are used to coerce and intimidate; to facilitate aggression and inflame tensions. This highlights the fallacy of nuclear deterrence doctrines, which are based and rely on the threat of the actual use of nuclear weapons and, hence, the risks of the destruction of countless lives, of societies, of nations, and of inflicting global catastrophic consequences.”

To date, 86 states have signed the TPNW and 66 states have ratified. The trety prohibits the possession, development, transfer, testing, use, or threat of use of nuclear weapons. Eighty-three countries participated in the first meeting of states parties in Vienna from 21 to 23 June 2022, including observer states.

Kimball, who was a participant in the first meeting of TPNW states parties, also spoke at the June 20 Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons about the “Nuclear Risk Dimension of the War on Ukraine.”

In addition to the Vienna Declaration, dozens of states parties strongly condemned the recent nuclear threats by President Vladimir Putin against any state that might interfere with the Russian invasion of Ukraine in their national statements.

“We commend the four NATO member states, including Germany and the Netherlands, who chose to attend the meeting as observers and who pledged to engage ‘in constructive dialogue and exploring opportunities for practical cooperation’ with TPNW states,” Kimball said.

The TPNW meeting also underscored the strong support states parties for the NPT and the complementarity between the two treaties.

“The next global gathering about nuclear weapons will take place in August at the 10th NPT Review Conference,” Kimball noted. “It is no ordinary NPT review conference. States must act with urgency and boldness.”

“In the face of the growing danger of nuclear war, the 191 NPT states-parties must build on the TPNW meeting outcomes by reinforcing the norms against nuclear weapons, condemning any threat of nuclear weapons use, and agreeing to specific actions necessary to fulfill the treaty’s Article VI disarmament provision. This should include an explicit call upon the United States and Russia to begin negotiations to conclude new disarmament arrangements, and a call for all NPT nuclear-armed states to freeze their nuclear stockpiles, and agree to engage in disarmament negotiations,” Kimball suggested.

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At their first formal meeting since entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, states parties formally agreed on action steps to implement the 2017 agreement and condemned recent threats of use of nuclear weapons.

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Experts Call on Biden to Redouble Diplomacy to Restore 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal

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IAEA Director-General Warns “Fatal Blow” to Agreement Could Be 3 to 4 Weeks Away

For Immediate Release: June 10, 2022

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, (202) 463-8270 ext. 107

(Washington, D.C.)—Experts from the Arms Control Association strongly urge President Joseph Biden to immediately redouble efforts to break the stalemate on talks to restore compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi warned that efforts to restore the JCPOA will face a “fatal blow” within three to four weeks, after Iran announced June 9 that it was disconnecting certain cameras monitoring key nuclear facilities.

“President Biden clearly supports a restoration of mutual compliance with the JCPOA as the best way to roll back Iran’s potential to produce bomb-grade nuclear material and maintain more stringent International Atomic Energy Agency oversight of Iran’s sensitive nuclear activities,” noted Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association. “And it is.”

“Unfortunately, the Biden administration has not treated the growing crisis, which was triggered by former President Trump’s irresponsible withdrawal from the agreement in 2018, with the necessary degree of urgency it deserves,” he charged. “In the wake of new disturbing developments, however, the White House must take immediate action.”

This week, Iran disconnected 27 cameras monitoring key nuclear facilities in retaliation for an IAEA Board of Governors resolution urging Iran to cooperate with the agency on its investigation of undeclared nuclear materials from the pre-2003 nuclear weapons program. The IAEA risks losing its continuity of knowledge about Iran’s nuclear activities—which is necessary for restoring the JCPOA—if the cameras remain disconnected for more than 3-4 weeks, Grossi warned June 9.

“A deal to achieve a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA is on the table and could be quickly implemented—if the United States and Iran move away from hardline positions on the non-nuclear issue blocking agreement: whether and under what conditions to lift a U.S. foreign terrorist organization (FTO) designation on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC),” said Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy.

“It is past time for both sides to resolve that impasse and finally deliver on what is in the interest of all sides: an agreement to restore compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal,” she said.

“The Biden Administration continues to argue that it is up to Iran to accept the deal or negotiate over the IRGC designation. But it is a failure of leadership on the part of the White House not to announce it will immediately intensify diplomatic efforts to break the impasse on the issue. And blaming Iran, however emotionally or politically satisfying that may seem to be, doesn’t avert the imminent nuclear crisis and it doesn’t advance U.S. national security interests” Kimball said.

"Biden will pay a small political cost for lifting sanctions on the IRGC, but it pales in comparison to the enormous national and international security threat of a nuclear-armed Iran," Davenport said.

“Currently, Iran could produce enough nuclear material for a bomb in less than 10 days—a window so short Tehran’s actions may not be detected by international inspectors. Restoring the JCPOA’s limits on Iran’s nuclear program will significantly increase that margin to about six months, which provides the international community with enough time to take effective action to counter any Iranian move toward a nuclear weapon,” Davenport said. 

“If President Biden fails to promptly conclude negotiations with Iran to restore the JCPOA, it would perpetuate the failed strategy pursued by the Trump administration and allow Iran to further expand its nuclear program and defy its safeguards obligations with the IAEA. Biden risks going down in history as the president that allowed Iran to reach the brink of a nuclear bomb. It is past time the United States doubled down on creative proposals to break the impasse,” she warned. 

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Experts from the Arms Control Association are calling on President Biden to immediately redouble stalled diplomatic efforts to restore compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which is facing what the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Director-General says could be a “fatal blow” within three to four weeks.

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Success of 25-Year-Old Chemical Weapons Prohibition Treaty Cannot Be Taken for Granted, Experts Caution

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For Immediate Release: April 28, 2022

Media Contacts: Paul Walker, coordinator of the CWC Coalition, (617) 201-0565; Leanne Quinn, CWC Coalition Program Assistant, (202) 463-8270 x 106

(Washington, D.C.) - April 29 marks the 25th anniversary of the 1997 entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which outlaws the development, production, and use of deadly chemical weapons and requires the verifiable destruction of remaining stockpiles. 

“The CWC has solidified the global taboo against chemical weapons and has evolved to become a sophisticated, resilient, and effective disarmament regime. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2013, has been tremendously successful in overseeing the demilitarization of vast chemical weapons stockpiles,” said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

The CWC enjoys almost universal global support with 193 States Parties. To date, 99% of the world’s declared chemical weapons stockpiles have been safely and irreversibly destroyed, and there have been thousands of on-site inspections of chemical weapons facilities and chemical industrial facilities to ensure treaty compliance.

“But the work of eliminating prohibited chemical weapons stockpiles is not yet complete and the global taboo against chemical weapons possession, production, and use cannot be taken for granted.” Kimball cautioned.

The use, and threat of use, of chemical weapons has not completely abated. Chemical weapons were used in Syria and Iraq numerous times in the last decade, questions about Syria’s undeclared chemical weapons capacity linger, and nerve agents have been used in assassination attempts in Malaysia, Russia, and the United Kingdom; and there are serious concerns about the potential use of chemical weapons by Russia in Ukraine.

“In the coming months and years, all states that support the CWC have a responsibility to actively uphold and enforce the norms established by the treaty,” Kimball said.

On April 13, more than 35 chemical weapons experts signed on to a joint statement organized by the CWC Coalition, a special project of the Arms Control Association, expressing concern about the threat of use of chemical weapons in Ukraine.

“We call upon Russia, in the strongest possible terms, to respect its solemn obligations under the Geneva Protocol and the CWC not to contemplate, let alone use or threaten to use, these globally banned weapons of mass terror,” the statement said.

The CWC regime faces other challenges, as well. Egypt, Israel, North Korea, and South Sudan remain outside of the treaty, and only 62% of states parties have enacted domestic laws to fully implement treaty provisions. Chemicals and technologies that can be used to create these weapons are often dual use, and chemical security must be a continued priority to prevent chemical terrorism.

“Ensuring continued prohibition of these weapons, and verified treaty compliance among all states-parties, should be a core international security interest of all nations. Achievements must be safeguarded, and violators must be investigated and held to account,” said Leanne Quinn, program assistant for the CWC Coalition.

Out of the 193 states-parties to the CWC, eight had or still have declared chemical weapons stockpiles. Of those eight countries, Albania, India, Iraq, Libya, Russia, South Korea, and Syria have completed destruction of their declared arsenals.

“The United States is scheduled to complete chemical weapons stockpile elimination efforts in September 2023. Technical challenges at the two remaining chemical weapons destruction sites remain formidable and meeting that goal is not assured. We call on the United States to make every effort possible to safely finish destroying the last vestiges of its chemical weapons stockpile by the treaty-mandated deadline,” said Paul Walker, vice-chair of the Arms Control Association and coordinator of the CWC Coalition.

The fifth review conference of the CWC will take place next year and member states must dedicate themselves to the ongoing task of ensuring treaty obligations are fully implemented and that the CWC and the OPCW can adapt to meet new challenges.

“To help the OPCW in that mission, governments and nongovernmental actors have a responsibility to ensure the chemical weapons prohibition regime has the necessary political and public support, and technical and financial resources to verify compliance – and hold accountable those who may violate the chemical weapons taboo,” stated Walker.

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On the 25th anniversary of the CWC's entry into force, experts caution that despite the CWC's numerous achievements, the global taboo against chemical weapons possession, production, and use cannot be taken for granted.

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40+ Nonproliferation Experts Call for Action to Restore the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal

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For Immediate Release: April 21, 2022 

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, (202) 463-8270 ext. 107; Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy (317) 460-8806. 

(Washington, D.C.)—With negotiations to restore compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), at a critical juncture, a group of more than 40 former government officials and leading nuclear nonproliferation experts issued a joint statement today expressing strong support for an agreement that returns Iran and the United States to compliance with the accord. 

“A prompt return to mutual compliance with the JCPOA is the best available way to deny Iran the ability to quickly produce bomb-grade nuclear material,” the experts' statement notes. “It would reinstate full IAEA international monitoring and verification of Iran’s nuclear facilities, thus ensuring early warning if Iran were to try to acquire nuclear weapons—and possibly become the second state in the Middle East (in addition to Israel) with such an arsenal.” 

Despite Iran’s compliance with the accord, former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the JCPOA in May 2018, reimposed sanctions that had been waived as part of the agreement, and embarked on a pressure campaign designed to deny Tehran any benefit of remaining in compliance with the nuclear deal. 

Iran continued to meet its JCPOA obligations until May 2019, when Tehran began a series of calibrated violations of the agreement designed to pressure the remaining JCPOA parties to meet their commitments and push the United States to return to the agreement. These violations, while largely reversible, have increased the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program. 

“As a result of Trump administration policies,” the experts' statement says, “it is now estimated that the time it would take Iran to produce a significant quantity (25 kg) of bomb-grade uranium (enriched to 90 percent U-235) is down from more than a year under the JCPOA, to approximately one or two weeks today.” 

“Restoring the limits on Iran’s nuclear program will significantly increase (by many months) the time it would take Iran to produce a significant quantity of bomb grade material, which provides the margin necessary for the international community to take effective action if Iran were to try to do so,” they write. 

“Just as importantly,” the experts write, “the JCPOA mandates unprecedented International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring, verification, and transparency measures that make it very likely that any possible future effort by Iran to pursue nuclear weapons, even a clandestine program, would be detected promptly.” 

If President Biden fails to bring negotiations with Iran to a prompt and successful conclusion it would perpetuate the failed strategy pursued by the Trump administration and allow Iran to further improve its capacity to produce weapons-grade nuclear material. The result, the nuclear nonproliferation experts write, “would increase the danger that Iran would become a threshold nuclear-weapon state.” 

Failure to bring Iran back under the limits established by the JCPOA would produce long-term adverse effects on the global nonproliferation regime, put U.S. allies at greater risk, and create a new nuclear crisis. 

Signatories of the letter include a former special representative to the president of the United States on nonproliferation, former U.S. State Department officials, the United States' former Ambassador to Israel, Russia, and the United Nations, and leading nuclear nonproliferation experts based in the United States, Europe, and Asia. 

The full text of the statement and list of signatories is available online.

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Experts note that if President Biden fails to bring negotiations with Iran to a successful conclusion, Iran could further improve its capacity to produce weapons-grade nuclear material. 

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Biden’s Reported Decision to Retain Option to Use Nuclear Weapons Against Non-Nuclear Threats Is Disappointing, Illogical, and Dangerous

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For Immediate Release: March 25, 2022

Media Contacts: Daryl Kimball, executive director (202-463-8270 x107); Shannon Bugos, senior policy analyst (202-463-8270 x113)

(Washington, D.C.)— President Joseph R. Biden has stepped back from a campaign vow and approved an old Obama-era policy that allows for a potential nuclear response to deter conventional and other non-nuclear dangers in addition to nuclear ones, U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

Biden’s policy will reportedly declare that the “fundamental role” of the U.S. nuclear arsenal will be to deter nuclear attacks. Such a policy, the officials said, will leave open the possibility that nuclear weapons could also be used in “extreme circumstances” to deter conventional, biological, chemical, and possibly cyberattacks by adversaries.

“If the report is correct, President Biden will have failed to follow through on his explicit 2020 campaign promise to adopt a much clearer and narrower policy regarding nuclear weapons use, and he will have missed a crucial opportunity to move the world back from the nuclear brink,” charged Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

Biden wrote in Foreign Affairs: “As I said in 2017, I believe that the sole purpose of the U.S. nuclear arsenal should be deterring—and, if necessary, retaliating against—a nuclear attack. As president, I will work to put that belief into practice, in consultation with the U.S. military and U.S. allies.”

“Putin’s deadly war against Ukraine, his nuclear saber-rattling, and Russia’s policy that reserves the option to use nuclear weapons first in a conflict with NATO underscore even more clearly how extremely dangerous it is for nuclear-armed states to threaten the use of nuclear weapons in response to non-nuclear threats—and it reinforces why it is necessary to move rapidly away from dangerous Cold War-era thinking about nuclear weapons,” Kimball said.

“Biden has apparently failed to seize his opportunity to meaningfully narrow the role of nuclear weapons and failed, through his NPR, to distinguish U.S. nuclear policy from Russia’s dangerous nuclear doctrine that threatens nuclear first use against non-nuclear threats,” he added.

“There is no plausible military scenario, no morally defensible reason, nor legally justifiable basis for threatening or using nuclear weapons first—if at all. As Presidents Reagan, Biden, Gorbachev, and even Putin have all said, a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” Kimball said. “Once nuclear weapons are used in a conflict between nuclear-armed states, there is no guarantee it will not result in nuclear retaliation and escalation to an all-out nuclear exchange.”

“We also strongly urge the administration to explain how Biden’s nuclear weapons declaratory policy will differ from Russia’s dangerous nuclear doctrine and under what circumstances the United States might believe it would make sense to initiate the use of nuclear weapons for the first time since 1945,” he said.

Shannon Bugos, a senior policy analyst at the Arms Control Association, added, “The final Biden NPR should also reiterate the longstanding U.S. commitment to actively pursue further verifiable reductions in the still bloated nuclear stockpiles of the United States and Russia, and to seek to engage China and other nuclear-armed states in the disarmament enterprise.”

“The sobering reality is that it would take just a few hundred U.S. or Russian strategic nuclear weapons to destroy each other’s military capacity, kill hundreds of millions of innocent people, and produce a planetary climate catastrophe,” she noted.

“Maintaining ambiguity about using nuclear weapons first is dangerous, illogical, and unnecessary," said Bugos.

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Biden has apparently failed to seize his opportunity to meaningfully narrow the role of nuclear weapons and failed through his Nuclear Posture Review.

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U.S., German, Russian Experts Outline Plan for Defusing Russia-NATO Crisis Through Arms Control

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For Immediate Release: Feb. 11, 2022

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, Arms Control Association 1-202-463-8270, ext. 107; Oliver Meier, +49 171 359 2410, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy Hamburg

(WASHINGTON, D.C)—In a joint statement issued today, a senior group of American, European, and Russian security experts warn that: “The tensions between Russia, Ukraine, and NATO create the potential for a disastrous war that can and must be avoided through serious and deft diplomacy.”

“Among other steps, NATO and Russia should pursue agreement on common sense arms control instruments to help move away from the brink of disaster and promote stability and security in Europe,” they write. The experts are members of a 24-member group of leading nuclear arms control and risk reduction experts known as the Deep Cuts Commission.

“NATO and Russia have advanced different ideas on conventional and nuclear arms control. Yet, the two draft agreements put forward by Moscow in December 2021 as well as the U.S. and NATO responses to these texts submitted in January 2022 indicate there is room for negotiations designed to resolve mutual security concerns,” the Commissioners note.

“Both sides have stated that they are ready to engage in talks on risk reduction and confidence-building concerning offensive and defensive missile deployments in Europe, transparency on conventional weapons and military exercises, as well as on conventional forces posture and arms control,” the Commissioners point out in their Feb. 11 joint statement.

Among other steps, the Commission recommends negotiations on a balanced agreement between the United States and Russia on a verifiable moratorium on the deployment of intermediate-range missiles between the Atlantic and the Urals and an arrangement between NATO and Russia for reciprocal transparency visits to NATO’s Aegis Ashore sites in Romania and Poland and Russia’s 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile sites.

Other recommendations include agreements, guidelines, and notifications designed to scale back major military exercises and avoid close military encounters between Russian and NATO forces.

“Substantive discussions on these important issues as well as information exchanges and confidence-building steps offer a path to stabilize the current crisis and enhance European security in the longer term,” the Commissioners say.

The full statement from the Deep Cuts Commission, “Defusing the Ukraine Crisis through Arms Control, Transparency and Risk Reduction,” is available online.

The Deep Cuts Commission was established in 2013 and is based at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH). The Commission was established to provide decision-makers with concrete, practical policy options to enhance international security by reducing the number and risks of nuclear weapons. The Arms Control Association (ACA) and the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO, RAN), are the U.S. and Russian project partners.

 

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A senior group of American, European, and Russian security experts warn that "tensions between Russia, Ukraine and NATO create the potential for a disastrous war that can and must be avoided through serious and deft diplo­macy.”

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Talks to Restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action: Background and Resources

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For Immediate Release: Jan. 31, 2022

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director (202-463-8270 x107); Julia Masterson, research associate (202-463-8270 x 103)

Multilateral negotiations to restore U.S. and Iranian compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal are reportedly making progress. According to senior U.S. officials, the United States and Iran "are in the ballpark of a possible deal" to return to the 2015 nuclear agreement.

On Jan. 28, negotiators paused work to consult with capitals ahead of what could be a final push to reach a common understanding on a win-win outcome. The next few days and weeks may be critical if the talks are to succeed in resurrecting the accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The United States and its partners are concerned that “the pace at which talks are progressing is not catching up with the pace of Iran’s nuclear advances,” which have accelerated throughout negotiations. U.S. officials have warned that Iran could soon reach a ‘nuclear breakout’ threshold, meaning that it could produce enough fissile material for one nuclear bomb. At that point, although Iran would need to master several additional, complicated steps to build a viable nuclear weapon, the White House has alluded that the United States might consider alternative strategies.

The JCPOA, which was concluded in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), verifiably blocked Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons and provided incentives for Tehran to maintain an exclusively peaceful nuclear program.

Following the Trump administration’s unilateral withdrawal in May 2018 and Iranian retaliatory measures that began in 2019, however, the agreement’s future is in jeopardy as Iran’s nuclear capacity continues to increase.

Promptly and simultaneously restoring U.S. and Iranian compliance with the JCPOA would help stabilize the current situation and prevent a major nuclear proliferation crisis in the region.

A return to full compliance with the JCPOA would also provide a platform for further negotiations on a long-term framework to address Iran’s nuclear program and would create space to engage with Iran on other areas of concern, such as regional tensions and its ballistic missile program.

News

Factsheets

Reports

  • The comprehensive "Solving the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle: The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" report (August 2015) includes:
    • a summary of the history and status of Iran’s nuclear program,
    • a detailed summary and explanation of the JCPOA,
    • answers to more than two-dozen frequently asked questions, and
    • annexes on “Understanding ‘Breakout’” and “Iran’s Ballistic Missiles and the Nuclear Deal.”

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Useful resources for media and others on the 2015 nuclear deal as talks progress in Vienna on restoring the agreement. 

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Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and the Government of Mexico Voted 2021 Arms Control Person(s) of the Year

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Recognized for Novel Initiative to Combat Illicit Arms Trafficking

For Immediate Release: Jan. 14, 2022

Media Contacts: Tony Fleming, director for communications, 202-463-8270 ext. 110; Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, 202-463-8270 ext 107

(Washington, D.C.)—Mexico’s foreign minister, Mr. Marcelo Ebrard, and the government of Mexico were selected as the 2021 Arms Control Persons of the Year through an online poll that drew thousands of participants from dozens of countries. The annual contest is organized by the independent, nongovernmental Arms Control Association.

Mr. Ebrard and the government were nominated for their lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers and distributors that takes a novel approach to combat illicit weapons trafficking from the United States into Mexico that is fueling violence and criminal activity.

The lawsuit, filed in a Massachusetts federal district court, alleges that several major firearms manufacturers and wholesalers “design, market, distribute, and sell guns in ways they know routinely arm the drug cartels in Mexico,” and that contributes to a decline of life expectancy in Mexico. It said the named companies sell about 340,000 of an estimated half-million guns that illegally flow each year from “Massachusetts and other U.S. states to criminals south of the [U.S.-Mexico] border.”

“The Mexican Foreign Ministry’s lawsuit against the U.S. firearms companies represents an important new way to hold rogue actors accountable for their role in the violence caused by small arms trafficking across international borders,” according to Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

“The Arms Control Person(s) of the Year contest is a reminder of the diverse and creative ways that dedicated individuals and organizations from around the globe can contribute to meeting the difficult arms control challenges of today and the coming decades,” he said.

This year, eight individuals and groups were nominated by the Arms Control Association staff and board of directors. “All of the nominees demonstrated extraordinary leadership in raising awareness of and advancing effective arms control solutions for the threats posed by mass casualty weapons during the course of 2021,” Kimball said.

The runners-up in this year’s contest were Sébastien Philippe, an associate research scholar of the Princeton Program on Science and Global Security, and French journalist Tomas Statius, for their groundbreaking investigation that challenges the French government’s official public story of the health consequences of French atmospheric nuclear tests in the South Pacific. Their new findings suggest more than 100,000 people in Polynesia may be eligible to claim compensation from France for harm caused by the tests, which is about 10 times more than estimated by the existing French government.

Online voting was open from Dec. 8, 2021, until Jan. 12, 2022. A list of all of this year's nominees is available at https://www.armscontrol.org/pressroom/2021-12/2021-arms-control-persons-year-nominees-announced

Previous winners of the Arms Control Person of the Year are:

  • Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins and Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security for catalyzing support and action from leaders and practitioners in the national security and foreign policy communities to increase diversity into their ranks (2020);
  • Areg Danagoulian and colleagues at MIT for development of an innovative new nuclear disarmament verification process using neutron beams (2019);
  • 4,000 Anonymous Google Employees whose open letter to company leadership led to Google ending its work on “Project Maven” with the Pentagon (2018);
  • Diplomats from Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, and South Africa, and Costa Rica who secured the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (2017) ;
  • Tony de Brum and the government of the Marshall Islands (2016);
  • Setsuko Thurlow and the Hibakusha of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, (2015);
  • Austria's Director for Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Ambassador Alexander Kmentt (2014);
  • Executive-Secretary of the CTBTO Lassina Zerbo (2013);
  • General James Cartwright (2012);
  • Reporter and activist Kathi Lynn Austin (2011);
  • Kazakhstan's Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov and Thomas D'Agostino, U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator (2010);
  • Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) (2009);
  • Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and his ministry's Director-General for Security Policy and the High North Steffen Kongstad (2008); and
  • Congressmen Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) and David Hobson (R-Ohio) (2007).
Description: 

Mr. Ebrard and the government were nominated for their lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers and distributors that takes a novel approach to combat illicit weapons trafficking from the United States into Mexico that is fueling violence and criminal activity.

    10th Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference: Background and Resources

    Body: 

    For Immediate Release: Dec. 15, 2021

    Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, 202-463-8270 x107; Shannon Bugos, senior policy analyst, 202-463-8270 x113

    In less than a month, hundreds of diplomats representing the states parties to the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), along with representatives from civil society, will convene Jan. 4-28 for talks that will shape the future of the international nuclear arms control regime at a time when the risks of nuclear proliferation and nuclear competition are growing.

    The conference caps a five-year cycle of meetings in which states-parties review compliance with the NPT and seek agreement on steps to advance the treaty’s main goals: preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons and sensitive nuclear technology and halting and reversing the nuclear arms race and advancing nuclear disarmament. This review conference occurs a quarter-century after state parties agreed on the indefinite extension of the NPT at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference.

    The conference, which was been delayed due to the pandemic, arrives as tensions between the United States and Russia and between the United States and China are worsening and as they are each accelerating programs to modernize and upgrade their deadly arsenals.

    As a result, a central issue at this Review Conference, the treaty’s 10th, will likely be the failure of the nuclear-armed states parties to meet their NPT Article VI disarmament obligations and the many of the specific disarmament-related goals outlined in the action plan that was adopted at the 2010 Review Conference.

    Although the United States and Russia agreed earlier this year to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) until early 2026, negotiations on a follow-on agreement or agreements have yet to begin. This week, a group of U.S., Russian, and European experts outlined a set of recommendations on how the two counties can achieve progress. Whether the five NPT nuclear-armed states will agree to commit to specific action steps to address this “disarmament deficit” is not clear.

    Other issues could prove to be contentious. These include how to advance the goal of a Middle East zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. Divisions on that issue led the United States to block consensus on a final conference outcome at the 2015 NPT Review Conference.

    While there will likely be strong support from NPT states parties for the ongoing talks to restore U.S. and Iranian compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran’s failure to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s efforts to maintain adequate monitoring of its sensitive nuclear activities could not only complicate talks on the JCPOA, but it could become a flashpoint at the NPT conference.

    To make progress, the NPT Conference will need to recognize but also avoid unnecessary debate over the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force earlier this year. Supporters of the TPNW, which include some of the strongest backers of the NPT, note that the new treaty complements the NPT and is a good-faith contribution to their disarmament commitments. The NPT nuclear-weapon states unsurprisingly oppose the TPNW, which calls into question their continued reliance on the threat of using weapons of mass destruction in the name of their national security interests.

    As of now, it is not clear who will represent the United States at the conference. President Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. delegation to the NPT meeting, Adam Scheinman, has not yet been confirmed by the U.S. Senate due to opposition from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

    Another open question is whether, as with past NPT Conferences, is whether the president or secretary of state will address the opening of the NPT conference to describe in more detail the United States’ vision for reducing the existential threats posed by the world’s most dangerous weapons.

    RESOURCES

    News and Analysis

    Interviews 

    Fact Sheets

    Official Conference Documentation and Speeches  

    Twitter

    Description: 

    The 10th Review Conference by states parties to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty will take place Jan.4-28. It is expected to shape the future of the international nuclear arms control regime at a time when the risks of nuclear proliferation and nuclear competition are growing. The following resources are provided to journalists covering the event. 

    Subject Resources:

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