In the past, concerns about a nuclear attack were mainly in regard to the leaders of rogue states acquiring nuclear weapons. The war in Ukraine has shifted this threat to the leader of a superpower waging a war with thousands of known nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert. Tarja Cronberg explores the ways in which control over nuclear weapons can be taken out of the hands of world leaders, and how to mitigate the risk of a nuclear war triggered by the human error of powerful individuals.
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At the end of June, the first Meeting of States Parties to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) took place in Vienna. At this inaugural meeting, states parties to the TPNW gathered to commit to concrete actions to implement obligations under the Treaty. ELN network member Tarja Cronberg participated in the meeting and shares her reflections with us.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has already devastated Ukraine, and the situation could get even worse: Carlo Trezza argues that Russia could, for example, resort to chemical and/or nuclear weapons. To stand up to Russia’s aggression, there are many actions that both NATO and the UN can take to pressure Russia.
Several countries, including the US and the Soviet Union, developed and tested radiological weapons before abandoning their programs. Today, there is a real risk that states may again pursue these weapons. Within the context of the P5, could now be the time to revive the initiative to ban radiological weapons?
The pillar of international biological arms control is, at present, inadequate for handling a biological weapons crisis.
In October and November 2019, the European leadership Network (ELN) and King’s College London (KCL) hosted two workshops with experts and government officials from each of the P5 countries to explore cooperation ahead of the London conference and the NPT Review Conference in 2020. This policy memo captures many of the recommendations deliberated at the workshops.