Ahead of the 2014 NPT Preparatory Committee, Article 36 and Reaching Critical Will have published a joint report entitled “A treaty banning nuclear weapons“. The paper explores the development of a legal framework for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.

Despite the growing recognition of the risk of a nuclear weapons detonation, nuclear-armed states and those in military alliances with them continue to rely upon and invest in nuclear weapons. However, the renewed focus on the humantiarian consequences of nuclear weapons has opened space for consideration of the most appropriate political and legal responses to the existence of nuclear weapons.

The ban treaty approach discussed in this paper can bridge the gap between long-held aspirations for nuclear disarmament and the seemingly intractable legal and political landscape that exists today. A new legal instrument could provide a framework for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. While participation of all states would be welcomed, such a treaty could be developed even without the participation of the nuclear-armed states and would still have significant impact in both normative as well as well practical terms.

The paper looks at possible principles and provisions of such a framework; how it could be accomplished; and its potential normative and practical impacts.

Published in April 2014 by Article 36 and Reaching Critical Will

Written by Ray Acheson, Thomas Nash, and Richard Moyes

Download this report

A Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons

A Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons: Developing a legal framework for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons

April 2014

 

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