Why the Conference on Disarmament still matters

It has expanded from 10 member countries to 65, negotiated seven international nonproliferation and disarmament treaties, and next March turns 52 years old. It is the Conference on Disarmament (CD) — the world’s only disarmament negotiating forum — and, for almost 16 years, it has stagnated in deadlock. The ongoing stalemate has led some to question the forum’s utility and even to suggest conducting negotiations outside of the multilateral body in order to obtain a treaty to halt the production of fissile materials. This would be a mistake.