The more the merrier: Time for a multilateral turn in nuclear disarmament

By M. Smetana, O. Ditrych, May 1, 2015

At three minutes to midnight on the Bulletin’s Doomsday Clock, the time has come to consider constructive steps on the multilateralization of nuclear arms control negotiations that lead toward disarmament. After explaining the context of and existing obstacles to such a multilateral turn, the authors propose constructive but realistic steps: first, initiating a debate on a reduction-cum-freeze deal that would include unilaterally declared moratoria on new nuclear weapons by lesser nuclear-armed states alongside further arsenal reductions by the United States and Russia; and second, preparing the institutional ground by moving forward with debates over arms control terminology, trust-building, and development of verification measures, not only by the nuclear weapon states but by non-nuclear weapon states and civil society organizations as well.

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