Panel Discussions - Friday, June 07, 2013
Global Governance and the State of Nuclear Weapons
The nuclear status quo is not sustainable— this was one of the main conclusions from a June 7th IPI roundtable discussion on the recently published report entitled “Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play," edited by Ramesh Thakur and Gareth Evans.
Discussants at the event contended that regulating and containing the world’s supply of nuclear weapons continues to be a major challenge in global governance today, and while there have been pockets of progress made, they are largely rhetorical or symbolic in nature, and significant gaps remain.
Ramesh Thakur, Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (CNND) at the Australian National University, shared key findings from the report. Discussants Jayantha Dhanapala, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs and Ward Wilson of the British American Security Information Council, also contributed their thoughts.
The event was hosted by the International Peace Institute in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and the Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations.
The discussion yielded the following insights:
1. Global governance, in the context of nuclear weapons, is a two-tier system of the “haves and the have-nots.” The world must ensure that the structure is abolished in order to work toward the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
2. More than $100 billion dollars is spent every year in maintaining and modernizing nuclear weapons. The report finds that modest progress has been made on nuclear arms reduction. Russia and the U.S. have made cuts to their stockpiles under the START treaty, while France and the U.K. have met their disarmament objectives. However, no progress has been made in reducing the high launch-alert status of 2,000 American and Russian weapons. The report argues that nuclear-armed states pay merely lip-service to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and continue to place nuclear arms in their security policies.
3. Some progress has been made on the global nuclear architecture and on efforts towards reducing proliferation risks of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. However, international standards, accountability, transparency, and the means to judge whether commitments are being met are lacking.
4. Civil society and non-nuclear armed states can play an important role in nuclear arms reduction. The disinvestment campaign, recently released by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), targets banks, pension funds, and insurance companies with substantial investment in nuclear arms production. In addition, nuclear modernization efforts can also be discouraged by civil society groups.
The Global Observatory
Are Recent Prison Breaks in Nigeria Part of a Southward Expansion by Boko Haram?
Whoever is behind them, these prison breaks signal that Nigeria’s authorities are struggling to maintain the rule of law, not just in the far northeast, but also in the Middle Belt and the southwest.
Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
December 09, 2014
Small States in a Multilateral World
Despite their size and limited resources, small states have an important and crucial role to play in the multilateral system and can leverage their power through cooperation.
December 02, 2014
Protecting Civilians in Armed Conflict: From Concept to Norm
Five years after the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1894, the concept of Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (PoC) has become a widely accepted norm at the UN, featuring more and more in Council mandates and becoming a cornerstone of UN missions on the ground.
November 27, 2014
Dialogue on Multilateralism Continues in Geneva
The Geneva launch of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM) took place on November 27th in the Palais de Nations, the UN headquarters in Geneva which used to be the seat of the League of Nations.
December 15, 2014
Video: Nazila Fathi on the Struggle for Modern Iran
December 12, 2014
Video: Effective Governance in Challenging Environments
September 25, 2014
IPI Remembers Margaret Vogt