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
With Heartland Threatened, Lebanon’s Shiites See Hezbollah as “Protector of the Community”: Q&A with Sahar Atrache
Despite its heavy involvement in the Syrian war, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah still retains strong support among Lebanon's Shiites, says Sahar Atrache of the ICG.
Key Global Events to Watch in July
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.
July 17, 2014
EU and UN Seek Ways to Improve Cooperation in Peacekeeping
The European Union is among the strongest supporters of UN peacekeeping missions around the globe, but the growing challenges faced by UN-led operations have raised the need for better EU-UN cooperation, both on the ground and at the planning level.
July 01, 2014
SRSG Johnson: South Sudan Crisis Changed UNMISS “Mindset”
Hilde Johnson, the outgoing Head of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), gave an overflow IPI audience a dramatic account of the challenging situation that has faced the United Nations in the country since the eruption of mass violence at the end of last year.
June 25, 2014
Mousavian: Iran and US Have Serious Chance for Rapprochement
From Iraq to Syria, from energy to counterterrorism, Iran and the United States share many common interests across the Middle East and ought to put aside their decades of hostility, said author and former Iranian diplomat Seyed Hossein Mousavian.