To see the full list of Policy Briefs, click here.
Latest Policy Briefs and Reports
Policy Brief No.6 - March, 2018
The adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017 changed the paradigm of the NPT and its review process. The two preparatory meetings preceding the 2020 NPT Review Conference will show in stark relief the differences and the convergence between the nuclear allies and the Ban Treaty supporters. The paper looks at the emergence of the frustrations of the non-nuclear weapon states that led to the Ban Treaty and its adoption by almost two-thirds of the United Nations member states. It outlines the arguments against the Ban Treaty put forward by the nuclear allies and the hardening of positions in light of their cavalier dismissal of the Ban Treaty. The paper addresses these criticisms, discusses the positions put forward by the Ban Treaty supporters, and examines the possible repercussions for the debate on nuclear issues and security. The paper argues that the nuclear possessors should accept the Ban Treaty as a reality and focus on the way forward: renewed dialogue and cooperation with the non-nuclear-weapon states. Suggestions for constructive engagement are addressed to both nuclear allies and Ban Treaty supporters, arguing that vision and leadership is needed from both sides in order to avoid a further disintegration of the nuclear architecture.
Policy Brief No.5 - March, 2018
The adoption of the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty (NWPT) by 122 states in July 2017 introduced a powerful new dynamic into the stagnant realm of nuclear disarmament. The decision by the nuclear weapon states (NWS) and their nuclear dependent allies to boycott the NWPT negotiations created a schism within the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) community that will not be easily repaired. The NWPT did not come out of the blue, but was in itself a manifestation of the building frustration of non-NWS over the failure of the NWS to deliver on their nuclear disarmament commitments. While sharing some of this frustration, the nuclear dependent allies opted to privilege adherence to the doctrine of nuclear deterrence over advancing nuclear disarmament goals. If the NPT regime is not to suffer serious erosion, these nuclear dependent allies will need to convince their NWS partners to undertake tangible nuclear disarmament action. The Nonproliferation and Disarmament Initiative grouping of states (which includes both pro and anti NWPT states) may have a special role to play in this regard.
Summary Report No.4 - February, 2018
The 2018 Tokyo Colloquium brought regional experts on peace and security in Northeast Asia together with policymakers and civil society organisations from US, China, Korea and Japan to discuss how to ensure stable peace in Northeast Asia. It was jointly organised by Toda Peace Institute, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, New Zealand on 1 February. While identifying some of the forces generating insecurity, and turbulence in the region, the Colloquium had particular focus on ways in which existential nuclear threat in the Korean peninsula could be dealt with through preventive diplomacy, dialogue and negotiations and whether denuclearisation of DPRK is the prerequisite for achieving negotiated solutions. Two panels of influential experts and policy makers were organised to share their insights and wisdom on these questions.
Summary Report No.3 - February, 2018
Effective verification will be absolutely essential to achieving nuclear disarmament. Developing effective verification may seem an impossible challenge, but there is substantial experience to build on, including IAEA safeguards and bilateral arms control processes. Examining the specific steps required to progress disarmament, we are not starting with a blank sheet, many verification missions are similar to those existing or under development today. International collaboration in developing new verification applications will contribute to the confidence and trust required to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Policy Brief No.2 - February, 2018
President Trump’s recent Nuclear Posture Review lays out important policy changes with regard to US nuclear weapons. It broadens the circumstances in which the US may use nuclear weapons and aims for the introduction of new types of ‘smaller’ nuclear weapons. Both intentions may contribute to lowering the threshold for nuclear weapons use and blur the difference between nuclear and conventional weapons. These changes have direct effects on NATO’s European member states and require an informed debate among policy makers as well as the general public in these states. This Policy Brief offers some considerations as input for such a debate.