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Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament Summary Report  No.10 - March, 2018

Bridging the Gap: Harmonizing the NPT and the Nuclear Ban Treaty Workshop Recommendations

The Toda Peace Institute, the Asia Pacific Leadership Network (APLN), the European Leadership Network (ELN), and Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) launched the project ‘Bridging the Gap: Harmonizing the NPT and the Nuclear Ban Treaty’ with the objective to enhance convergence between the NPT and Nuclear Ban Treaty to positively influence the 2020 NPT Conference and strengthen the global disarmament and non-proliferation regime. To this end, the partner institutions organized a workshop with key policy experts, government representatives and practitioners on 22 and 23 March 2018 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. In July 2017, 122 states voted to adopt a new Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty (Ban Treaty/NWPT). It is the first treaty to ban the possession, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, thereby closing the legal gap on the prohibition of all classes of weapons of mass destruction. While advocates of the Ban Treaty have been at pains to underline the complementarities with the NPT, the five nuclear weapon states have argued that the new treaty is a potential threat to the credibility and authority of the NPT. The ‘Bridging the Gap’ project addresses the looming issues surrounding the effectively bifurcated global nuclear order with two treaties now in existence to set nuclear policy directions and norms. The group identified that the potential areas that need to be reconciled between the NPT and NWPT include safeguard standards; testing; stationing; the meaning and scope of assistance and encouragement to other states engaged in activities prohibited under the NWPT (i.e. support for nuclear deterrence postures); institutional arrangements for review, amendments, verification and enforcement; and linkage with the non-NPT nuclear-armed states.