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CNND Report – Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015

  • AUTHORCentre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific
  • Feb 16, 2015

The following is a summary. Click on the adjacent link to download the full report.

In 2013, the Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (CNND) released its inaugural Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play report on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. This report is renowned for its rigour and high impact, providing advocacy tools for civil society and resource materials for the global non-proliferation and disarmament community.

In and around 2010 there were real grounds for optimism among those of us who wanted to see serious movement toward a world free of nuclear weapons. But by the end of 2012 (when the first State of Play was published) optimism was fading fast, and by the end of 2014 it had almost completely disappeared, for all the reasons documented in this updated report.

Overwhelmingly the story has been one of paralysis, minimal forward movement and significant backsliding.

A new edition of the report, Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015, was released in preparation for the 2015 NPT Review Conference.

This updated report is intended to be a comprehensive assessment of the progress, or lack of it, the world has made over the last five years in nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, security and peaceful uses, when measured against three sets of benchmarks:

Ÿ the commitments and recommendations contained in the NPT 2010 Action Plan;

Ÿ the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) 2010,2012 and 2014 commitments; and

Ÿ the (much more ambitious) recommendations of the 2009 ICNND, which tried to translate the optimism engendered by the Obama Prague speech into a practically achievable step-by-step agenda for change.

Like its predecessor in 2013 – describing the “state of play” as at December 2012 – the report was written by CNND’s Canberra-based staff and consultants, with strong input on numbers issues, especially, from SIPRI in Stockholm.

And like its predecessor the report is in two parts – the bulk of it analytical, addressing the issues topic by topic, and with the concluding section giving “traffic-light” evaluations – colour coded from red to green – of all three of NPT, NSS and ICNND outcomes, with cross-references back to the main text.

Apart from updated figures, this edition has about 30% of new material overall – including substantial new sections, e.g. on missile defence and weapons in space, and expanded treatment of the humanitarian consequences movement and options for treaty-focused civil society campaigning.