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Group Statement on Nuclear Arms Control

  • AUTHOREuropean Leadership Network
  • Sep 11, 2019

As world leaders prepare to meet this month at the United Nations in New York, we call on them to take urgent steps to reduce the risks of nuclear confrontation. We join a growing number of international leaders in raising the alarm over new nuclear dangers.

Last month we witnessed the end of the landmark US-Russia Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Today, there are grave doubts over the future of the only remaining agreement that limits and regulates Washington and Moscow’s strategic nuclear weapons, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). And new challenges confront the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Stability is eroding and risks are rising. North Korea has grown its nuclear weapon stockpile, tests missiles, and continues to feel threatened. The fate of inter-Korean and US-DPRK dialogue remains uncertain. Tensions are flaring between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan. And, following Washington’s unilateral breach and resumed sanctions, Iran may walk away from the nuclear deal that constrains its ability to develop nuclear weapons.

Moreover, new military technologies threaten to destabilise global and regional nuclear confrontations. These technologies are rapidly evolving and entirely uncontrolled.

The risks of nuclear accident, misjudgement or miscalculation have not been higher since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Complacency should not be an option. It is not only European security at stake.

Simply coercing an adversary will not restore stability. Politically unrealistic appeals for transformed behaviour will not build trust. An accelerating arms race makes both trust and safer behaviours harder to achieve. It is possible to negotiate with adversaries without condoning unacceptable behaviour. Leaders must relearn the skills of past decades in finding ways to reduce shared nuclear risks in the absence of wider trust. For their national and common interests, we urge leaders at the United Nations General Assembly to launch a new, shared project to reduce nuclear risks. This is all the more urgent as we approach the May 2020 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which for 50 years has served as the foundation of the world’s nuclear regime. We recommend that:

Russian and US governments should comply with existing commitments, maintain existing tools, and develop new approaches to deal with a more complex future. This includes the continuation of the INF Treaty’s core objectives (mutual nuclear restraint in Europe and no deployment of intermediate range delivery systems), implementation and extension of New START (with provisions for transparency), and intensification of existing talks on strategic stability to reduce the risks of miscommunication and miscalculation.

Moscow and Washington acknowledge their special responsibilities as the states with the largest nuclear arsenals and, through their resumed strategic stability talks, consider new constraints on nuclear competition and measures to preserve nuclear stability.

US-Russia talks should focus on the classes and postures of nuclear weapons and delivery systems - strategic and non-strategic, deployed and non-deployed - and of technologies with potential strategic nuclear effect that are particularly dangerous or destabilising.

Governments across the Euro-Atlantic region, home to over 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons and four nuclear weapon states, should step up engagement and develop concrete proposals to reduce nuclear risks. The deteriorating relationship between Russia and the West and breakdown of nuclear arms control fundamentally affects European security.

China and other nuclear weapons states should promote work on strategic stability. Multilateral efforts should be made to find effective mechanisms to engage nuclear-armed states not party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

World leaders should accept that:

o nuclear stability will become so entwined with new technologies that states must collaborate if nuclear risks are to be reduced. The potential for disruption by non-state actors is unacceptably high;

o rising complexity is neither a justification for discarding arms control arrangements nor an excuse for inaction in agreeing new measures;

o the return to great power competition makes multilateral engagement on nuclear stability, transparency, and predictability more essential.

Only through cooperation on existential common interests can we build trust and stability. These shared interests demand a renewed commitment to collective nuclear diplomacy. Euro-Atlantic and global security depends on it.


Signed by members of the European Leadership Network’s senior network:


1. Mr Fatmir Mediu, former Albanian Defence Minister


2. Mr Alexander Kmentt, former Permanent Representative of Austria to the Political and Security Committee of the European Union

3. Dr Wolfgang Petritsch, former EU Special Envoy for Kosovo & Former High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina


4. Ambassador Vladimir Senko, former Foreign Minister


5. Dr Solomon Passy, former Foreign Minister, former Chairman of the OSCE and UN Security Council

6. Professor Todor Tagarev, former Minister of Defence, Head, Centre for Security and Defence Management, Institute of ICT, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences


7. Ambassador Budimir Loncar, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of former Yugoslavia; former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the Non-Aligned Movement

8. Professor Ivo Šlaus, Nuclear physicist and Honorary President, World Academy of Art and Science

Czech Republic

9. Jan Kavan, former President of the UN General Assembly, former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister


10. Mr Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, former Minister for Foreign Affairs

11. H.E Mr Mogens Lykketoft, former Foreign Minister; former President of the UN General Assembly


12. Dr Tarja Cronberg, former Member of the European Parliament, former Chair of the European Parliament Iran delegation, former member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Subcommittee of Security and Defence

13. Ambassador Jaakko Iloniem, former Ambassador to the United States, former Ambassador to the CSCE

14. Ambassador Jaakko Laajava, former Under-Secretary of State and former Ambassador to the United States and Ambassador to the United Kingdom

15. Admiral Juhani Kaskeala, former Chief of Defence

16. Dr Elisabeth Rehn, former Minister of Defence

17. Professor Raimo Väyrynen, former President of the Academy of Finland; Former Director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs


18. Admiral (ret.) Alain Coldefy, Former General Inspector of the French Armed Forces

19. Mr Pierre Lellouche, former Secretary of State for European Affairs, former President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Councilor of Paris

20. General (ret.) Bernard Norlain, former General Officer, Air Defence Commander and Air Combat Commander of the Air Force

21. Mr Paul Quilès, former Defence Minister and former President of the Defence and Armed Forces Committee of the National Assembly of France


22. Ambassador Tedo Japaridze, former Foreign Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister; former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Vice-Chairman, International Relations, Anakila Development Consortium

23. Ambassador Valeri Chechelashvili, former Deputy Foreign Minister, former Minister of Finance


24. Dr Karl-Heinz Brunner, SPD Politician and member of the Bundestag Defence Committee

25. Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, current Chair of the Munich Security Conference and co-chair of the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative, former Deputy Foreign Minister of Germany

26. Mr Roderich Kiesewetter, Special representative for foreign affairs of the CDU/CSU-group

27. Dr Angela Kane, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

28. Ms Katja Keul, Greens Politician and former member of the Subcommittee on Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation

29. General (ret). Klaus Naumann, former Chief of Defence Germany and former Chairman NATO Military Committee

30. Dr Norbert Röttgen, CDU Politician and Chairman of the Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee

31. Mr Volker Rühe, former Defence Minister

32. Mr Rudolf Scharping, former Defence Minister

33. Mr Ulf Schneider, CEO and Founder, Schneider Group

34. Mr Karsten Voigt, former politician and Coordinator of German-North American Cooperation at the Foreign Office of Germany

35. Brigadier General (ret.) Klaus Wittmann, Former Bundeswehr General


36. Ambassador Balázs Csuday, former Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Vienna

37. Professor János Martonyi, former Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs


38. Ambassador Giancarlo Aragona, former Secretary General of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

39. Professor Francesco Calogero, Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics, Universita’ di Roma La Sapienza, former Secretary General of Pugwash

40. General (ret.) Vincenzo Camporini, former Chief of Joint Defence Staff

41. Professor Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Secretary General of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs

42. Hon. Giorgio La Malfa, former Minister of European Affairs of Italy

43. Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, former Minister of Defence

44. Professor Carlo Schaerf, Director and Chairman of the Board of the International School on Disarmament and Research on Conflicts (ISODARCO)

45. Hon. Stefano Silvestri, former Under Secretary of State for Defence, former President of the Italian International Affairs Institute

46. Ambassador Stefano Stefanini, Former Permanent Representative to NATO, Former Diplomatic Advisor to the President of Italy

47. Dr Nathalie Tocci, Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, Special Adviser to former EU HRVP Federica Mogherini

48. Ambassador Carlo Trezza, former Ambassador to Korea and for the Conference on Disarmament


49. Mr Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, former Deputy Prime Minister

50. Mr Klaas de Vries, former Minister for Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations

51. Mr Bert Koenders, former Minister of Foreign Affairs


52. Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Deputy Chair of The Elders and Board Member of the United Nations Foundation


53. Professor Adam Rotfeld, former Polish Foreign Minister, former Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

54. Mr Radosław Sikorski, former Minister of Defence, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, current MEP

55. Dr Janusz Onyszkiewicz, Former Defence Minister and Chair, Executive Council, Euro-Atlantic Association


56. Dr Ricardo Baptista Leite, PSD politician and Member of Parliament


57. Ambassador Anatoly Adamishin, former Deputy Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the UK

58. Dr Alexey Arbatov, Head of the Center on International Security, Institute for World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences

59. Ambassador Alexander Bessmertnykh, former Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs, former Soviet Ambassador to Washington

60. Lieutenant-General (ret.) Evgeny Buzhinskiy, former Head of the International Treaty Directorate and former Deputy Head of International Military Cooperation of the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense

61. General Vladimir Dvorkin, Lead scientist at the Center of the International Safety of the Institute of Economic and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences

62. Professor Igor Ivanov, Former Foreign Minister

63. Professor Sergey Oznobishchev, Director, Institute for Strategic Assessments

64. Ambassador Boris Pankin, Ambassador of RF (Ret), former Foreign Minister of the USSR

65. Dr Dmitry Polikanov, Board member, PIR-Centre and former Deputy Head of the “United Russia” Central Committee

66. Dr Sergey Rogov, Director of the Institute for the US and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Science (ISKRAN)

67. Dr Dmitri Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center

68. Ambassador Vyacheslav Trubnikov, former Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, current member of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) and member of the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative (EASI)

69. Mr Igor Yurgens, Chairman of the Management Board, Institute of Contemporary Development (ICD)


70. Goran Svilanović, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council


71. Dr Ana Palacio, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the World Bank Group

72. Dr Javier Solana, former NATO Secretary-General, former Foreign Minister, President, ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics


73. H.E Mr Ingvar Carlsson, former Prime Minister

74. Ambassador Rolf Ekeus, former Ambassador to the United States, former High Commissioner on national minorities in Europe

75. Mr Gunnar Hökmark, Politician, former head of the Swedish delegation of the EPP, Chairman, Swedish Free World forum

76. Henrik Salander, former Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, Secretary-General of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission


77. Professor Mustafa Aydın, President of the International Relations Council of Turkey

78. Mr Hikmet Çetin, former Foreign Minister

79. Ambassador Ünal Çeviköz, former Deputy Undersecretary at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

80. Hon. Vahit Erdem, former Head of the Turkish Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly

81. Ambassador Osman Faruk Loğoğlu, former Ambassador to the United States and former Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

82. Ambassador Özdem Sanberk, Former Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Former Under Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

83. Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, former Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons


84. Dr Anatoliy Grytsenko, former Defence Minister, former Chairman of the National Security and Defence Committee

85. Mr Sergii Leshchenko, Member of Parliament and journalist

United Kingdom

86. The Rt Hon. Bob Ainsworth, Former Defence Secretary

87. The Rt Hon. Baroness Anelay of St Johns DBE (Joyce Anelay), former Minister of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Chairman of the House of Lords International Relations Committee

88. The Rt Hon. Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom (James Arbuthnot), former Chair of the Defence Select Committee, Member of the House of Lords

89. Sir Tony Brenton KCMG, Former Ambassador to Russia

90. The Rt Hon. Lord Browne of Ladyton (Des Browne), former Defence Secretary, member of the House of Lords, and Chairman of the European Leadership Network

91. The Rt Hon. Alistair Burt MP, Conservative Politician, former Minister of State for the Middle East

92. Lord Menzies Campbell of Pittenweem CH CBE PC QC, Former Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Member of the House of Lords

93. The Rt. Hon Charles Clarke, former Home Secretary

94. Stephen Gethin MP, Scottish National Party Politician and spokesperson for Foreign Affairs

95. Lord Hannay of Chiswick GCMG (David Hannay), former Ambassador to the United Nations and Chair of UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Security and Non-Proliferation in the UK Parliament