The Indispensable NPT - Views from the Asia-Pacific
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The Indispensable NPT - Views from the Asia-Pacific



6 August 2022

This week, APLN Senior Associate Fellow John Tilemann discusses two ‘black swan’ events adding new contentious issues to the already fraught agenda at the Tenth Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Asia-Pacific security experts discuss what success at NPT RevCon might look like in The Pulse, and Michael Roach shares a photo-essay of his family’s experiences with the early years of the atomic age (with Nautilus Institute and RECNA).

We are continuing to push our campaign to elevate the voices of Pacific Island residents through our creative competition “Nuclear Weapons and the Climate Crisis.”

The Indispensable NPT: Black Swans and Black Boxes

APLN Senior Associate Fellow John Tilemann discusses two ‘black swan’ events complicating the Tenth Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Read commentary

The 10th Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference:
Views from the Asia-Pacific

The Tenth NPT Review Conference is underway at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Expectations of a successful outcome are low. But how should “success” be defined, and how can nations achieve what observers might consider a positive result? Prominent APLN members from Australia, Mongolia, and Japan share their hopes and fears for this year’s NPT RevCon.

Read The Pulse

The Crossroads of Atomic Warfare in One Family

Michael Roach is a retired renewable energy manager and former US Army atomic demolition munitions specialist. In his photo-essay, Roach provides a remarkable account of multigenerational involvement in nuclear war, starting with a previously unpublished photo of the starboard nose of the Enola Gay bomber showing the inscription “First Atomic Bomb – Hiroshima – August 6, 1945.”

Roach and his father, Kenneth Roach, both served in the US Army two decades apart on missions that involved the atomic bomb. The prospect of real atomic warfare in Japan during the 1940s, and potential atomic warfare in Korea during the 1960s, brought their lives together historically, but father and son came away from their experiences with completely different conclusions. This essay sheds light on the US government’s thinking about nuclear weapons, particularly vis-à-vis military operations in Northeast Asia. A co-production by APLN, Nautilus Institute, and the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (RECNA).

Read the Special Report

Nuclear Weapons and the Climate Crisis
Creative Competition

The Pacific Island project kicks off with a creative competition on “Nuclear Weapons and the Climate Crisis.” We invite Pacific Island nationals to enter and share their ideas, perspectives, and experiences of the impact of climate change and nuclear weapons policies and practices.For more information, please contact APLN policy fellow Elaine Natalie on

Read about the competition

Regional Perspectives on Strengthening the NPT: Lessons from the NTI’s Global Enterprise Project

The Nuclear Threat Initiative will hold a side event at the Tenth NPT Review Conference on sharing regional perspectives on strengthening the NPT. The event will present findings from the NTI’s Global Enterprise project to develop concrete measures to advance the NPT’s goals.

APLN senior research adviser Tanya Ogilvie-White will speak at the event on 15 August 2022 which will be available on livestream on UN Web TV.

Read more about the event

Strengthening the NPT Regime: Priorities for the Future

In a new joint workshop report with the Nuclear Threat Initiative, we highlight the concerns and perspectives from Asia-Pacific countries ahead of the upcoming NPT Review Conference.

The report identifies actions countries can take to strengthen nuclear risk reduction; increase transparency; improve fissile material management; and expand peaceful uses of nuclear technology.

Read workshop report (PDF)

The report is based on a closed Track 1.5 workshop convened by APLN and NTI in Jakarta on June 29-30, 2022 to discuss priority issues for strengthening the NPT. The meeting, sponsored by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, brought together over 30 participants from 15 countries across the Asia-Pacific region.

Learning the right nuclear lessons from Ukraine

Ramesh Thakur, former UN assistant secretary-general, wrote about this year’s Hiroshima Round Table and analysed how the Russian invasion and threats of nuclear weapons use had added to global fears of a nuclear Armageddon.

Can we please have a real debate on nuclear submarines?

Marianne Hanson, Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, wrote on the AUKUS nuclear submarine plan and stressed that Australia should be shoring up the non-proliferation regime, not setting risky precedents.

North Korea has changed – our policy toward it should change too

Cheong Wook-Sik, director of the Hankyoreh Peace Institute, pointed out three critical changes in North Korea and underscored the need to fundamentally reconsider the current approaches to policy on the North.

BroadTalk podcast: Changemaker

In BroadTalk’s Changemaker series, Natasha Stott Despoja, the founding Chair of Our Watch, talked about how she has worked to advance the rights of women and girls and embodied what it means to be a changemaker. 

China-India Relations in a State of Limbo

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, Director of the Centre for Security, argued that Beijing’s statements on China-India relations should be reassuring, but China’s repeated aggressive moves do not give India much confidence that Beijing means what it says.

Amid Ukraine war, gap between nuclear weapon haves and have-nots needs urgent attention

C. Uday Bhaskar, Director of the Society for Policy Studies (SPS), wrote for the South China Morning Post, where he argued that the need to quarantine the nuclear weapon to its core mission of deterrence is critical and urgent.

Reducing the risk of a nuclear war

C. Uday Bhaskar, Director of the Society for Policy Studies (SPS), argued in the Hindustan Times that the nuclear powers must reassert the “sanctity of deterrence” to avoid nuclear catastrophe.

China’s Shifting Economy and Politics: Impact on U.S.-China Relations

Kevin Rudd, former Australian Prime Minister, delivered a lecture at the UC San Diego Forum on U.S.-China Relations. He discussed new developments in China’s political economy and examined their impact on U.S.-China relations moving forward.



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