On April 29th, some of our distinguished APLN members participated in the Asia/Pacific session of the “Time for global No–First–Use policies” webinar hosted by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and co-sponsored by the Parliamentarians for Nuclear and Non-Proliferation Development, Peace Depot 2000, People for Nuclear Disarmament, Prague Vision Institute, Institute for Sustainable Security, and the World Future Council. During this webinar, a variety of panelist experts explored the adoption of No First Use policies, their contribution to nuclear risk-reduction and disarmament, & new possibilities for their adoption by additional nuclear-armed and allied states. This session focused primarily on NFU in the Asia/Pacific region. If you missed the live event, you can find the full recording below.
Session 1: Asia/Pacific
Chair: Alyn Ware (New Zealand). Global Coordinator, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.
- Hon Gareth Evans (Australia), Chair of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament; Former Australian Foreign Minister
- Professor Manpreet Sethi (India) who is Distinguished Fellow and head of the Nuclear Security Project at the Centre for Air Power Studies
- Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy (Pakistan). Former Chair and professor, Department of physics at Quaid e Azam University. Member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters
- Dr Tong Zhao (China). Senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace located at the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing
- Vanda Proskova (Czech Republic), Vice-Chair of PragueVision institute for Sustainable Security.
- Mr Nobuyasu Abe (Japan), Senior Adviser for the Council on Strategic Risks, Former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs
The webinar was hosted by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and cosponsored by Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Peace Depot, People for Nuclear Disarmament, PragueVision Institute for Sustainable Security and the World Future Council.
Notable quotes from our APLN members:
APLN Chair Gareth Evans on NFU credibility critiques:
“This critique understates the extent to which military leaders do in practice pay close attention to others’ declaratory policies, and the way in which these signals of intent do shape the expectations of allies and adversaries alike”
“The bottom line case for adopting NFU policies, is not that they are an end in themselves, but that they are an important contributor to immediate nuclear risk reduction and to the necessary ongoing progress of delegitimising nuclear weapons in policymakers’ thinking. “
APLN Board Member Manpreet Sethi on devising new discussion methods for policy making:
“Immobilization to create pressures on governments and NWS would be most helpful. This would be most feasible in the US where the civil society has ample sophistication, space, and scope to pressure the government.”
“We need a systematic coordinated campaign that involves not only media, but perhaps even retired military commanders who have been in charge of strategic forces. Let them discuss where they really thought that military objectives could have been achieved through nuclear weapons”
APLN Board Member Tong Zhao on why more countries should adopt NFU policies:
“If two countries have credible no first use policies, that would lead to a mutual no–use scenario. In that case, neither country would need to worry about the other’s development of homeland defense capabilities because there is that credible mutual no use. Thus if more countries adopt NFU politices, together they can achieve even greater security benefits.”
APLN Member Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy on the urgency of NFU policy:
“People have begun to forget that there are just as many nuclear weapons today as there were before, if not more. We need to bring back the urgency of this situation and add that level of security.”
APLN Member Nobuyasu Abe on nuclear risk reduction:
“It doesn’t help to simply stop nuclear arms competition. That may very well encourage an increase in conventional arms forces. We need some kind of mutual restraints on conventional force buildup as well. We need a process of reducing nuclear weapon danger and arms competition accompanied by conventional arms competition restraints.“