Get up to speed on the proposed nuclear ban treaty with analysis from IISS experts. Despite little media attention, prospects for a treaty look better this time. But is a ban the best way to bring about a world without nuclear weapons?

Photo by US DoD

A Nuclear Ban Treaty: prospects and issues

Strategic Comments

The United Nations General Assembly is expected soon to authorise the negotiation of a treaty that would make nuclear weapons illegal. Despite little media attention, prospects for an actual agreement look better this time. Countries possessing nuclear weapons have resisted the idea and would continue to do so. But with nuclear arms control on other fronts stalled, the negotiation of a Ban Treaty may be the only game in town for some time.

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The nuclear ban treaty and its possible ramifications

By Paulina Izewicz, Research Associate, Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy

Frustration at the slow pace of nuclear-disarmament efforts has fuelled a drive to establish a nuclear ban treaty. While the initiative could put pressure on nuclear-weapons states to move towards disarmament at a quicker pace, Paulina Izewicz argues that any attempt to decouple their perceived need to retain nuclear weapons from the broader strategic context may prove to be an exercise in futility.

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Photo by Pakistan Army/Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The real problem with a Nuclear Ban Treaty

By Matthew Harries, Managing Editor of Survival; Research Fellow for Transatlantic Affairs

A world without nuclear weapons is a noble long-term goal and one hesitates to get in the way of those trying to reach it, says Matthew Harries. However, he argues, it is best to be blunt – a Nuclear Ban Treaty will not reduce the role of nuclear weapons in the international system.

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Banning the bomb: we'll all go together

By Matthew Harries, Managing Editor of Survival; Research Fellow for Transatlantic Affairs

Barack Obama was a cautious president, given to the odd audacious speech. In 2009, he stood on a podium in Prague’s Hradcany Square and declared America’s commitment to a world free from nuclear weapons. 'Human destiny will be what we make of it,' he said.

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Photo by the White House

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