Nuclear Weapons Convention

The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution every year since 1996 calling for negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention (NWC) – a global treaty which would prohibit the threat or use of nuclear weapons and establish a phased program for their complete elimination under strict and effective international control.

TAKE ACTION: Support the UN resolutions calling on negotiations for a NWC

Over 130 countries have supported the resolution including some of the nuclear-armed States – China, India, North Korea and Pakistan (Click here for voting result of the 2013 resolution). However, such negotiations have not been able to begin for two main reasons:

  • The call is not supported by other nuclear-armed countries (France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States) and countries under extended nuclear deterrence relationships (NATO members, Australia, Japan and South Korea);
  • The forum typically used to negotiate multilateral non-proliferation and disarmament treaties (the Conference on Disarmament), operates by consensus and has been unable to undertake any substantive work since it negotiated the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1996.

A number of recent initiatives have open the door to the commencement of negotiations (or at least pre-negotiations) on a NWC or package of agreements to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. These include:

Take action: Call on your governments to:

  • Support the UN resolutions calling on negotiations for a NWC;
  • Undertake further work on a nuclear weapons convention or package of agreements in the UN Open Ended Working Group;
  • Use the forthcoming UN High Level Conference to build global political will in support of the achievement of a NWC.