Nuclear weapons pose an existential threat to humankind. But if we are to eliminate them from military arsenals, and displace their role in NATO’s strategic concept, what is the process that will make that happen, what will the world without nuclear weapons look like, and once we achieve that world, how do we sustain it? The Group of 78 conference, Getting to Nuclear Zero: Building Common Security for a Post-MAD World, was designed to consider a security framework without nuclear weapons. With the “NGO statement” produced in 2016, “A Shift to Common Security and Sustainable Peace”, as a starting point, participants were asked to explore the current state of international affairs, and particularly the tensions between Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty obligations and nuclear deterrence doctrines.
Nuclear disarmament ultimately requires a shift from the doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD) to a commitment – in mind, policy and practice – to mutual security, through a sustainable common security regime rooted in global interdependence, the rule of law and a recognition of the limited utility of military force in responding to political conflict. Common security is built on UN Charter principles and on mutual security arrangements, rather than competitive military alliances, and focuses on war prevention and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
For more information on the conclusions from our conference, Getting to Nuclear Zero: Building Common Security for a Post-MAD World, please read the following documents: