The emergence of the Humanitarian Initiative and the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) changed the dynamics and the tone of the nuclear disarmament debate. Nuclear weapons states and non-nuclear weapon states alike should envision a more inclusive and open-minded discussion on the principal drivers of the Humanitarian Initiative rather than focusing on the (in)compatibility between the TPNW and the NPT.
The 10th NPT Review Conference in 2022 presents an opportunity to make progress on some of the issues at stake: Nuclear-weapon states should pledge to respect international humanitarian law principles in their nuclear doctrines and operational planning. NPT States Parties and cross-regional groupings, including the Stockholm Initiative and Creating an Environment for Nuclear Disarmament (CEND), should advance the conversation on nuclear risk reduction and consider measures to reduce the dangers posed by nuclear deterrence practices. De-alerting presents an urgent and legitimate interim step pending nuclear disarmament.
About the Authors
Sara Bundtzen is a Research and Policy Associate at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD). Her research interests lie at the intersection of transatlantic security, nuclear policy, the intel cycle, and online disinformation.
Ekaterina Lapanovich is an Assistant at the Department of Theory and History of International Relations, Ural Federal University, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation (VCDNP). Her research focuses on nuclear deterrence, nuclear disarmament, the Humanitarian Initiative, and the Ban Treaty.