Sometimes it is hard to imagine a world without nukes. I mean really, can you imagine the Americans, Russians and Chinese giving up their last nuclear warhead? Let alone the likes of India, Pakistan and Israel.
Imagining that world is about to get a little bit easier. Gareth Evans was in town recently and previewed the key proposals in the soon to be published report of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND).
I posted on the humanitarian work Evans, a former Australian foreign minister, has been doing in recent years. He also co-chairs the ICNND which was set up by the Australian and Japanese governments. Its job is to breathe new life into the nuclear disarmament agenda and build an international consensus in the lead up to next year’s conference to review the Non Proliferation Treaty.
The Commission’s report will set out a road map for nuclear abolition. It breaks the task down into three phases:
Now to 2012 – strengthen the non-proliferation regime (designed to halt the spread of n-weapons), fix Iran and North Korea, get the US to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (Obama has promised to do this), move to set up a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East, get a fissile material cut-off treaty in place (controlling production of weapons grade plutonium and uranium), and get multilateral disarmament happening (negotiations between US and Russia are getting underway). This first phase is designed to get momentum on a range of initiatives, build confidence and get some runs on the board.