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The Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy

The Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy has been working since 1995 to promote effective approaches to international security, disarmament and arms control. Engaging with governments and civil society, Acronym provides reporting, analysis and strategic thinking on a range of issues relevant to peace and security, with special emphasis on treaties and multilateral initiatives.

The Acronym Institute publishes the journal Disarmament Diplomacy, with comprehensive overview of news, events and documentation relating to disarmament negotiations and developments in proliferation.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is scheduled to hold its 8th Review Conference during 3-28 May in New York 2010: visit our main 2010 Rev Con page here. Acronym Institute Director Dr Rebecca Johnson and Senior Associate Carol Naughton will be blogging daily from the Rev Con: visit the blog here. Acronym has produced a series of key briefings for the 2010 NPT Review Conference: read the briefings here


2010 NPT Review Conference: Acronym Analysis

  • Read Acronym's blog from the Rev Con here

  • Read Acronym's NPT Briefings: 2010 & beyond here
  • NPT: the gulf between the nuclear haves and have-nots, 26 May 2010
    The key question as the conference enters the endgame is whether the P-5 nuclear weapon states are willing to drop their demands for the removal of so many of the disarmament commitments that are important to the non-nuclear countries, including references to a nuclear weapons convention or time bound framework to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Originally published by OpenDemocracy
  • NPT conference: half time glass half full 17 May 2010
    Frustration at the failure of nuclear weapon states to honour the agreements made at previous NPT Conferences is growing. In heated exchanges in New York the 184 countries without nuclear weapons want to ensure that this time the NPT outcome has direction, accountability and muscle. Half way through the conference Rebecca Johnson reports that there is still everything to play for. Originally published by OpenDemocracy
  • United States at the NPT: how far will the 'good guy' go? 11 May 2010
    Unless the role and value assigned to nuclear weapons in deterrence is challenged among the nuclear-armed states, the notion of nuclear deterrence will remain seductive – and a proliferation drive. Those wanting to bring about real security in a non-nuclear-armed world need to do far more at this NPT Conference. Rebecca Johnson reports from New York. Originally published by OpenDemocracy

New Book: Security Without Nuclear Deterrence by Commander Robert Green (Royal Navy Ret'd)

Front cover of Rob Green's book As momentum grows for significant progress towards building more effective security in a world free of nuclear weapons, the role of nuclear weapons in national security policies is changing. In a timely contribution to the debate, retired Royal Navy Commander Robert Green has recently published 'Security Without Nuclear Deterrence', with the introduction to the book being provided by Acronym Institute Director Dr Rebecca Johnson. The book was launched at the UN on 5 May 2010 and its London launch on 16 June is being supported by the Acronym Institute. Attendance at the launch is by invitation only - if you would like to attend, please contact Acronym Institute Senior Associate, Carol Naughton. To purchase a copy, visit the Amazon website.

New US National Security Strategy released

Download the full PDF document here

The section relating to nuclear weapons comes on page 23, near the top of the WMD portion:

"Pursue the Goal of a World Without Nuclear Weapons: While this goal will not be reached during this Administration, its active pursuit and eventual achievement will increase global security, keep our commitment under the NPT, build our cooperation with Russia and other states, and increase our credibility to hold others accountable for their obligations. As long as any nuclear weapons exist, the United States will sustain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear arsenal, both to deter potential adversaries and to assure U.S. allies and other security partners that they can count on America’s security commitments. But we have signed and seek to ratify a landmark New START Treaty with Russia to substantially limit our deployed nuclear warheads and strategic delivery vehicles, while assuring a comprehensive monitoring regime. We are reducing the role of nuclear weapons in our national security approach, extending a negative security assurance not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against those nonnuclear nations that are in compliance with the NPT and their nuclear nonproliferation obligations, and investing in the modernization of a safe, secure, and effective stockpile without the production of new nuclear weapons. We will pursue ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. And we will seek a new treaty that verifiably ends the production of fissile materials intended for use in nuclear weapons."

International Nuclear NonProliferation News, March 2010

After a break of several months - due to staff changes - the Autumn/Winter 2009-2010 edition of International Nuclear Weapons  & Non-Proliferation News includes information on:

1. Preparing the way for nuclear disarmament
2. Progress stalls at CD
3. Prospects for the NPT  
4. US nuclear spending and delayed posture review
5. START Follow-on
6. Contradictory signals on missile defence
7. New IAEA Director-General and increased pressure on Iran
8. North Korea
9. India & Pakistan
10. In other news
11. People

NATO states call for removal of US nuclear weapons from Europe

In late February 2010, several newspapers reported that five NATO states - Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway- plan to call for the removal of all the remaining US nuclear weapons on European soil. This follows the earlier call by a Belgian 'Gang of Four' in an op-ed piece in the country's national newspaper 'De Standaard', and the adoption last year by the German coalition government of a policy pressing for the removal of US nuclear weapons from Germany. Here are a selection of the articles including a comment piece on the German policy by Acronym contributor Martin Butcher.

Tory defence advisor says Trident may not be needed in 5-10 years time

Joe Biden speech 'The Path to Nuclear Security: Implementing the President’s Prague Agenda', 18 February 2010

British Nuclear Non-Proliferation News, February 2010

After a break of several months - due to staff changes - the Autumn/Winter 2009-2010 edition of British Nuclear Weapons  & Non-Proliferation News includes information on:

  1. Trident Renewal: Developments and Concerns
    1.1 Letters on Trident Replacement / Reductions
    1.2 Gordon Brown Announces a Possible Reduction in the Number of Trident Submarines
    1.3 Reactions to Brown’s Announcement
    1.4 Blockade of Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment
  2. UK Nuclear Weapons Infrastructure and Safety Issues
    2.1 Planning Applications
  3. Launch of New “Top Level” Cross-Party Group
  4. SNP Party Conference – Trident and Scottish Independence
  5. Calls for the UK to take Further Disarmament Steps
  6. Chilcot Inquiry on the Iraq War
  7. People
    7.1 Baroness Catherine Ashton appointed first EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
    7.2 Remembering friends

Ex-army and defence chiefs question need to replace Trident

UN First Committee 2009

In October 2009, Acronym Institute Senior Associate Carol Naughton attended the UN First Committee in New York. Her observations and comments can be read below:

Disarmament Diplomacy, Issue No.91, Summer 2009

Disarmament Documentation, November 2009

Proliferation in Parliament, Summer 2009

START TALKS, July 2009

NPT Preparatory Committee meeting, May 2009

Latest analysis from Rebecca Johnson

PrepCom Chair's Recommendations (Drafts)

For further coverage go to Acronym's NPT page.

North Korea's Nuclear Test and the CTBT, 25 May 2009

North Korea is undermining international security with its high risk nuclear brinkmanship. In conducting its nuclear test, North Korea is playing a high risk game of nuclear brinkmanship that underscores the global urgency of bringing the CTBT into force.

North Korea probably hopes to put pressure on the Obama administration and the Six Party Talks, and increase the price of its denuclearisation as required by the UN Security Council. This test demonstrates the need to make the global prohibition on nuclear testing fully binding in international law. Condemnation is not enough: the US and China have particular responsibility and must accelerate their own efforts to ratify the CTBT.

180 states have signed the CTBT and 148 have ratified, including Britain, France and Russia. The treaty cannot enter into force until 9 specified states ratify, including China and the US.

For further background on North Korea, go to Acronym's North Korea page.

Unfinished Business: the Negotiation of the CTBT and the End of Nuclear Testing, by Dr Rebecca Johnson

Cover of Unfinished Business

Published by UNIDIR, Unfinished Business: the Negotiation of the CTBT and the End of Nuclear Testing, by Rebecca Johnson details how the CTBT was fought for, opposed and finally negotiated. It considers how a decade of political and institutional obstacles have prevented the CTBT from entering into full legal effect, including the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests of May 1998, the US failure to ratify the treaty in 1999, and the October 9, 2006 nuclear test by North Korea.

For more on CTBT go to Acronym's CTBT page.

Carnegie Nuclear Non-Proliferation Conference, April 2009

Acronym Institute Executive Director Dr Rebecca Johnson was part of a plenary panel on International Expectations of the Obama Administration, chaired by Naila Bolus of the Ploughshares Fund.

Transcripts, video and audio recordings of the panel are available from the CEIP website at:

President Obama speech on Nuclear Disarmament, 5 April 2009

President Obama has reaffirmed his commitment to a world without nuclear weapons. Obama said that the US would lead the endeavour to eliminate nuclear weapons, saying that as the only country to have used a nuclear weapon, it had a 'moral responsibility' to act.

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