The Government's continued work for nuclear disarmament

Published

The threat posed by nuclear weapons is greater now than for several decades. A number of states are modernising their arsenals, and the lack of trust between states is an urgent problem. Nuclear disarmament is therefore a key priority of the Government’s foreign and security policy.

The Government observes that the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in its current form is not ready for signing. The Government will refrain from signing or ratifying the TBNW at the present time. However, nuclear disarmament efforts continue through a number of different initiatives.

The Government’s action for nuclear disarmament in brief:

  • Sweden an observer to the UN TPNW

The government parties are continuing to work for a ban on nuclear weapons through Sweden’s participation as an observer.  As an observer, we will be in a position to influence the TPNW in the direction we want it to go.

  • Focus on strengthening the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

The disarmament initiative launched at the international ministerial meeting in Stockholm in June 2019 is part of concerted Swedish efforts to achieve results within the framework of the important NPT. The aim of the disarmament initiative was to bring likeminded countries together on the issue ahead of the NPT Review Conference 2020.

Next year's Review Conference needs to lead to concrete disarmament pledges from nuclear-weapon states. If this does not happen, the security policy situation will be worsened. In that situation, attention may once again turn to the movement surrounding the TPNW and the issue may be cast in a new light.

  • The Government to establish a Swedish knowledge centre on nuclear disarmament

Knowledge about nuclear weapons and effective disarmament methods is crucial if Sweden is to play a strong role in global disarmament efforts. A knowledge centre on nuclear disarmament based in Sweden will ensure that Swedish knowledge in several areas is strengthened and updated, and also ensure multifaceted and long-term expertise. This will help increase knowledge on a broad front, among diplomats and politicians, but also students, civil society and the media.

  • The Government supports the establishment of an international nuclear disarmament UN secretariat

There is a need to improve the possibilities to ensure follow-up of the commitments made at NPT review conferences. The Government will therefore support the establishment of an international nuclear disarmament UN secretariat tasked with monitoring compliance with NPT disarmament pledges. Over the years, many have lamented the lack of a disarmament secretariat, which was one of the Blix Commission’s recommendations in 2006.

Background

Sweden took part in the UN negotiations on the TPNW in a constructive spirit and sought actively, but in vain, to address a number of shortcomings in the draft treaty. These were to do with the TPNW’s relation to the NPT, the lack of clear definitions and enforceability. These weaknesses in the design of the TPNW remain.