How many countries have nuclear weapons and how many are there? How destructive are today’s nuclear weapons? Do nuclear weapons help to keep the peace? What is the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons? Why does this treaty matter if none of the countries with nuclear weapons have joined? Why should one country give up its nuclear weapons if other countries still have them? Why should countries that don’t have nuclear weapons care about this treaty? Can a NATO state join the TPNW?
Can a NATO state work for a ban even if NATO has nuclear weapons?
There are no legal grounds for why a NATO country would not be able to work for a ban on nuclear weapons. It is fully possible to develop a national standard regarding nuclear weapons that is different from other NATO states.
While NATO’s strategic concept from 2010 says that as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance, the concept also declares that the alliance should work to create conditions for a world free of nuclear weapons. A ban on nuclear weapons will stigmatize and prohibit nuclear weapons, creating better conditions for nuclear disarmament. Working for nuclear disarmament is not just a reference in a strategic concept, this is also an obligation in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a treaty signed by all member states of NATO.
The 2010 NPT outcome document called for the reduction of reliance on nuclear weapons in security doctrines. By leading the work to stigmatize and prohibit nuclear weapons, NATO states can implement their national obligations by increasing the influence over NATOs next strategic concept and implement the commitments from 2010 to ”reduce the reliance on nuclear weapons in security doctrines”.
The facts that have emerged during the three humanitarian consequences, as well as the new discussion about the risks such weapons pose should be the start of a dialogue in all NATO states about what more NATO states can do to reach a world free of nuclear weapons.
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