NATO and TPNW Briefing Paper

A briefing paper on NATO and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

December 2020

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons enjoys widespread support from around the world - 122 countries voted in favour of its adoption in July 2017 and in 2020 over 100 countries supported the treaty in a resolution at the UN General Assembly. However, a few dozen countries, including nuclear-armed states and members of the NATO alliance have opposed the treaty from the outset - refusing to participate in negotiations and choosing not to join the accord upon its adoption. Despite these official policies against the treaty, majority public opinion in many NATO countries support the government joining the treaty and former leaders of NATO states, including two former NATO secretary-generals, signed a public letter calling on their governments to join. 

All countries can and should join this critical nuclear disarmament treaty - NATO states are no exception. History shows that previous divergence on controversial weapons did not tear apart the alliance. NATO members are not currently, and have never been, in lockstep about the role of nuclear weapons in the alliance. And over time the role of nuclear weapons in NATO may very well change to adapt to an evolving security environment and shifting norms.  

Download the briefing paper here.