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"In my home there are few publications that we actually get hard copies of, but [Arms Control Today] is one and it's the only one my husband and I fight over who gets to read it first."

– Suzanne DiMaggio
Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
April 15, 2019
Daryl G. Kimball

Mine Policy Review Near End, U.S. Says

Daryl G. Kimball

The Obama administration is nearing the end of its ongoing, three-year-long review of its landmine policy and expects to announce the results in 2013, a U.S. official said Dec. 6.

In a prepared statement in Geneva delivered during the annual meeting of states-parties to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, Steven Costner, deputy director of the State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, said the United States “expect[s] to be able to announce a decision soon.” At a briefing later on Dec. 6, he specified that the decision would be announced before the parties’ 2013 meeting, scheduled to take place at the end of the year.

Part of the decision is whether Washington will join the convention, which prohibits the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of landmines. The United States, which has stockpiled approximately 10 million anti-personnel landmines, is one of a group of 36 countries, as well as the only NATO member, that has not yet joined the treaty. Since it entered into force in 1997, the treaty has mandated the destruction of tens of millions of anti-personnel mines and advanced programs to rehabilitate mine victims and survivors.

When he was a U.S. senator from Illinois, President Barack Obama was supportive of restricting procurement of victim-activated landmines. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama told Arms Control Today that he would “regain [U.S.] leadership” by “honoring U.S. commitments to seek alternatives to landmines.”

 

The Obama administration is nearing the end of its ongoing, three-year-long review of its landmine policy and expects to announce the results in 2013, a U.S. official said Dec. 6.

Obama’s Second Chance

Daryl G. Kimball

In a dramatic speech in Prague less than 100 days after his 2009 inauguration, President Barack Obama warned that “the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up. More nations have acquired these weapons. Testing has continued. The technology to build a bomb has spread.”

Like other U.S. presidents, Obama said the United States has a “moral responsibility” to prevent nuclear weapons use and proliferation. In his address, he outlined a step-by-step plan to move closer to “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

In relatively short order, Obama and his team negotiated the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia and won Senate approval of the pact, helped secure an action plan to strengthen the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, accelerated global efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism, completed a top-to-bottom review of the U.S. nuclear weapons posture, and took steps to engage Iran in negotiations and build international pressure on Tehran to meet its nonproliferation commitments.

But following the significant progress achieved during Obama’s first two years in office, the administration’s nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation effort has lost energy and focus. Talks with Russia on deeper nuclear cuts have not begun, implementation of the new U.S. nuclear posture review has been delayed, plans to seek Senate approval for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) were never pursued, and the off-and-on talks on Iran’s nuclear program have not produced results.

To move the United States and the world farther away from the nuclear precipice, Obama and his team should focus on three high-priority nuclear risk reduction initiatives. First, the White House needs to move with greater urgency to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran through sustained multilateral diplomacy. Iran apparently has not yet made a decision to build nuclear weapons, but its capabilities are improving.

In the coming rounds of talks, the U.S. negotiators must adjust their tactics and focus on the most important nonproliferation goals: restricting (not permanently suspending) Iran’s uranium enrichment and securing Iranian agreement to more-intrusive international inspections to ensure that Tehran has halted all weapons-related work. A near-term deal to halt Iran’s accumulation of 20 percent-enriched uranium, which is closer to weapons grade, in exchange for supplies of medical isotopes and a phased rollback of some international sanctions is within reach. This could buy time and build momentum for a more comprehensive deal that limits Iran’s ongoing uranium-enrichment work to normal power reactor-grade levels.

Second, Obama can follow through on his 2009 pledge to “end Cold War thinking” and further reduce the role and number of nuclear weapons. To do so, the White House should implement a saner, “nuclear deterrence only” strategy that eliminates outdated targeting assumptions and removes U.S. weapons from prompt-launch status. In addition, the White House should delay plans for more-advanced but still unproven U.S. missile interceptors in Europe, which are leading the Kremlin to resist further cuts in offensive nuclear weapons.

These adjustments in U.S. policy would help clear the way for far deeper Russian strategic nuclear reductions. As a 2012 report from the secretary of state’s International Security Advisory Board suggests, with New START verification tools in place, further reciprocal U.S.-Russian nuclear reductions need not wait for a formal follow-on treaty.

To jump-start progress, Obama could announce that he is prepared to accelerate reductions under New START and, along with Russia, move below the treaty’s ceiling of 1,550 deployed warheads. This would help reduce the enormous cost of planned strategic force modernization by both countries in the coming years. Such actions would put pressure on China to abandon its slow increase in nuclear forces and open the door for serious, multilateral disarmament discussions.

U.S. ratification of the CTBT should also be a major nuclear nonproliferation objective for Obama’s second term. As the president said in 2009, “After more than five decades of talks, it is time for the testing of nuclear weapons to finally be banned.” U.S. ratification of the treaty would advance prospects for global entry into force; increase Washington’s leverage with Iran, North Korea, and other states of concern; build momentum ahead of the 2015 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference; and improve capabilities to detect and deter nuclear testing.

As with any treaty, securing Senate approval will not be easy. But with a sustained campaign like the one the administration waged for New START, approval of the CTBT is within reach before the end of 2014. Advances in stockpile stewardship and improvements in nuclear test monitoring make the technical case for U.S. ratification stronger than ever. There is substantial bipartisan support for the treaty, including from a number of former skeptics.

By taking these bold steps, President Obama would advance U.S. and global security, reinforce the beleaguered nuclear nonproliferation system, and establish a lasting nuclear security legacy. Doing nothing in the face of persistent nuclear dangers is not an option.

In a dramatic speech in Prague less than 100 days after his 2009 inauguration, President Barack Obama warned that “the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up. More nations have acquired these weapons. Testing has continued. The technology to build a bomb has spread.”

Op-ed: Patience Has Not Been A Virtue

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By Daryl G. Kimball

The following piece was originally published at Foreign Policy on December 12, 2012.

President Obama's policy of "strategic patience" has failed to seize fleeting diplomatic opportunities and has, unsurprisingly, not worked. It's time to make a mid-course adjustment by resuming earlier efforts to negotiate curbs on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, and imposing further sanctions to affect Pyongyang's bargaining calculus.

Although North Korea's stubborn leaders may not be willing to negotiate away their nuclear weapons program altogether, they may still be willing to abandon portions of it in exchange for improved relations with the United States and the international community.

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The following piece was originally published at Foreign Policy on December 12, 2012

President Obama's policy of "strategic patience" has failed to seize fleeting diplomatic opportunities and has, unsurprisingly, not worked. It's time to make a mid-course adjustment by resuming earlier efforts to negotiate curbs on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, and imposing further sanctions to affect Pyongyang's bargaining calculus.

ATT Conference Set for March

Daryl G. Kimball

The UN General Assembly last month overwhelmingly approved a resolution mandating a March 2013 conference to negotiate an arms trade treaty (ATT).

The resolution, which was co-sponsored by 105 states, affirmed that the text of the treaty that was put forward on July 26, near the end of a four-week conference that had sought to produce an agreed ATT text, will serve as the basis for further talks. The resolution also called on the UN secretary-general to identify a president for the March 18-28 conference.

The July conference came close to reaching consensus on the text, but fell just short as some states, including the United States, said they needed more time to address remaining concerns. (See ACT, September 2012.) The proposed ATT requires that all states put in place national regulations on international arms transfers, establish common international standards for approving the transfers, and mandate regular reporting on them.

The ATT resolution was approved Nov. 7 by a margin of 157-0, with 18 abstentions. Four of the world’s five largest arms suppliers—China, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States—voted in favor, while Russia abstained. Diplomatic sources say Peter Woolcott, the Australian ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, has been tapped to be president-designate of the March conference.

Myanmar Vows to Upgrade IAEA Safeguards

Daryl G. Kimball

Myanmar will take steps to give the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) greater access to the country’s nuclear facilities, the office of Myanmar President Thein Sein said in a statement Nov. 19, the day of President Barack Obama’s arrival in the Southeast Asian country.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, will sign an additional protocol to its IAEA safeguards agreement and will “give effect to the modified standardized text of the Small Quantities Protocol,” the statement said. The move could put to rest lingering suspicions that Myanmar’s military junta had pursued a nuclear weapons program with assistance from North Korea and could open the door to further rapprochement with the international community.

An additional protocol expands the IAEA’s ability to check for clandestine nuclear facilities by providing the agency with authority to visit any facility, declared or undeclared, to investigate questions about or inconsistencies in a state’s nuclear declarations. It also requires states to provide an “expanded declaration.” The IAEA Board of Governors still must approve Myanmar’s additional protocol.

Myanmar has a comprehensive safeguards agreement in force with the IAEA, but it also has adopted a small quantities protocol, which holds in abeyance much of the agency’s inspection authority as long as a state’s nuclear material holdings do not exceed certain thresholds. (See ACT, July 2010.) In September 2005, the IAEA Board of Governors approved modifications to such protocols to correct what the board believed was “a weakness of the safeguards system.” Myanmar now has pledged to recognize the modified version.

The announcement on the two protocols comes after democratic reforms in Myanmar and significant pressure from Washington to address a range of human rights and governance issues. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in December 2011 that improved U.S. relations with Myanmar would be possible only “if the entire government respects the international consensus against the spread of nuclear weapons.”

A State Department report released in August says U.S. concerns expressed in last year’s report regarding Myanmar’s “interest in pursuing a nuclear program, including the possibility of cooperation with North Korea, were partially allayed.” (See ACT, October 2012.)

The Myanmar announcement on the additional protocol follows the Oct. 23 approval by the government of Iraq of an additional protocol to its IAEA safeguards agreement. That country’s secret pursuit of nuclear weapons in the late 1980s was the principal impetus for creating the Model Additional Protocol in 1997.

As of Oct. 24, 139 countries had signed an additional protocol, and 119 had brought it into force, according to an IAEA tally.

Myanmar will take steps to give the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) greater access to the country’s nuclear facilities, the office of Myanmar President Thein Sein said in a statement Nov. 19, the day of President Barack Obama’s arrival in the Southeast Asian country.

Defuse the Exploding Costs of Nuclear Weapons

Daryl G. Kimball

If Congress and the White House are serious about reducing the growing federal deficit, they must seize the opportunity to scale back costly schemes for building a new generation of strategic nuclear delivery systems and rebuilding tactical nuclear bombs.

More than two decades after the end of the Cold War, the United States still maintains a strategic nuclear triad that is sized to launch far more nuclear weapons than necessary to deter nuclear attack. Today, the United States deploys 1,722 warheads on 806 strategic missiles and bombers, while Russia deploys 1,499 warheads on 491 strategic missiles and bombers. Each side has thousands more warheads in reserve. The direct cost of the U.S. arsenal and its support infrastructure exceeds $31 billion annually, according to independent estimates.

The result is nuclear excess. Other than Russia, the only potential U.S. adversary with a long-range nuclear capability is China, which has no more than 50 to 75 single-warhead strategic missiles, according to the Pentagon. Just one U.S. nuclear-armed submarine loaded with 24 missiles, each armed with four 455-kiloton warheads, could kill millions. As the Pentagon’s 2012 defense strategy paper correctly asserts, “It is possible that our deterrence goals can be achieved with a smaller nuclear force.”

Nevertheless, the Navy wants to design and build 12 new nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines to carry more than 1,000 strategic nuclear warheads into the 2070s, at a total cost of almost $350 billion. The Air Force is seeking new, nuclear-armed strategic bombers that would cost at least $68 billion, as well as a new fleet of land-based ballistic missiles. Modernization and operation of the United States’ 450 Minuteman III land-based ballistic missiles would cost billions more.

Meanwhile, Russia is pursuing its own, expensive ballistic missile modernization program to maintain pace with the United States. If Moscow and Washington maintain excessive forces, it is more likely that China will increase the size and lethality of its strategic nuclear force. Rather than inducing others to build up, Russia and the United States should realize that it is in their security interest to accelerate the pace of planned reductions and reduce their stockpiles well below the 1,550-warhead ceiling set by the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

The first logical step is to reduce the size of the U.S. nuclear-armed strategic submarine force. In January 2012, the Pentagon said it would delay deployment of the first replacement nuclear-armed submarine by two years, starting in 2031 rather than 2029. This will save $6-7 billion in the next 10 years. Without a reduction in the size of the force, however, the overall cost of the program will remain the same and take resources away from the Navy’s other high-priority shipbuilding projects.

By reducing the existing Ohio-class nuclear-armed sub fleet from 14 to eight or fewer boats and building no more than eight new nuclear-armed subs, the United States could save $18 billion more over 10 years and $120 billion over the 50-year life span of the program. By revising Cold War-era prompt launch requirements and increasing the number of missile tubes and warhead loadings on each submarine, the Navy could still deploy the same number of strategic nuclear warheads as currently planned (about 1,000) at sea on a smaller fleet of eight subs.

For the second step, the United States can delay work on a new $55 billion, nuclear-armed strategic bomber fleet. There is no rush to field a fleet of new bombers given the Pentagon’s plan to retain 60 of the existing nuclear-capable, long-range B-2 and B-52 bombers into the 2040s. Delaying development of the new bomber would save $18 billion over the next decade.

A third way to reduce nuclear excess would be to trim the land-based intercontinental ballistic missile force from 420 to 300 or fewer by cutting one squadron at each of the three Air Force bases where such missiles are deployed and forgoing a follow-on missile program. This move would save approximately $360 million in operations and maintenance costs in the coming fiscal year and billions more in future years.

Furthermore, the White House and Congress must enforce greater budgetary and design discipline for the ambitious B61 nuclear warhead life extension program. According to a new Pentagon audit, the cost of upgrading about 300 units of the tactical version and about 100 of the strategic version of the warhead is estimated to exceed $10.4 billion.

Rather than refurbish the tactical versions of the weapon, which are still deployed in Europe even though they are no longer relevant for the defense of NATO, Congress could save billions by directing the weapons laboratories to focus on replacing the tritium and radar components for just the strategic version, known as the B61-7.

In a time of budget austerity, nuclear weapons that are not necessary to deter nuclear attack by potential adversaries should not be on the Pentagon’s shopping list.

If Congress and the White House are serious about reducing the growing federal deficit, they must seize the opportunity to scale back costly schemes for building a new generation of strategic nuclear delivery systems and rebuilding tactical nuclear bombs.

November 2012 IAEA Report on Iran and Its Implications

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November 16, 2012
By Daryl Kimball

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The new quarterly report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran’s nuclear program finds that Tehran has continued to install more centrifuges for uranium enrichment at its underground complex at Fordow, although the total number of operating centrifuges at Fordow has not yet increased, according to the Agency. The IAEA report also notes that while Iran continues to experiment with advanced and more efficient types of centrifuges, it is not yet using them for production-scale operations. The IAEA also reports that Iran has continued enriching uranium to the 20 percent level at the previously reported rate and that its stockpile of 20 percent material has increased moderately.

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The new quarterly report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran’s nuclear program finds that Tehran has continued to install more centrifuges for uranium enrichment at its underground complex at Fordow, although the total number of operating centrifuges at Fordow has not yet increased, according to the Agency

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New ATT Plan Advances

Daryl G. Kimball

Three months after a July UN diplomatic conference failed to reach consensus on a new treaty to regulate the conventional arms trade, a group of key states has offered a new proposal at the United Nations for a follow-up conference to be held in early 2013.

The proposed arms trade treaty (ATT) would require that all states put in place national regulations on international arms transfers, establish common international standards for approving the transfers, and mandate regular reporting on them.

The resolution on an ATT conference, which was put forward by Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, Finland, Japan, Kenya, and the United Kingdom, would convene a “final” UN conference on an ATT from March 18 to 28, 2013, under the rules established for the July conference, including the rule calling for final adoption of the treaty text by consensus. The resolution also would establish that the draft treaty text submitted by conference president Roberto García Moritán on July 26 is the basis for further negotiations.

Reflecting the broad support evident at the July conference, the new resolution has attracted more than 50 co-sponsor states since it was introduced in mid-October at the UN General Assembly First Committee. The resolution calls on the UN secretary-general to undertake consultations on the selection of a conference president.

The proposal would give states another chance to overcome the 11th-hour decision by the United States and a handful of other states to withhold their support for the July 26 draft treaty text. When they announced the decision, U.S. State Department officials said they needed additional time to address their remaining concerns. (See ACT, September 2012.)

In a statement delivered at the UN debate on the resolution Oct. 24, Walter Reid, U.S. deputy permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament, said, “The United States strongly supports convening a short UN conference next spring to continue our efforts to negotiate an effective ATT that will address the issues of international arms trade and its regulation by establishing high standards, that can be implemented on a national basis, and that the overwhelming majority of other states can embrace and take forward effectively.”

In his statement, Reid also said the United States supported the ATT resolution. He argued that “[w]e should use the time between now and the spring to reflect on the text…to determine what additional changes are required to make that text an acceptable and effective treaty.”

Many states, including the members of the European Union, have argued that the only way to achieve universal support for an ATT and ensure the treaty is effective is to negotiate substantive matters on the basis of the consensus rule. Yet, most states are keen not to allow a repeat of the outcome of the July conference. In an Oct. 10 statement to the First Committee, the Nigerian delegation stressed that the consensus rule should “not be exercised as a power of veto.”

One issue on which consensus may be difficult to achieve is how the treaty should address ammunition transfers. The July 26 draft treaty text would require that all states “establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export of ammunition for conventional arms” covered by the treaty and apply the authorization criteria and prohibitions established by the treaty prior to authorizing any export of ammunition.

Although the United States regulates its ammunition exports, U.S. officials have repeatedly said they do not want ammunition included in the treaty. Most other states, including the United Kingdom and many African countries, have been adamant that the treaty should mandate that states regulate their ammunition exports in order to reduce illicit ammunition transfers and retransfers to conflict zones.

The First Committee is expected to vote in early November on the resolution for the March 2013 conference. Diplomatic sources say the resolution will likely win approval.

Three months after a July UN diplomatic conference failed to reach consensus on a new treaty to regulate the conventional arms trade, a group of key states has offered a new proposal for a follow-up conference to be held in early 2013.

Toward a WMD-Free Middle East

Daryl G. Kimball

By the end of this year, representatives from more than a dozen Middle Eastern states may come together for an unprecedented meeting in Helsinki on creating a zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Given their history of conflict; the presence of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in the region; and the prospect of further proliferation, these states can ill afford to squander the opportunity.

Clearly, a Middle Eastern WMD-free zone is a daunting and distant goal. But the step-by-step pursuit of such a zone can strengthen the security of all states in the region over time. Severe tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, as well as Syria’s brutal civil war, threaten to derail the meeting. Delaying the process, however, will only worsen the proliferation risks in the future.

For more than two decades, all of the states of the Middle East have voiced support for a regional zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. Not surprisingly, chronic distrust and animosity between Israel and its Arab neighbors have stymied progress.

Finally, in 2010 the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference agreed, for the first time, to convene a conference of all Middle Eastern states on such a zone by 2012. Last year, Finland was called to facilitate the conference with the support of Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

To date, no one has turned down the invitation from conference coordinator Jaakko Laajava, but not everyone has accepted. The participation of Iran and Israel is most in doubt.

The United States played a critical role in winning support at the 2010 NPT conference for the meeting on the Middle Eastern WMD-free zone. Now, Washington must work even harder to bring key states, particularly Israel, to the table.

Israel has long asserted that a dialogue on limiting WMD capabilities in the region cannot advance without progress toward normal and peaceful relations. Israel is leery of the proposed conference because it could spotlight the Israeli arsenal of 75 to 200 nuclear weapons and the country’s absence from the NPT.

But if Israel does not join the talks on regional WMD control issues, it will only draw more attention to its 45-year-old regional nuclear weapons monopoly and provide others with an excuse to maintain or improve their WMD and missile capabilities.

By engaging in the process of negotiating a WMD-free zone, Israeli leaders can underscore the need to address the threats posed by Syria’s chemical arsenal and Iran’s uranium-enrichment program, open a much needed security dialogue with Arab states, and help put into motion overdue steps that verifiably curtail the WMD potential of its neighbors.

For Iran, the meeting is an opportunity to lend credibility to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s fatwa against nuclear weapons and to reinforce the taboo against chemical weapons, which were used by Saddam Hussein in the brutal Iran-Iraq war. If Tehran is a no-show or spoiler at the Helsinki conference, it would only increase suspicions that it is seeking nuclear weapons and deepen its political isolation.

The United States and other countries can help by pushing Egypt and other Arab governments to engage in a serious and sustained technical dialogue on region-wide WMD issues, rather than simply using the forum to chide Israel. For instance, the meeting provides an opportunity to send a united message to Tehran to limit its enrichment work to the level of power reactor fuel and immediately cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to verify that past nuclear weapons-related experiments have stopped.

Over time, a dialogue on a Middle Eastern WMD-free zone can explore the broad framework and the interim steps that would strengthen regional peace and security. Key elements should include compliance with comprehensive IAEA safeguards and an additional protocol, a ban on production of fissile material for weapons and on uranium enrichment beyond normal fuel grade, and accession to the treaties prohibiting biological and chemical weapons.

Ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by Egypt, Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia would add another important barrier against proliferation. In addition, given that 10 states in the region have some ballistic missile capabilities, it is essential to explore mutual and verifiable limitations on the further deployment of ballistic and cruise missiles capable of carrying WMD payloads.

The states should also consider legally binding assurances against attacks involving nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, backed by security guarantees from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council in the event any state is subjected to a WMD attack.

As a 1991 UN study on the Middle Eastern zone noted, “Only a series of steps that reduce tensions drastically can bring the parties to a serious negotiation. And even then it would not be expected that the negotiations would be quick and easy or that the zone—when agreed—can be fully realized without an extended transition.”

The road ahead will be difficult, but the time to begin is now.

By the end of this year, representatives from more than a dozen Middle Eastern states may come together for an unprecedented meeting in Helsinki on creating a zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Given their history of conflict; the presence of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in the region; and the prospect of further proliferation, these states can ill afford to squander the opportunity.

Mongolia Recognized as Nuclear-Free Zone

Daryl G. Kimball

At a ceremony in New York Sept. 17, representatives from the five original nuclear-weapon states and Mongolia signed parallel political declarations that formally recognize Mongolia’s nuclear-weapon-free status.

China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States reaffirmed their pledges, originally made at the 2000 UN General Assembly, not to use nuclear weapons against Mongolia and pledged to respect Mongolia’s nuclear-weapon-free status.

Mongolia declared that it has fully complied with its commitments as a non-nuclear-weapon state under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and with its own domestic laws. Those laws prohibit various activities relating to nuclear weapons, including developing, manufacturing, or otherwise acquiring them and stationing, transporting, or testing them.

The parallel declarations, which are not legally binding, represent the final steps to formalize Mongolia’s non-nuclear-weapon status, which was first declared in September 1992, and effectively expands the territory now internationally recognized as free of nuclear weapons. To date, five nuclear-weapon-free zones have been established in Africa, Central Asia, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific, all through multilateral treaties. A Middle Eastern zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction is under discussion.

At a ceremony in New York Sept. 17, representatives from the five original nuclear-weapon states and Mongolia signed parallel political declarations that formally recognize Mongolia’s nuclear-weapon-free status.

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